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Thinking Clearly: A Guide to Critical Reasoning / Edition 1

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Accompanying Software LEMUR (Learning Evaluation Makes Understanding Real) is a highly interactive student tutorial program that parallels the topical organization of Thinking Clearly. Most of LEMUR's 400-plus exercises provide extensive commentary or advice on every attempted answer, right or wrong-a feature that enables students to learn more than they would from conventional textbook or software exercises.

Available free to instructors who adopt Thinking Clearly, LEMUR can be installed on IBM-compatible networks or individual PCs. Students may also download the program from Norton's Web site ( To obtain a demonstration copy, contact your Norton representative or call 1-800-223-2584 and ask for the college department.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393972184
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 314
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill LeBlanc (Ph.D., University of Toronto) is an Associate Professor at McMaster University, where she has taught critical thinking to more than 7,000 students. Both Thinking Clearly and is accompanying LEMUR software are based on materials that she developed for this course.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 Identifying Arguments 1

Arguments 2

Exercise 1.1 5

Propositions 7

Exercise 1.2 9

Explanations 10

Summary 19

Exercise 1.3 20

Exercise 1.4 23

2 Standardizing Arguments 24

Standardization 24

Subarguments 26

Linked and Convergent Premises 32

Exercise 2.1 34

Missing Premises and Missing Conclusions 37

Exercise 2.2 38

Assumptions 38

Exercise 2.3 40

Counterarguments 41

Exercise 2.4 45

Counterconsiderations 47

Summary 49

Exercise 2.5 49

Exercise 2.6 53

3 Categorical Logic 54

Categorical Statements 54

Standard Form 56

Distributed and Undistributed Terms 59

Exercise 3.1 62

The Square of Opposition 63

Exercise 3.2 67

Immediate Inferences 68

Exercise 3.3 70

Exercise 3.4 72

Exercise 3.5 74

Categorical Arguments 76

Exercise 3.6 77

Evaluating Syllogisms 79

Summary 83

Exercise 3.7 83

4 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions 85

Conditional Statements 85

All and Only 88

Counterexamples 91

Exercise 4.1 91

If...Then 92

Exercise 4.2 94

Only If 95

Exercise 4.3 96

Negation 96

Unless 99

Both Necessary and Sufficient/Neither Necessary nor Sufficient 100

Exercise 4.4 100

Conditional Arguments 102

Good Arguments 103

Bad Arguments 104

Practice with Conditional Arguments 106

Valid and Invalid Arguments 110

Summary 112

Exercise 4.5 112

5 Language 115

Definitions 115

Exercise 5.1 117

Stipulative Definitions 117

Evaluating Stipulative Definitions 119

Exercise 5.2 121

Operational Definitions 121

Exercise 5.3 125

Fallacies of Language 125

Persuasive Definitions 125

Emotional Force in Language 127

Exercise 5.4 135

Ambiguity and Vagueness 135

Summary 140

Exercise 5.5 140

6 Accepting Premise 143

Reasons to Accept Premises 143

Common Knowledge 146

Authority 153

Exercise 6.1 157

Fallacies Resulting from Bad Premises 158

Dichotomy Arguments 159

Begging the Question 163

Summary 169

Exercise 6.2 170

7 Relevance 172

Fallacies that Occur in Counterarguments 173

Straw Person Fallacy 174

Ad Hominem 177

Tu Quoque 183

Exercise 7.1 185

More Fallacies of Relevance 187

Fallacious Appeal to Authority 187

Appeal to Tradition 189

Appeal to Ignorance 191

Exercise 7.2 196

The Gambler's Fallacy 196

Appeal to the Majority/Appeal to the Select Few 198

Summary 200

Exercise 7.3 200

Exercise 7.4 202

8 Arguments from Analogy 204

Analogies 206

Fallacies of Analogy 218

Fallacy of Two Wrongs 218

Slippery Precedent 219

Slippery Assimilation 221

Summary 222

Exercise 8.1 223

Exercise 8.2 226

9 Arguments from Experience 229

Types of Arguments from Experience 230

Hasty Generalization 234

Exercise 9.1 236

Statistical Arguments 238

What Did You Count? 240

How Did You Count It? 247

Exercise 9.2 250

Operationalization 251

Researching Sensitive Topics 253

Ethical Issues in Research 254

Exercise 9.3 255

Evaluating Statistical Arguments 257

Summary 263

Exercise 9.4 264

10 Causal Arguments 270

Cause and Effect 271

Post Hoc Fallacy 271

The Fallacy of Jumping from Correlation to Cause 272

Control Groups 275

Exercise 10.1 281

Types of Studies 282

Evaluating Causal Arguments 286

Summary 292

Exercise 10.2 293

Glossary 299

Index 307

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