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Good Reasoning Matters! : A Constructive Approach to Critical Thinking

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Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA

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We are inundated every day with competing messages from a range of sources, from Internet pop-up windows to bumper stickers. Whether they're soliciting our support for a cause or exhorting us to buy a product, these messages contain arguments and counter-arguments that, taken together, are sometimes contradictory and often confusing.

Author Biography

Christopher W. Tindale is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Windsor.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Getting Started: Looking for an Argumentp. 1
Argumentsp. 1
Exercise 1Ap. 4
Arguers, Audiences, and Opponentsp. 5
Exercise 1Bp. 9
Simple and Extended Argumentsp. 10
Exercise 1Cp. 11
Distinguishing Arguments from Non-arguments: Logical Indicatorsp. 12
Exercise 1Dp. 14
Arguments without Indicator Wordsp. 5
Exercise 1Ep. 19
Arguments and Explanationsp. 20
Exercise 1Fp. 24
Argument Narrativesp. 25
Exercise 1Gp. 25
Major Exercise 1Mp. 26
Argument Diagrams: Pointing the Wayp. 33
Argument Diagramsp. 33
Exercise 2Ap. 38
Linked and Convergent Premisesp. 38
Exercise 2Bp. 43
Supplemented Diagramsp. 44
Exercise 2Cp. 46
Diagramming Your Own Argumentsp. 48
Exercise 2Dp. 49
Major Exercise 2Mp. 50
Implicit Argument Components: Filling in the Blanksp. 53
Speech Acts and the Principles of Communicationp. 53
Exercise 3Ap. 55
Hidden Conclusionsp. 56
Exercise 3Bp. 58
Hidden Premisesp. 59
Exercise 3Cp. 62
Non-verbal Elements in Argument: Flags and Demonstrationsp. 63
Exercise 3Dp. 69
Symbolic References and Metaphorsp. 69
Exercise 3Ep. 77
A Note on Argument Constructionp. 78
Exercise 3Fp. 79
Major Exercise 3Mp. 79
Definitions: Saying What You Meanp. 84
Using Words Preciselyp. 85
Exercise 4Ap. 87
Vagueness and Ambiguityp. 88
Exercise 4Bp. 92
Formulating Definitionsp. 96
Exercise 4Cp. 100
Rules for Good Definitionsp. 103
Exercise 4Dp. 106
Expressing Your Intended Meaningp. 109
Major Exercise 4Mp. 110
Bias: Reading between the Linesp. 114
Bias and Perspectivep. 114
Exercise 5Ap. 120
Detecting Illegitimate Biasesp. 121
Exercise 5Bp. 128
Difficult Casesp. 128
Exercise 5Cp. 132
Major Exercise 5Mp. 132
Strong and Weak Arguments: Preparing for Evaluationsp. 139
Strong Argumentsp. 140
Exercise 6Ap. 143
Burden of Proofp. 144
Exercise 6Bp. 145
Valid and Invalid Argumentsp. 146
Exercise 6Cp. 149
Argument Schemesp. 150
Exercise 6Dp. 153
Major Exercise 6Mp. 154
Syllogisms I: Classifying Argumentsp. 160
Categorical Statementsp. 161
Exercise 7Ap. 165
Immediate Inferencesp. 166
Exercise 7Bp. 170
Categorical Syllogismsp. 170
Exercise 7Cp. 173
Venn Diagramsp. 174
Major Exercise 7Mp. 185
Syllogisms II: Testing Classesp. 190
Full Schematizationp. 190
Exercise 8Ap. 192
Rules of Validityp. 192
Exercise 8Bp. 196
Procedural Pointsp. 196
Exercise 8Cp. 197
Major Exercise 8Mp. 198
Propositional Logic I: Some Ifs, Ands, and Butsp. 202
Simple and Complex Propositionsp. 202
Exercise 9Ap. 206
Disjunctions and Conditionalsp. 207
Exercise 9Bp. 210
Translationp. 212
Exercise 9Cp. 216
Propositional Schemes and Proofsp. 218
Exercise 9Dp. 227
Major Exercise 9Mp. 229
Propositional Logic II: Conditional Proofs, Dilemmas, and Reductiosp. 234
Conditional Proofsp. 234
Exercise 10Ap. 237
Reductio ad Absurdump. 237
Exercise 10Bp. 240
Dilemmasp. 240
Exercise 10Cp. 245
De Morgan's Lawsp. 245
Exercise 10Dp. 246
Summary: Rules of Inferencep. 246
Major Exercise 10Mp. 247
Ordinary Reasoning: Assessing the Basicsp. 255
Acceptabilityp. 257
Exercise 11Ap. 260
Belief Systems and Acceptabilityp. 260
Exercise 11Bp. 263
Premise Acceptabilityp. 264
Exercise 11Cp. 268
Further Conditions of Unacceptabilityp. 268
Exercise 11Dp. 271
Internal Relevancep. 272
Exercise 11Ep. 275
Contextual Relevancep. 277
Exercise 11Fp. 281
Sufficiencyp. 281
Exercise 11Gp. 284
Applying the Criteriap. 285
Major Exercise 11Mp. 288
Empirical Schemes of Argument: Nothing but the Factsp. 293
Generalizationsp. 294
Exercise 12Ap. 300
Pollingp. 301
Exercise 12Bp. 307
Causal Reasoningp. 311
Exercise 12Cp. 317
Appeals to Ignorancep. 319
Exercise 12Dp. 321
The Methods of Sciencep. 322
Exercise 12Ep. 328
Major Exercise 12Mp. 329
Moral and Political Reasoning: Schemes of Valuep. 336
Slippery-slope Argumentsp. 337
Exercise 13Ap. 340
Arguments from Analogyp. 340
Exercise 13Bp. 347
Appeals to Precedentp. 349
Exercise 13Cp. 351
Two-wrongs Reasoningp. 352
Exercise 13Dp. 360
Major Exercise 13Mp. 361
Ethotic Schemes: Judging Characterp. 367
Pro Hominep. 368
Exercise 14Ap. 369
Ad Populum Argumentsp. 370
Exercise 14Bp. 372
Arguments from Authorityp. 372
Exercise 14Cp. 378
Ad Hominemp. 378
Exercise 14Dp. 381
Arguments Against Authorityp. 382
Exercise 14Ep. 384
Guilt (and Honour) by Associationp. 384
Exercise 14Fp. 387
Other Casesp. 387
Exercise 14Gp. 389
Major Exercise 14Mp. 389
Argumentative Writing: Essaying an Argumentp. 397
The Good Evaluative Critiquep. 398
Exercise 15Ap. 401
The Good Argumentative Essayp. 405
Exercise 15Bp. 410
A Student's Paperp. 410
Conclusionp. 420
Major Exercise 15Mp. 420
Selected Answersp. 421
Indexp. 491
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