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The Voice of Reason : Fundamentals of Critical Thinking - Burton F. Porter

The Voice of Reason

Fundamentals of Critical Thinking

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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.

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

ISBN: 9780195141221
ISBN-10: 0195141229
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 9th August 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 165.5  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.57