Good Reasoning Matters!: A Constructive Approach to Critical Thinking

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Oxford University Press, 2004 - Philosophy - 470 pages
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In this second edition of their successful book, the authors introduce over 150 new examples of argumentation from contemporary and ancient sources, ranging from Plato and Aristotle to university student newspapers. The emphasis on the construction of good arguments characterizes the book. Through the emphasis on good reasoning, sections of the book examine the most common problems with bad reasoning, including slanting, bias, propaganda, vagueness, ambiguity, and a common failure to consider opposing points of view. Contents: Introduction Acknowledgements Part 1. Getting Started: Looking for an Argument 1. Arguments 2. An Example Exercise 1A 3. Arguers, Audiences, and Opponents 4. Simple and Extended Arguments Exercise 1B 5. Distinguishing Arguments from Non-arguments Exercise 1C 6. Arguments and Explanations 7. Argument Narratives Exercise 1D Major Exercise 1M Part 2. Argument Diagrams: Pointing the Way 1. Argument Diagrams 2. Linked and Convergent Premises 3. Supplemented Diagrams Exercise 2A 4. Diagramming Your Own Arguments Exercise 2B Major Exercise 2M Part 3. Implicit Argument Components: Filling in the Blanks 1. Speech Acts and the Principle of Communication Exercise 3A 2. Abbreviated Arguments Exercise 3B 3. Non-verbal Elements in Argument Exercise 3C 4. A Note on Argument Construction Exercise 3D Major Exercise 3M Part 4. Definitions: Saying What You Mean 1. Using Words Precisely Exercise 4A 2. Vagueness and Ambiguity Exercise 4B 3. Formulating Definitions 4. Rules for Good Definitions Exercise 4C 5. Expressing Your Intended Meaning Major Exercise 4M Part 5. Bias: Reading Between the Lines 1. Bias and Perspective Exercise 5A 2. Detecting Illegitimate Biases Exercise 5B Major Exercise 5M Part 6. Strong and Weak Arguments: Preparing for Evaluations 1. Strong Arguments 2. Argument Criticism 3. Acceptability 4. Valid and Invalid Arguments Exercise 6A 5. Argument Schemes 6. Invalid Arguments Major Exercise 6M Part 7. Syllogisms I: Classifying Arguments 1. Categorical Statements Exercise 7A 2. Immediate Inferences Exercise 7B 3. Categorical Syllogisms Exercise 7C 4. Venn Diagrams Major Exercise 7M Part 8. Syllogisms II: Testing Classes 1. Full Schematization 2. Rules of Validity 3. Applying the Rules 4. Procedural Points Major Exercise 8M Part 9. Propositional Logic I: Some Ifs, Ands, and Buts 1. Simple and Complex Propositions Exercise 9A 2. Translation Exercise 9B Propositional Schemes and Proofs. Exercise 9C Major Exercise 9M Part 10. Propositional Logic II: Conditionals, Dilemmas, and Reducatios 1. Conditional Proofs Exercise 10A 2. Reductio ad Absurdum Exercise 10B 3. Dilemmas Exercise 10C 4. De Morgan's Laws Exercise 10D 5. Summary: Rules of Inference Major Exercise 10M Part 11. Ordinary Reasoning: Assessing the Basics 1. Ordinary Reasoning 2. Acceptability Exercise 11A 3. Relevance Exercise 11B 4. Sufficiency Exercise 11C 5. Applying the Criteria Major Exercise 11M Part 12. Empirical Schemes of Argument: Nothing but the Facts 1. Generalizations Exercise 12A 2. Polling Exercise 12B 3. Causal Reasoning Exercise 12C 4. Appeals to Ignorance Exercise 12D 5. The Methods of Science Exercise 12E Major Exercise 12M Part 13. Moral and Political Reasoning: Schemes of Value 1. Slippery-Slope Arguments Exercise 13A 2. Arguments from Analogy Exercise 13B 3. Appeals to Precedent Exercise 13C 4. Two-Wrongs Reasoning Exercise 13D Major Exercise 13M Part 14. Ethotic Schemes: Judging Character 1. Pro Homine Exercise 14A 2. Ad Populum Arguments Exercise 14B 3. Arguments from Authority Exercise 14C 4. Ad Hominem Exercise 14D 5. Arguments against Authority Exercise 14E 6. Guilt (and Honour) by Association Exercise 14F 7. Other Cases Exercise 14G Major Exercise 14M Part 15. Argumentative Writing: Essaying an Argument 1. The Good Evaluative Critique Exercise 15A 2. The Good Argumentative Essay Exercise 15B 3. A Student's Paper 4. Conclusion Major Exercise 15M Selected Answers Index

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Pointing the
Filling in the Blanks
Saying What You Mean

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About the author (2004)

Leo Groarke is at Brantford Campus, Wilfrid Laurier University. Christopher Tindale is in the Department of Philosophy, Trent University.

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