Cengage Advantage Books: Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic / Edition 8

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $30.32
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 74%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $30.32   
  • New (3) from $53.99   
  • Used (13) from $30.32   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: MIAMI, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
0495603953 Brand New. Exact book as advertised. Delivery in 4-14 business days (not calendar days). We are not able to expedite delivery.

Ships from: Romulus, MI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand New, Perfect Condition, Please allow 4-14 business days for delivery. 100% Money Back Guarantee, Over 1,000,000 customers served.

Ships from: Montgomery, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


Teaching you to construct sound and effective arguments, this lively introductory text uses extensive real-life examples to guide you through the use of both formal and informal logic in academia (and beyond), with:
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With its lucid explanations, penetrating analysis of real-world issues, and its selection of exemplary, timely readings, Understanding Arguments should be required reading in any course whose objectives include improving critical thinking and analytical skills."

"This book is a well-crafted and philosophically-infused work. It gets students engaged with the material and genuinely challenges them to think critically. It works particularly well for courses on critical thinking that are aimed at developing students' skills in quantitative reasoning."

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495603955
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/10/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Robert J. Fogelin is Professor of Philosophy and Sherman Fairchild Professor in the Humanities at Dartmouth College.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface xv

Part I How to Analyze Arguments 1

Chapter 1 Uses of Arguments 3

What Arguments Are 3

Justifications 4

Explanations 7

Combinations: An Example 10

Chapter 2 The Web of Language 17

Language and Convention 17

Linguistic Acts 19

Speech Acts 22

Performatives 23

Kinds of Speech Acts 26

Speech Act Rules 28

Conversational Acts 32

Conversational Rules 34

Conversational Implication 37

Violating Conversational Rules 40

Rhetorical Devices 42

Deception 45

Bronston v. United States 46

Summary 48

Chapter 3 The Language of Argument 51

Argument Markers 51

If..., then... 53

Arguments in Standard Form 55

Some Standards for Evaluating Arguments 57

Validity 57

Truth 59

Soundness 60

A Tricky Case 60

A Problem and Some Solutions 62

Assuring 63

Guarding 65

Discounting 66

Evaluative Language 69

Spin Doctoring 72

Chapter 4 The Art of Close Analysis 77

An Extended Example 77

Clerk Hire Allowance, House of Representatives 77

Chapter 5 Deep Analysis 105

Getting Down to Basics 105

Clarifying Crucial Terms 109

Dissecting the Argument 109

Arranging Subarguments 111

Suppressed Premises 116

Contingent Facts 117

Linguistic Principles 119

Evaluative Suppressed Premises 120

Uses and Abuses of Suppressed Premises 121

The Method of Reconstruction 122

Digging Deeper 125

An Example of Deep Analysis: Capital Punishment 127

Part II How to Evaluate Arguments: Deductive Standards 139

Chapter 6 Propositional Logic 141

The Formal Analysis of Arguments 141

Basic Propositional Connectives 142

Conjunction 142

Disjunction 150

Negation 150

Process of Elimination 153

How Truth-Functional ConnectivesWork 154

Testing for Validity 156

Some Further Connectives 160

Conditionals 162

Truth Tables for Conditionals 163

Logical Language and Everyday Language 169

Other Conditionals in Ordinary Language 172

Chapter 7 Categorical Logic 179

Beyond Propositional Logic 179

Categorical Propositions 180

The Four Basic Categorical Forms 182

Translation into the Basic Categorical Forms 184

Contradictories 187

Existential Commitment 189

Validity for Categorical Arguments 190

Categorical Immediate Inferences 192

The Theory of the Syllogism 194

Appendix: The Classical Theory 203

The Classical Square of Opposition 205

The Classical Theory of Immediate Inference 209

The Classical Theory of Syllogisms 210

Part III How to Evaluate Arguments: Inductive Standards 213

Chapter 8 Arguments to and from Generalizations 215

Induction versus Deduction 215

Statistical Generalizations 219

Should We Accept the Premises? 220

Is the Sample Large Enough? 220

Is the Sample Biased? 222

Is the Result Biased in Some Other Way? 223

Statistical Applications 225

Chapter 9 Causal Reasoning 231

Reasoning About Causes 231

Sufficient Conditions and Necessary Conditions 233

The Sufficient Condition Test 236

The Necessary Condition Test 237

The Joint Test 238

Rigorous Testing 240

Reaching Positive Conclusions 242

Applying These Methods to Find Causes 243

Normality 243

Background Assumptions 244

A Detailed Example 245

Calling Things Causes 249

Concomitant Variation 250

Chapter 10 Inference to the Best Explanation and from Analogy 257

Inferences to the Best Explanation 257

Arguments from Analogy 267

Chapter 11 Chances 277

Some Fallacies of Probability 277

The Gambler's Fallacy 277

Strange Things Happen 278

Heuristics 279

The Language of Probability 282

A Priori Probability 283

Some Rules of Probability 285

Bayes's Theorem 291

Chapter 12 Choices 303

Expected Monetary Value 303

Expected Overall Value 306

Decisions Under Ignorance 308

Part IV Fallacies 315

Chapter 13 Fallacies of Vagueness 317

Uses of Unclarity 317

Vagueness 318

Heaps 320

Slippery Slopes 322

Conceptual Slippery-Slope Arguments 322

Fairness Slippery-Slope Arguments 325

Causal Slippery-Slope Arguments 327

Chapter 14 Fallacies of Ambiguity 333

Ambiguity 333

Equivocation 337

Definitions 343

Chapter 15 Fallacies of Relevance 353

Relevance 353

Ad Hominem Arguments 354

Appeals to Authority 360

More Fallacies of Relevance 364

Chapter 16 Fallacies of Vacuity 369

Circularity 369

Begging the Question 370

Self-Sealers 375

Chapter 17 Refutation 381

What Is Refutation? 381

Counterexamples 382

Reductio Ad Absurdum 386

Straw Men and False Dichotomies 390

Refutation by Parallel Reasoning 392

Part V Areas of Argumentation 401

Chapter 18 Legal Reasoning 403

Components of Legal Reasoning 404

Questions of Fact 404

Questions of Law 405

The Law of Discrimination 411

The Equal Protection Clause 411

Applying the Equal Protection Clause 412

The Strict Scrutiny Test 413

The Bakke Case 414

Regents of the University of California v. Bakke 416

Legal Developments Since Bakke 418

Grutter v. Bollinger 419

Gratz v. Bollinger 425

Burden of Proof 430

Chapter 19 Moral Reasoning 433

Moral Disagreements 433

The Problem of Abortion 434

The "Pro-Life" Argument 435

"Pro-Choice" Responses 437

Analogical Reasoning in Ethics 442

Weighing Factors 444

"A Defense of Abortion," Judith Jarvis Thomson 446

"An Argument that Abortion Is Wrong," Don Marquis 459

Chapter 20 Scientific Reasoning 477

Standard Science 477

Scientific Revolutions 479

"Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference," Michael J. Behe 481

"Living with Darwin," Philip Kitcher 494

Chapter 21 Religious Reasoning 505

"Five Reasons to Believe in God," William Lane Craig 506

"Seven Deadly Objections to Belief in the Christian God," Edwin Curley 512

Chapter 22 Philosophical Reasoning 523

"Computing Machinery and Intelligence," A. M. Turing 524

"The Myth of the Computer," John R. Searle 536

Credits 543

Index 545

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)