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How to Think Logically


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PrefaceAcknowledgmentsAbout the Authors PART I: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF REASONING CHAPTER ONEWhat Is Logical Thinking? And Why Should We Care? 1.1 The Study of Reasoning Inference or Argument1.2 Logic and Reasoning Dimensions of the Subject Formal Logic Informal Logic EXERCISES1.3 Arguments and Non-Arguments1.4 Argument Analysis Reconstructing and Evaluating Arguments Identifying Premises and Conclusion Premise and Conclusion Indicators Arguments with No Premise or Conclusion Indicator EXERCISES1.5 The Philosopher's Corner What is Philosophical About All This EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT1.6 Chapter Summary1.7 Key Words CHAPTER TWOThinking Logically and Speaking One's Mind 2.1 Rational Acceptability Logical Connectedness Evidential Support Truth and Evidence2.2 Beyond Rational Acceptability Linguistic Merit Retorical Power Rhetoric vs. Logical Thinking EXERCISES2.3 From Belief to Statement Propositions2.4 Uses of Language Types of Sentence Declarative Sentences2.5 Indirect and Non-Literal Language Indirect Language Non-Literal Language EXERCISES2.6 The Philosopher's Corner The Study of Language and Its Dimensions Type and Token Use and Mention EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT2.7 Chapter Summary2.8 Key Words CHAPTER THREEThe Virtues of Belief 3.1 Belief, Disbelief, and Non-Belief EXERCISES3.2 Beliefs' Virtues and Vices3.3 Accuracy and Truth Accuracy and Inaccuracy Truth and Falsity3.4 Reasonableness Empirical and Conceptual Reasonableness3.5 Consistency Defining `Consistency' and `Inconsistency' Logically Possible Propositions Logically Impossible Propositions Consistency and Possible Worlds Consistency in Logical Thinking3.6 Conservatism and Revisability Conservatism Without Dogmatism Revisability Without Relativism3.7 Rationality vs. Irrationality EXERCISES3.8 The Philosopher's Corner Evaluative Reasons EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT3.9 Chapter Summary3.10 Key Words PART II: REASON AND ARGUMENT CHAPTER FOURTips for Argument Analysis4.1 A Principled Way of Reconstructing Arguments Faithfulness Charity When Faithfulness and Charity Conflict4.2 Missing Premises4.3 Extended Arguments EXERCISES4.4 Types of Reason and Types of Argument Deductive vs. Inductive Arguments4.5 Evaluative Arguments with Missing Premises Evaluative Arguments Moral Arguments and Moral Principles Implicit Evaluative Premises EXERCISES4.6 The Philosopher's Corner Can `Ought' Follow Deductively from `Is'? Hume's Position Searle's Reply EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT4.7 Chapter Summary4.8 Key Words CHAPTER FIVEEvaluating Deductive Arguments 5.1 Valid Arguments `Validity' as a Technical Term EXERCISES Some Valid Propositional Argument Forms Some Valid Syllogistic Argument Forms The Cash Value of Validity EXERCISES5.2 Sound vs. Unsound Arguments The Cash Value of Soundness5.3 Cogent vs. Non-Cogent Arguments The Cash Value of Cogency EXERCISES5.4 The Philosopher's Corner Deductive Arguments and the A Priori/A Posteriori Distinction EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT5.5 Chapter Summary5.6 Key Words CHAPTER SIX Analyzing Inductive Arguments 6.1 Reconstructing Inductive Arguments What Is an Inductive Argument?6.2 Some Types of Inductive Argument Enumerative Induction Statistical Syllogism
Causal Argument Analogy EXERCISES6.3 Evaluating Inductive Arguments Inductive Reliability Inductive Strength EXERCISES6.4 The Philosopher's Corner Is Natural Science Inductive? EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT6.5 Chapter Summary6.6 Key Words PART III: INFORMAL FALLACIES CHAPTER SEVENSome Ways an Argument Can Fail 7.1 What Is a Fallacy?7.2 Classification of Informal Fallacies7.3 When Inductive Arguments Go Wrong Hasty Generalization Weak Analogy False Cause Appeal to Ignorance Appeal to Unqualified Authority EXERCISES7.4 The Philosopher's Corner Appeal to Ignorance in Philosophical Arguments EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT7.5 Chapter Summary7.6 Key Words CHAPTER EIGHTAvoiding Ungrounded Assumptions 8.1 Fallacies of Presumption8.2 Begging the Question Circular Reasoning The Burden of Proof8.3 Begging-the-Question-Against EXERCISES8.4 Complex Question8.5 False Alternatives8.6 Accident EXERCISES8.7 The Philosopher's Corner Is the Open Question Argument Viciously Circular? EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT8.8 Chapter Summary8.9 Key Words CHAPTER NINEFrom Unclear Language to Unclear Reasoning9.1 Unclear Language and Argument Failure9.2 Semantic Unclarity 9.3 Vagueness The Sorites Paradox The Slippery Slope Fallacy9.4 Ambiguity Equivocation Amphiboly9.5 Confused Predication Composition Division9.6 Antidote to Unclear Language: Semantic Definitions Reportive Definitions The Method of Counterexample Ostensive and Contextual Definitions9.7 The Philosopher's Corner Real Definitions Philosophical Analysis EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT9.8 Chapter Summary9.9 Key Words CHAPTER TENAvoiding Irrelevant Premises
10.1 Fallacies of Relevance10.2 Appeal to Pity10.3 Appeal to Force10.4 Appeal to Emotion The Bandwagon Appeal Appeal to Vanity10.5 Ad Hominem The Abusive Ad Hominem Tu Quoque Non-Fallacious Ad Hominem10.6 Beside the Point10.7 Straw Man EXERCISES10.8 The Philosopher's Corner Is the Appeal to Emotion Always Fallacious? EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT10.9 Chapter Summary10.10 Key Words PART IV: MORE ON DEDUCTIVE REASONING CHAPTER ELEVENCompound Propositions 11.1 Argument as a Relation Between Propositions11.2 Simple and Compound Propositions Negation Conjunction Disjunction Material Conditional Material Biconditional11.3 A Closer Look at Compound Propositions Punctuation Symbols Well-Formed Formulas EXERCISES11.4 Defining Connectives with Truth Tables11.5 Truth Tables for Compound Propositions11.6 Logically Necessary and Logically Contingent Propositions Tautologies Contradictions Contingencies EXERCISES11.7 The Philosopher's Corner Tautologies and Other Necessary Propositions EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT11.8 Chapter Summary11.9 Key Words CHAPTER TWELVEChecking the Validity of Propositional Arguments 12.1 Checking Validity with Truth Tables EXERCISES12.2 Reviewing Some Standard Argument Forms Modus Ponens Modus Tollens Contraposition Hypothetical Syllogism Disjunctive Syllogism EXERCISES12.3 Formal Fallacies Affirming the Consequent Denying the Antecedent Affirming a Disjunct EXERCISES12.4 An Informal Approach to Proofs of Validity The Basic Rules What Is a Proof of Validity How to Construct a Proof of Validity Proofs vs. Truth Tables EXERCISES12.5 The Philosopher's Corner Reductio ad Absurdum Arguments Reductio in Philosophy EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT12.6 Chapter Summary12.7 Key Words CHAPTER THIRTEENCategorical Propositions 13.1 What Is a Categorical Proposition? Categorical Propositions Standard Form Categorical Propositions Non-Standard Categorical Propositions EXERCISES13.2 Venn Diagrams for Categorical Propositions EXERCISES13.3 The Square of Opposition The Traditional Square of Opposition Existential Import The Modern Square of Opposition EXERCISES13.4 Other Immediate Inferences Conversion Obversion Contraposition EXERCISES13.5 The Philosopher's Corner Generalization and the Appeal to Counterexample EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT13.6 Chapter Summary 13.7 Key Words CHAPTER FOURTEENCategorical Syllogisms 14.1 What Is a Categorical Syllogism Recognizing Categorical Syllogisms14.2 Mood and Figure EXERCISES14.3 Testing for Valid ity with Venn Diagrams EXERCISES14.4 Distribution of Terms14.5 Rules of Validity and Fallacies EXERCISES 14.6 The Philosopher's Corner Standard Syllogisms and Singular Propositions EXERCISES WRITING PROJECT14.7 Chapter Summary 14.8 Key Words Appendix: Summary of Informal FallaciesAnswers to Selected ExercisesGlossary/Index

About the Author

Gary Seay has taught logic at the City University of New York since 1979 and is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at Medgar Evers College. He is the author of journal articles on moral philosophy and bioethics. With Susana Nuccetelli, he is the editor of Latin American Philosophy (Prentice Hall, 2004). Susana Nuccetelli is Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She is editor of New Essays on Semantic Externalism and Self-Knowledge (MIT Press, 2003) and author of many journal articles on epistemology and philosophy of language. She has also written on Latin American philosophy.

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