How to Think Straight: An Introduction to Critical Reasoning

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Prometheus Books, 1998 - Philosophy - 164 pages
Practical reasoning and clear thinking are essential for everyone if we are to make sense of the information we receive each day. Being able to quickly know the difference between valid and invalid arguments, the contradictory versus the contrary, vagueness and ambiguity, contradiction and self-contradiction, the truthful and the fallacious, separates clear thinkers from the crowd.

How to Think Straight lays the foundation for critical reasoning by showing many ways in which our thinking goes awry. Celebrated philosopher Antony Flew entertainingly instructs on the many and varied faults that occur in argument, the power of reason, how to challenge assertions and find evidence, and how not to be persuaded by half-truths. Flew also examines poor reasoning, and why we should be concerned with finding the truth.

Lucid, terse, and sensible, with study questions and exercises to help along the way, this enlightening second edition will help you develop the skills necessary to argue and reason effectively by following a few simple, easy-to-remember directions.

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I was a TA for Professor Robert Audi. Our textbook was An Introduction to LOGIC and SCIENTIFIC METHOD by Morris R. Cohen and Ernest Nagel. The subject matter was nearly identical to THINKING STRAIT. Audi and Flew both emphasized that equivocation is the killer fallacy! Personally I love the "True Scotsman" and Flew's other insightful illustrations of semantic issues. "I was just stocking up before the hoarders got everything." It is actually simple to prove that God exist! It is extremely reasonable to accept that God is "what makes human life possible." We exist, therefor there is a God! Now, if She asks why you like FAITH when She gave you REASON, what will you say?
Logicians must always consider all possibilities!
If an Oxford Professor like Antony Flew says "precisification" then I say it is a great word for CLARIFICATION, REASONING, UNDERSTANDING, EDUCATION, and COMMUNICATION. Like Flew says, "Figure it out." This means you must always get the right edition to find the word "precisification." The thought coach says that precise clarification is good for focus. Also, "Write and reword as required."
Thomas Ulatowski


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About the author (1998)

Antony Flew is emeritus professor of philosophy at Reading University, England, and the author of Atheistic Humanism; God, Freedom, and Immortality; Thinking About Social Thinking; and How to Think Straight.

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