The Elements of Reasoning / Edition 3

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This text is a concise and elegant introduction to the basic elements of argumentative prose and the conceptual tools necessary to understand, analyze, criticize, and construct arguments. The book serves not only as a text but as a useful handbook of reasoning in much the same way that Strunk and White's ELEMENTS OF STYLE provides a handbook for writers. While the book covers the standard formal tools of introductory logic, its emphasis is on practical applications to the kinds of arguments students most often encounter.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534519490
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 240

Table of Contents

Preface vi
Orientation 1
1 Recognizing Arguments 5
What Is an Argument? 5
Three General Considerations 6
Recognizing Arguments 7
Multiple Conclusions and Complex Arguments 12
Exercises 14
2 Analyzing Arguments 20
Showing the Structure of Arguments 20
Strategies of Analysis 23
Two Special Problems 26
Analyzing a Complex Argument: An Example 28
Exercises 31
3 Evaluating Arguments 39
Deductive Arguments 39
Exercises 45
Nondeductive Arguments 47
Complex Arguments 54
Exercises 57
Overall Argument Evaluation 60
Exercises 62
4 Some Valid Argument Forms 64
Sentential Form 64
Exercises 67
Valid Argument Forms 68
Two Invalid Argument Forms 72
Exercises 73
Showing the Validity of Complex Arguments 75
Exercises 77
Conditionals 79
Equivalent Forms 80
Exercises 83
Using Inference and Equivalence Rules 84
Exercises 86
5 More Valid Argument Forms: Categorical Reasoning and Venn Diagrams 89
Categorical Statements 89
Exercises 94
Categorical Syllogisms 95
Exercises 101
6 Causal Analysis 104
Basic Causal Relationships 104
Designating Factors as Causes 110
Causal Explanations 111
Testing Causal Claims 112
Exercises 119
7 Argument by Analogy and Models 124
Analogical Arguments 124
Models 127
Evaluating Analogical Reasoning 129
Exercises 131
8 Errors in Reasoning: Fallacies 137
Fallacies in Supporting a Claim 137
Exercises 143
Exercises 148
Fallacies of Criticism and Response 149
Exercises 156
9 Definition 164
Definition of Definition 164
Two Types of Definition 164
Methods of Definition 168
Standards of Definition 171
Exercises 173
10 Vagueness and Ambiguity 176
Vagueness 176
Ambiguity 181
Exercises 185
11 Reasonable Beliefs 190
Granted Claims and Accepted Beliefs 190
New Claims, Background Beliefs, and Rationality 200
Exercises 202
Exercises: Some Answers, Hints, and Comments 208
Index 230
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