Higher Education

Logic and Controversy, 1st Edition

  • Maurice F. Stanley University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • ISBN-10: 0534573789  |  ISBN-13: 9780534573782
  • 528 Pages
  • © 2002 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $148.50



This new text brings the traditional material of introductory logic (critical thinking, informal and modern symbolic logic) to bear on present day issues – terrorism, abortion, the death penalty, ABM treaty, stem cell research – essays and editorials found in the New York Times, USA Today, Miami Herald, and other major newspapers and news magazines from all over the United States. This original format engages students in applying logic and critical thinking to important issues. They learn not only the techniques of introductory logic but will achieve a much deeper understanding of the great controversies that we face.

Table of Contents

Part One: Critical Thinking.
1. Arguments.
1.1 Arguments: Premises and Conclusions. 1.2 Arguments: Deductive and Inductive. 1.3 Extended Arguments. 1.4 Explanations and Other Non-Arguments. 1.5 Summary of Chapter One. 1.6 Applications: The Suicide Machine. Jack Kevorkian Murder Verdict.
2. The Context of Arguments - Critical Thinking.
2.1 Disagreement and Controversy. 2.2 The Aims of Critical Thinking. 2.3 Uses of Language. 2.4 Challenging Premises. 2.5 Competing Arguments. 2.6 Summary of Chapter Two. 2.7 Applications: Essays on Bosnia. Columbine School Shootings.
Part Two: Informal Logic.
3. Informal Fallacies.
3.1 Fallacies. 3.2 Fallacies of Ambiguity. 3.3 Avoiding Ambiguity: Definition. 3.4 Fallacies of Presumption. 3.5 Fallacies of Irrelevance. 3.6 Sophistries and Diversions. 3.7 Summary of Chapter Three. (Complete List of Fallacies). 3.8 Applications: Essay on Violent Protest. Ross Perot Speech.
Part Three: Formal Logic.
4. The Syllogism. 4.1 Categorical Statements. 4.2 Translations. 4.3 The Traditional Square of Opposition. 4.4 Immediate Inference. 4.5 The Categorical Syllogism. 4.6 Venn Diagrams. 4.7 Rules and Formal Fallacies of Syllogism. 4.8 Enthymemes and Sorites. 4.9 Summary of Chapter Four. 4.10 Applications: On Death Sentence. Helms on AIDS. A Murdered Girl.
5. Truth-Functional Logic. 5.1 Basic Symbols. 5.2 Some More Argument Forms. 5.3 Deductive Proofs. Rules of Inference. Rules of Replacement. 5.4 Proving Invalidity. 5.5 Summary of Chapter Five. 5.6 Applications: Spousal Abuse Evidence in O. J. Simpson Trial. Violent Protest.
6. Quantifiers.
6.1 Quantifier Rules. 6.2 Proving Invalidity of Quantified Arguments. 6.3 Summary of Chapter Six. 6.4 Application: On Death Sentences.
Part Four: Informal and Formal Logic.
7. Induction.
7.1 Analogical Reasoning. 7.2 Inductive Generalizations. Universal Generalizations. Casual Generalizations - Mill's Methods. 7.3 Hypothetical Reasoning. Scientific Explanations. Scientific Method. 7.4 Probability and Statistical Reasoning. Probability. Statistical Reasoning. 7.5 Summary of Chapter Seven. 7.6 Applications: Marilyn Monroe. AIDS.
8. Critical Analysis.
8.1 Procedure. 8.2 Examples.
Appendix 1. Dialectic and Debate.
Appendix 2. Puzzles. Answer Key - (Selected Exercises).

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The manuscript has a lot of exercises and problems solved in detail. The author’s use of actual editorials, articles, and letters from actual newspapers lends genuine credence to the project."

— George Gale, University of Missouri - Kansas City

"The book is full of interesting, extended argumentative essays - plenty for students to sink their teeth into and think about: a definite plus. The deductive proofs are excellent. I have never seen them applied so well to 'ordinary' arguments in a logic text. It probably has more exercises than most and more 'meaty' controversial essays than most, and I think these are both good things."

— Sue Cataldi, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville

"The most impressive feature is still the robust section on critical thinking that is included (and not skimmed over) with traditional elementary logic. The other noteworthy feature is the set of timely, relevant and controversial examples used throughout the book, and less emphasis (as in Copi and Cohen) on selections taken from philosophical texts. I think the organization of the chapters and of the topics within the chapters is excellent. Three main strengths: exceptionally clear language; very timely and relevant examples throughout the book; and the successful integration of a solid unit on critical thinking that fits in nicely (and is not treated as an appendage) with the treatment of standard topics in elementary logic. I really think this book is unique and doesn't have any real competitors, mainly because of the careful integration of the critical thinking unit at the beginning with the standard elementary logic section following."

— Paul Tang, California State University - Long Beach

"... would be a text from which it would be both easy and fun to teach! I still find its organizing premise a most interesting idea - perhaps, even one whose time has come. New approach (traditional material + applications). Well-written. Good exercises and good amount of exercise practice."

— Erik Kraemer, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse

"I think this text will be useful for instructors who wish to teach their students logic in the sense of critical thinking rather than logic as the study of the concept of deduction. As such it should be successful. One good feature of the Stanley logic text is its clearness and conciseness."

— Michael Harrington, University of Mississippi

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Maurice F. Stanley

Maurice Stanley is from the mountains of North Carolina. He has a degree in mathematics from N.C. State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from UNC-Chapel Hill. He has taught in public schools and community colleges. For the past 12 years he has taught logic and philosophy at UNC-Wilmington on the coast of North Carolina. His book of problems in philosophy, BEWITCHMENTS, is available online for his students at UNC-W. His novel, THE LEGEND OF NANCE DUDE was made into a play and has been translated into Russian. He has presented philosophical papers at a number of universities, including Oxford University. Like Jean-Paul Sartre, he enjoys writing at all-night cafes.