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Now in its seventh edition, UNDERSTANDING ARGUMENTS has proven itself as an exceptional guide to understanding and constructing arguments in the context of a student's academic success and subsequent professional career. Its tried and true strengths include multiple approaches to the analysis of arguments, providing a variety of important tools; a thorough grounding on the uses of language in everyday discourse; and chapters in the latter half of the book that apply abstract concepts to concrete legal, moral, and scientific issues.
Preface. Part I: THE ANALYSIS OF ARGUMENT. 1. The Web of Language. Language and Argument. Language and Convention. Levels of Language. Linguistic Acts. Speech Acts. Conversational Acts. An Overview. 2. Rhetorical and Evaluative Language. Conversational Implication and Rhetorical Devices. Evaluative Language. 3. The Language of Argument. The Basic Structures of Arguments. If...Then.... Arguments in Standard Form. Validity, Truth, and Soundness. A Problem and Some Solutions. Argumentative Performatives. 4. Close Analysis. An Extended Example. Global Analysis. 5. Deep Analysis. Getting Down to Basics. Clarifying Crucial Terms. Dissecting the Argument. Arranging Subarguments. Suppressed Premises. The Method of Reconstruction. Digging Deeper. Advanced Section: Capital Punishment. 6. The Formal Analysis of Arguments: Propositional Logic. Validity and the Formal Analysis of Arguments. Propositional Logic. Conditionals. Necessary and Sufficient Conditions. 7. The Formal Analysis of Arguments: Categorical Logic. Beyond Propositional Logic. Categorical Propositions. The Four Basic Categorical Forms. Validity for Arguments Containing Categorical Propositions. Immediate Inferences. The Theory of the Syllogism. Appendix A: The Classical Theory. Appendix B: Immediate Inferences with Complementary Cases. Appendix C: A System of Rules for Evaluating Syllogisms. 8. The Formal Analysis of Arguments: Quantificational Logic. Combining the Two Branches of Logic. Validity for Arguments with Quantifiers. A General Rule for RQL. The Limits of RQL. 9. Inductive Reasoning. Induction versus Deduction. Inferences to the Best Explanation. Arguments from Analogy. Reasoning About Causes. Concomitant Variation. Statistical Generalization. Statistical Applications. 10. Taking Chances. The Gambler's Fallacy. Strange Things Happen. Heuristics. The Language of Probability. A Priori Probability. Some Laws of Probability. Bayes' Theorem. Expected Monetary Value. Expected Overall Value. Decisions Under Ignorance. 11. Fallacies of Clarity. What Is A Fallacy?. Uses of Unclarity. Vagueness. Heaps. Slippery Slopes. Ambiguity. Equivocation. Definitions. 12. Fallacies of Relevance and Vacuity. Fallacies of Relevance. Fallacies of Vacuity. 13. Uses of Arguments. Justifications. Refutations. System and Simplicity. Explanations. Part II: AREAS OF ARGUMENTATION. 14. Legal Reasoning. Components of Legal Reasoning. The Law of Discrimination. Plessy v. Ferguson. Brown v. Board of Education. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. Grutter v. Bollinger. Gratz v. Bollinger. Burden of Proof. 15. Moral Reasoning. Moral Disagreements. The Problem of Abortion. The Pro-Life" Argument. Pro-Choice" Responses. Analogical Reasoning in Ethics. Weighing Factors. Why Abortion is Immoral," by Don Marquis. A Defense of Abortion," by Judith Jarvis Thomson. 16. Scientific Reasoning. Standard Science. Conflicting Scientific Interpretations. Dialogue Concerning the Two World Systems—Ptolemaic and Copernican," by Galileo Galilei. Evolution. The Scientific Case Against Evolution: A Summary," by Henry M. Morris. Evolution as Fact and Theory," by Stephen Jay Gould. 17. Religious Reasoning. God Truly Exists," by St. Anselm. A Reply to the Foregoing by a Certain Writer on Behalf of the Fool," by Gaunilo. Whether God Exists," by St. Thomas Aquinas. The Watch and the Watchmaker," by William Paley. The Anthropic Teleological Argument," by L. Stafford Betty and Bruce Cordell. The Wager," by Blaise Pascal. Evil and Omnipotence," by J.L. Mackie. The Evidential Problem of Evil," by William L. Rowe. Theology and Falsification," by Anthony Flew. Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action," by Nelson Pike. The Ethics of Belief," by William Clifford. 18. Philosophical Reasoning. Computing Machinery and Intelligence," by A.M. Turing. The Myth of the Computer," by John R. Searle. Index.