Informal logic is the attempt to develop a logic to assess, analyse and improve ordinary language (or "everyday") reasoning. It intersects with attempts to understand such reasoning from the point of view of philosophy, formal logic, cognitive psychology, and a range of other disciplines. Most of the work in informal logic focuses on the reasoning and argument (in the premise-conclusion sense) one finds in personal exchange, advertising, political debate, legal argument, and the social commentary that characterizes newspapers, television, the World (...) Wide Web and other forms of mass media. (shrink)
Offering an innovative approach to critical thinking, Good Reasoning Matters! identifies the essential structure of good arguments in a variety of contexts and also provides guidelines to help students construct their own effective arguments. In addition to examining the most common features of faulty reasoning--slanting, bias, propaganda, vagueness, ambiguity, and a common failure to consider opposing points of view--the book introduces a variety of argument schemes and rhetorical techniques. This edition adds material on visual arguments and more exercises.
This paper responds to two aspects of Ralph Johnson's Manifest Rationality (2000). The first is his critique of deductivism. The second is his failure to make room for some species of argument (e.g., visual and kisceral arguments) proposed by recent commentators. In the first case, Johnson holds that argumentation theorists have adopted a notion of argument which is too narrow. In the second, that they have adopted one which is too broad. I discuss the case Johnson makes for both claims, (...) and possible objections to his analysis. (shrink)
The present paper elaborates a deductivist account of natural language argu-ment in the context of pragma-dialectics. It reviews earlier debates, criticizes some standard misconceptions in the literature, and argues that the identification and analysis of deductive argument schemes can be the basis of a compelling theory of argumentative discourse.
Though the common sense defense of affirmative action (or employment equity) appeals to principles of restitution, philosophers have tried to defend it in other ways. In contrast, I defend it by appealing to the notion of restitution, arguing (1) that alternative attempts to justify affirmative action fail; and (2) that ordinary affirmative action programs need to be supplemented and amended in keeping with the principles this suggests.