The Elements of Reasoning / Edition 6

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 07/29/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 39%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $27.56
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 74%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (25) from $27.56   
  • New (9) from $73.36   
  • Used (16) from $27.56   


THE ELEMENTS OF REASONING is a concise and lucid introduction to the basic elements of argumentative prose and the conceptual tools necessary to understand, analyze, criticize, and construct arguments. This text is not only perfect for a college course in argument analysis, but also as a reference tool when confronted with arguments outside the classroom experience. While THE ELEMENTS OF REASONING covers the standard formal tools of introductory logic, its emphasis is on practical applications to the kinds of arguments students most often encounter.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I would adopt this textbook in a heartbeat for a class on critical thinking. I am impressed with how much is accomplished in a slim volume. The clarity of writing is one of the great strengths of this text."— Elizabeth Meade , Cedar Crest College

"As a foundational guide to reasoning, Munson and Black's effort in this edition is commendable - well organized, filled with timely examples, and weighted with the clearest and most substantive content that I have seen in such a textbook."— Jason Black , University of Alabama

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495809180
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 603,510
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald Munson is Professor of Philosophy of Science and Medicine at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received his PhD from Columbia University and was Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology at Harvard University. He has been a visiting professor at University of California, San Diego, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School. A nationally acclaimed bioethicist, Munson is a medical ethicist for the National Eye Institute and a consultant for the National Cancer Institute. He is also a member of the Washington University School of Medicine Human Studies Committee. In addition to being the author of a number of science and ethics books, he is also the author of the novels NOTHING HUMAN, FAN MAIL, and NIGHT VISION.

Andrew Black has been teaching in the Philosophy Department since fall 1999. Before coming to UMSL, he taught for eight years at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and for one year at Dartmouth College. He holds the Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Black specializes in the history of philosophy, particularly the philosophy of the seventeenth century. He has published articles on Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz. Other areas of Dr. Black's expertise include analytic philosophy, logic, and the philosophy of science.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface. Briefing. Basic Assumptions. Organization. Using This Book. 1. RECOGNIZING ARGUMENTS. What Is an Argument? Three General Considerations. Recognizing Arguments. Multiple Conclusions and Complex Arguments. Exercises. 2. ANALYZING ARGUMENTS. Showing the Structure of Arguments. Strategies of Analysis. Two Special Problems. Analyzing a Complex Argument: An Example. Exercises. 3. EVALUATING ARGUMENTS. Deductive Arguments. Exercises. Nondeductive Arguments. Complex Arguments. Exercises. Overall Argument Evaluation. Exercises. 4. SOME VALID ARGUMENT FORMS. Sentential Form. Exercises. Valid Argument Forms. Two Invalid Argument Forms. Exercises. Using the Forms to Show Validity. Exercises. Conditionals. Equivalent Forms. Exercises. Using Inference and Equivalence Rules. Deductive Proof Strategies. Exercises. 5. MORE VALID ARGUMENT FORMS: CATEGORICAL REASONING AND VENN DIAGRAMS. Categorical Statements. Exercises. Categorical Syllogisms. Exercises. 6. CAUSAL ANALYSIS. Basic Causal Relationships. Contributing Factors as "Causes." Causal Explanations. Testing Causal Claims. Experimental Trials. Exercises. 7. ARGUMENT BY ANALOGY AND MODELS. Analogical Arguments. Models. Evaluating Analogical Reasoning. Exercises. 8. ERRORS IN REASONING: FALLACIES. Fallacies in Supporting a Claim. Fallacies of Criticism and Response. Exercises. 9. DEFINITION. Definition of "Definition." Two Types of Definition. Methods of Definition. Standards of Definition. Working Out a Definition. Exercises. 10. VAGUENESS AND AMBIGUITY. Vagueness. Ambiguity. Exercises. 11. REASONABLE BELIEFS. Granted Claims and Acceptable Beliefs. New Claims, Background Beliefs, and Rationality. Exercises. 12. RULES FOR WRITING. Structure. Style. Exercises: Some Answers, Hints, and Comments. Index.

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 & 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 & 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 & 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 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 & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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)