Extensively classroom-tested, Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Analytical Reading and Reasoning provides a non-technical vocabulary and analytic apparatus that guide students in identifying and articulating the central patterns found in reasoning and in expository writing more generally. Understanding these patterns of reasoning helps students to better analyze, evaluate, and construct arguments and to more easily comprehend the full range of everyday arguments found in ordinary journalism. Critical Thinking distinguishes itself from other texts in the field by emphasizing analytical reading as (...) an essential skill. It also provides detailed coverage of argument analysis, diagnostic arguments, diagnostic patterns, and fallacies. Opening with two chapters on analytical reading that help students recognize what makes reasoning explicitly different from other expository activities, the text then presents an interrogative model of argument to guide them in the analysis and evaluation of reasoning. This model allows a detailed articulation of "inference to the best explanation" and gives students a view of the pervasiveness of this form of reasoning. The author demonstrates how many common argument types--from correlations to sampling--can be analyzed using this articulated form. He then extends the model to deal with several predictive and normative arguments and to display the value of the fallacy vocabulary. Designed for introductory courses in critical thinking, critical reasoning, informal logic, and inductive reasoning, Critical Thinking features hundreds of exercises throughout and includes worked-out solutions and additional exercises (without solutions) at the end of each chapter. An Instructor's Manual, including solutions to the text's unanswered exercises and featuring other pedagogical aids, is available. (shrink)
Mark Vorobej develops a novel approach to argument interpretation and evaluation that synthesizes subjective concerns about the personal points of view of individual arguers, with objective concerns about the structural properties of arguments. One of the key themes of the book is that we cannot succeed in distinguishing good arguments from bad arguments until we learn to listen carefully to others. Part I develops a relativistic account of argument cogency that allows for rational disagreement. Part II offers a comprehensive and (...) rigorous account of argument diagramming. (shrink)
This volume collects four published articles by the late Tamara Horowitz and two unpublished papers on decision theory: "Making Rational Decisions When Preferences Cycle" and the monograph-length "The Backtracking Fallacy." An introduction is provided by editor Joseph Camp. Horowitz preferred to recognize the diversity of rationality, both practical and theoretical rationality. She resisted the temptation to accept simple theories of rationality that are quick to characterize ordinary reasoning as fallacious. This broadly humanist approach to philosophy is exemplified by the articles (...) in this collection. As just one example, in "The Backtracking Fallacy," she argues that there are policies for decision-making a person may adopt if the person prefers to do so, but need not adopt. A person who employs such a policy no longer can regard standard expected utility theory as exceptionless, thereby sacrificing theoretical simplicity. But it is a mistake, Horowitz argues, to preserve theoretical simplicity by falsifying the decision making methods real people really use. (shrink)
This book is not aimed at exhuming Kant, but resurrecting him. It is inspired by the Critique of Pure Reason , yet is not about it: perhaps over-ambitiously, it tries to delineate not Kant's metaphysics of experience but the truth of the matter. The author shows rather than says where he agrees and disagrees with the first Critique , in so far as he understood that profound but obscure, over-systematic yet carelessly written, inspiring and infuriating, magnificent but flawed masterpiece. The (...) book attempts a highly systematic presentation, in which the very form of the work reflects the content of the arguments. Kant is often derided for the extent to which he allows his penchant for architectonic structure to distort his insights, but it is argued that he had the right instinct in assuming that there must be some systematic way in which the necessary conditions for experience fit together. The contemporary trend in analytical philosophy seems to be towards ever more specialized, jargon-infested work, and there is a need to draw things together into a wider view that can be more generally appreciated. (shrink)
The most significant legacy of philosophical skepticism is the realization that our concepts, beliefs and theories are social constructs. This belief has led to epistemological relativism, or the thesis that since there is no ultimate truth about the world, theory preferences are only a matter of opinion. In this book, William Harms seeks to develop the conceptual foundations and tools for a science of knowledge through the application of evolutionary theory, thus allowing us to acknowledge the legacy of skepticism while (...) denying its relativistic offspring. This book will appeal to students and professionals in epistemology and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
Taylor, R. A tribute.--Epistemology: Cornman, J. W. Chisholm on sensing and perceiving. Ross, J. F. Testimonial evidence. Lehrer, K. Reason and consistency. Keim, R. Epistemic values and epistemic viewpoints. Hanen, M. Confirmation, explanation, and acceptance. Canfield, J. V. "I know that I am in pain" is senseless. Steel, T. J. Knowledge and the self-presenting.--Metaphysics: Cartwright, R. Scattered objects. Duggan, T. J. Hume on causation. Arnaud, R. B. Brentanist relations. Johnson, M. L., Jr. Events as recurrables.--Ethics: Stevenson, J. T. On doxastic (...) responsibility. Feldman, F. World utilitarianism. Lamb, J. W. Some definitions for the theory of rules. Donnelly, J. Suicide: some epistemological considerations. (shrink)
Practical conflicts pervade human life. Agents have many different desires, goals, and commitments, all of which can come into conflict with each other. How can practical reasoning help to resolve these practical conflicts? In this collection of new essays a distinguished roster of philosophers analyze the diverse forms of practical conflict. Their aim is to establish an understanding of the sources of these conflicts, to investigate the challenge they pose to an adequate conception of practical reasoning, and to assess the (...) degree to which that challenge can be met. These essays will serve as a major resource for students of philosophy but will also interest students and professionals in related fields of the social sciences such as psychology, political science, sociology and economics. (shrink)
What does it mean to know something - scientifically, anthropologically, socially? What is the relationship between different forms of knowledge and ways of knowing? How is knowledge mobilised in society and to what ends? Drawing on ethnographic examples from across the world, and from the virtual and global "places" created by new information technologies, Anthropology and Science presents examples of living and dynamic epistemologies and practices, and of how scientific ways of knowing operate in the world. Authors address the nature (...) of both scientific and experiential knowledge, and look at competing and alternative ideas about what it means to be human. The essays analyze the politics and ethics of positioning "science", "culture" or "society" as authoritative. They explore how certain modes of knowing are made authoritative and command allegiance (or not), and look at scientific and other rationalities - whether these challenge or are compatible with science. (shrink)
This book is about Relational and Contextual Reasoning (RCR), a new theory of the human mind that addresses key areas of human conflict, such as the ideological conflict between nations, in close relationships and between science and religion. K. Helmut Reich provides a clear and accessible introduction to the RCR way of thinking that encourages an inclusive rather than oppositional approach to conflict and problem-solving.
The organization, processing and representation of knowledge becomes increasingly important in all scientific and business contexts. This book focuses on qualitative methods for knowledge organization and their contributions to knowledge-based issues of marketing management research. Besides theoretical discussions of different approaches to and definitions of knowledge, as well as methods for knowledge organization, several case studies in the field of marketing management are presented. Questions of research design, adequate choice of methodologies and practical relevance of the results are addressed.
In this book the author gives a broad overview of different areas of research in nonmonotonic reasoning, and presents some new results and ideas based on his research. The guiding principles are: clarification of the different research activities in the area, which have sometimes been undertaken independently of each other; and appreciation of the fact that these research activities often represent different means to the same ends, namely sound theoretical foundations and efficient computation. The book begins with a discussion of (...) the various types of nonmonotonic reasoning, their applications and their logics. Theorem proving techniques for these logics are also described. The following chapters deal with formulations of nonmonotonic inheritance, and nonmonotonic reasoning based on nonmonotonic rules. The final chapter discusses the achievements in the field in the light of the Yale shooting example. The book will be welcomed by researchers in theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. (shrink)
In this book, the author is attempting to make sense, as a philosopher, of the ideas of rationality put forward by economists, sociologists, and political theorists. The book intervenes in intense current debates within and among several disciplines. Its concern is with the true nature of social actors and the proper character of social science. Its arguments are the more challenging for being presented in simple, incisive, and lucid prose.
Carl G. Hempel exerted greater influence upon philosophers of science than any other figure during the 20th century. In this far-reaching collection, distinguished philosophers contribute valuable studies that illuminate and clarify the central problems to which Hempel was devoted. The essays enhance our understanding of the development of logical empiricism as the major intellectual influence for scientifically-oriented philosophers and philosophically-minded scientists of the 20th century.
Following an approach that is empirical but not psychological, and dialectical but not dialogical, Maurice Finocchiaro defines concepts such as reasoning, argument, argument analysis, critical reasoning, methodological reflection, judgment, critical thinking, and informal logic. Including extended critiques of the views of many contemporary scholars, he also integrates into the discussion Arnauld's Port-Royal Logic, Gramsci's theory of intellectuals, and case studies from the history of science, particularly the work of Galileo, Newton, Huygens, and Lavoisier.
Recent work in artificial intelligence has increasingly turned to argumentation as a rich, interdisciplinary area of research that can provide new methods related to evidence and reasoning in the area of law. Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. He shows how witness testimony is by its nature inherently fallible and sometimes subject to disastrous failures. At the same time such (...) testimony can provide evidence that is not only necessary but inherently reasonable for logically guiding legal experts to accept or reject a claim. Walton shows how to overcome the traditional disdain for witness testimony as a type of evidence shown by logical positivists, and the views of trial sceptics who doubt that trial rules deal with witness testimony in a way that yields a rational decision-making process. (shrink)
Oxford Studies in Epistemology is a biennial publicaton which offers a regular snapshot of state-of-the-art work in this important field. Under the guidance of a distinguished editorial board composed of leading philosophers in North America, Europe and Australasia, it will publish exemplary papers in epistemology, broadly construed. Topics within its purview include: *traditional epistemological questions concerning the nature of belief, justification, and knowledge, the status of scepticism, the nature of the a priori, etc; *new developments in epistemology, including movements such (...) as naturalized epistemology, feminist epistemology, social epistemology, and virtue epistemology, and approaches such as contextualism; *foundational questions in decision-theory; *confirmation theory and other branches of philosophy of science that bear on traditional issues in epistemology; *topics in the philosophy of perception relevant to epistemology; *topics in cognitive science, computer science, developmental, cognitive, and social psychology that bear directly on traditional epistemological questions; and *work that examines connections between epistemology and other branches of philosophy, including work on testimony and the ethics of belief. Anyone wanting to understand the latest developments at the leading edge of the discipline can start here. (shrink)
The purpose of this book is to develop a framework for analyzing strategic rationality, a notion central to contemporary game theory, which is the formal study of the interaction of rational agents, and which has proved extremely fruitful in economics, political theory, and business management. The author argues that a logical paradox (known since antiquity as "the Liar paradox") lies at the root of a number of persistent puzzles in game theory, in particular those concerning rational agents who seek to (...) establish some kind of reputation. Building on the work of Parsons, Burge, Gaifman, and Barwise and Etchemendy, Robert Koons constructs a context-sensitive solution to the whole family of Liar-like paradoxes, including, for the first time, a detailed account of how the interpretation of paradoxial statements is fixed by context. This analysis provides a new understanding of how the rational agent model can account for the emergence of rules, practices, and institutions. (shrink)
For over twenty years Nancy Hartsock has been a powerful voice in the effort to forge a feminism sophisticated and strong enough to make a difference in the real world of powerful political and economic forces. This volume collects her most important writings, offering her current thinking about this period in the development of feminist political economy and presenting an important new paper, “The Feminist Standpoint Revisited.”Central themes recur throughout the volume: in particular, the relationships between theory and activism, between (...) feminism and Marxism, and between postmodernism and politics. Readers will appreciate Hartsock’s account of how so much of her theoretical work grew directly out of the demands of the activist life. The Feminist Standpoint Revisited is an important record and a timely reevaluation of the development of feminist thought, as well as a contribution to current work. It will be a valuable resource for feminist theorists in a wide variety of disciplines. (shrink)
In this major contribution to the theory of rational choice the author sets out the foundations of rational choice, and then sketches a dynamic choice framework in which principles of ordering and independence follow from a number of apparently plausible conditions. However there is potential conflict among these conditions, and when they are weakened to avoid it, the usual foundations of rational choice no longer prevail. The thrust of the argument is to suggest that the theory of rational choice is (...) less determinate than many suppose. (shrink)
This book is an accessible introduction that will enable students, through practical exercises, to develop their own skills in reasoning about ethical issues, including analyzing and evaluating arguments used in discussions of ethical issues; analyzing and evaluating ethical concepts, such as utilitarianism; making decisions on ethical issues; and learning how to approach ethical issues in a fair minded way. The issues discussed in the book include abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, animal rights, the environment and war. The book will be essential (...) reading for students studying all aspects of ethics. (shrink)
Exploring the central ideas of traditional metaphysics--such as the simplicity of nature, its comprehensibility, or its systematic integrity--this book analyzes looking at such notions from a scientific point of view. It seeks to describe in a clear, accessible manner the metaphysical situation that characterizes the process of inquiry in natural science, aiming to shed light on reality by examining the modus operandi of natural science itself and focusing as much on its findings as on its conceptual and methodological presuppositions. Written (...) by an eminent scholar of philosophy, this book is the culmination of many years of penetrating work. It is the definitive presentation of some of Nicholas Rescher's most fascinating ideas and is an engaging source for philosophers and non-philosophers alike. (shrink)