The Voice of Reason: Fundamentals of Critical Thinking / Edition 1

The Voice of Reason: Fundamentals of Critical Thinking / Edition 1

by Burton F. Porter
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195141229

ISBN-13: 9780195141221

Pub. Date: 08/09/2001

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Lively, comprehensive, and contemporary, The Voice of Reason: Fundamentals of Critical Thinking covers three principal areas: thought and language, systematic reasoning, and modes of proof. It employs highly accessible explanations and a multitude of examples drawn from social issues and various academic fields, showing students and other readers how to

Overview

Lively, comprehensive, and contemporary, The Voice of Reason: Fundamentals of Critical Thinking covers three principal areas: thought and language, systematic reasoning, and modes of proof. It employs highly accessible explanations and a multitude of examples drawn from social issues and various academic fields, showing students and other readers how to construct and criticize arguments using the techniques of sound reasoning.
The Voice of Reason examines the traditional elements of the field and also explores new ground. The first section of the book elucidates the relationship between thought and language, explaining how words function. It discusses meaning, connotation, vagueness, ambiguity, and definition, identifying the linguistic elements that can produce mistakes in thinking. The next section describes the rules of systematic reasoning, examining such topics as truth, relevance, and adequacy; deductive logic (categorical, hypothetical, and disjunctive); and induction (cause and effect, analogy, generalization, and hypothesis). Sixteen fallacies in thinking are also described through extensive illustrations and applications. The final section of the book offers a unique study of what constitutes proof in several different areas—including politics, advertising, law, and social issues—as well as in the academic disciplines of literature, science, history, and ethics. The author describes the various rules of evidence, using essays by major figures in each field as examples.
An ideal text for courses in critical thinking, informal logic, and reasoning and writing, The Voice of Reason offers numerous pedagogical features including a host of examples; assignments, exercises, and puzzles at both the halfway point and at the end of each chapter; cartoons and quotations throughout; and practical applications of theoretical concepts. An extensive Instructor's Manual contains answers to the exercises that appear throughout the text.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195141221
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
08/09/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
371,204
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Analytic Table of Contents
Preface
1. CRITICAL THINKING
By Force of Argument
Avoiding Self-Contradiction
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
How Words Have Meaning
Using Terms and Mentioning Them
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
PART I. THOUGHT AND LANGUAGE
2. THE WAY WORDS WORK
The Basic Ingredients: Intension and Extension
The Connotation of Words
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Vagueness—Seeing Dimly
Ambiguity—Seeing Double
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
3. LANGUAGE AND DEFINITION
Types of Definitions: Stipulative and Reportive
Synonym and Example Definitions
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Avoiding Definition Mistakes
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
PART II. SYSTEMATIC REASONING
4. DISAGREEMENTS, CLAIMS, AND REASONS
Types of Disagreements: Factual and Verbal
Interpretive and Evaluative Disagreements
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Reasoning Things Out: Truth and Relevance in Arguments
Adequate Proof and Alternative Possibilities
Summary
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
5. COMMON MISTAKES IN THINKING
Argument to the Person and from Authority
Threat of Force and Appeal to Pity
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Straw Person and Poisoning the Well
The Slippery Slope and the Gambler's Fallacy
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
6. MORE SUBTLE ERRORS OF THOUGHT
The Fallacy of Sweeping Generalization and Hasty Generalization
Begging the Question and Complex Question
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
The Argument From Ignorance and to the Masses
False Cause and Irrelevant Conclusion
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
7. REASONING IN A FORMAL WAY
The Structure of Arguments: Conclusions and Premises (Claims and Warrants)
Paraphrasing Statements and Seeing Implications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Syllogisms and Enthymemes
Validity and Truth
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
8. PATTERNS OF DEDUCTIVE THINKING
Using Categorical Arguments
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Hypotheticals: The If/Then Form
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Disjunctives: Either/Or Alternatives
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
9. INDUCTIVE THINKING: IDENTIFYING CAUSES, DRAWING ANALOGIES
Causation: The Consequent and The Subsequent
Establishing Causal Connections
Summary
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies
Using Analogical Arguments Effectively
Summary
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
10. DERIVING GENERALIZATIONS, FORMING HYPOTHESES
Generalizing and Describing
Using a Fair Sample
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
The Explanatory Hypothesis
Developing an Adequate Hypotheses
Summary
Applications
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
PART III. MODES OF PROOF
11. DISCOURSE COMMUNITIES
The Rhetoric of Politicians
"Keynote Address, Democratic National Convention, 1984," Mario Cuomo
Persuasion in Advertising
"Ogilvy on Advertising," David Ogilvy
The Legal Case
"Gregg V. Georgia," Supreme Court
Debates About Social Issues
"Pornography, Obscenity, & the Case for Censorship," Irving Kristol
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
12. ARGUMENTS IN THE DISCIPLINES
Literary Explication
"Robert Frost: The Way to the Poem," John Ciardi
Scientific Verification
"Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids," J.D. Watson and F.H.C. Crick
"Can We Know the Universe? Reflections on a Grain of Sand," Carl Sagan
Historical Explanation
"The Causes of the Great Crash," John Kenneth Galbraith
Ethical Justification
"A Defense of Abortion," Judith Jarvis Thomson
Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
APPENDIX
Classifying: Genus and Differentia
Analytic and Synthetic Sentences
Partial Solution Guide to Assignments, Exercises, Puzzles
Index

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