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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.
- NEW MindTap online course that contains an ebook and a wealth of activities that promote learning outcomes, such as chapter exercises, discussion boards, and videos with real-life examples in every chapter.
- NEW glossary included as a succinct collection of all the important key terms and their definitions.
- NEW revision in Chapter Four of some of the symbols and the form of some of the rules allows users to take advantage of significant online resources for proof construction and checking, and they make the symbolism consistent.
- NEW material in Chapter Six has been reorganized and cut down to improve clarity of presentation.
- Concise and easy-to-read, this text serves not only as a core text but also is an appropriate reference in many courses.
- The text features coverage of common methods of argument not included in most concise texts: causal reasoning, analogical reasoning, reasonable belief, and categorical logic.
- This book presents readily accessible treatment of real-life arguments, presented in a way that doesn't demand excessive theoretical preparation.
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.
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.
"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."
"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."