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Voice of Reason : Fundamentals of Critical Thinking

Voice of Reason : Fundamentals of Critical Thinking - 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195141221

Cover of Voice of Reason : Fundamentals of Critical Thinking 02 (ISBN 978-0195141221)
ISBN13: 978-0195141221
ISBN10: 0195141229
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 02
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 2002
International: No
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Voice of Reason : Fundamentals of Critical Thinking - 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195141221

Burton F. Porter

ISBN13: 978-0195141221
ISBN10: 0195141229
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 02
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Published: 2002
International: No
Summary

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.


Author Bio

Porter, Burton F. : Western New England College

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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