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.
During the last decade, one source of debate in argumentation theory has been the notion that there are different modes of arguing that need to be distinguished when analyzing and evaluating arguments. Visual argument is often cited as a paradigm example. This paper discusses the ways in which it and modes of arguing that invoke non-verbal sounds, smells, tactile sensations, music and other non-verbal entities may be defined and conceptualized. Though some attempts to construct a ‘multimodal’ theory of argument are (...) criticized, it advocates for an argumentation theory that makes room for visual arguing and for other non-verbal modes that have not been explored in depth. In the process, the paper provides a method for identifying the structure of multimodal arguments and argues that adding modes to our theoretical tool box is an important step toward a comprehensive account of argument. (shrink)
Most infonnallogic texts and articles assume a verbal account of reasoning which defines "argument" as a set of sentences. The present paper broadens this definition in order to account for "visual arguments" which are communicated with nonverbal visual images. Standard approaches to verbal arguments are extended in a way that allows them to explain and evaluate visual argumentation.
Informal logic is an attempt to develop a logic that can assess and analyze the arguments that occur in natural language discourse. Discussions in the field may address instances of scientific, legal, and other technical forms of reasoning, but the overriding aim has been a comprehensive account of argument that can explain and evaluate the arguments found in discussion, debate and disagreement as they manifest themselves in daily life — in social and political commentary; in news reports and editorials in (...) the mass media ; in advertising and corporate and governmental communications; and in personal exchange. (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.
This article discusses “auditory” arguments: arguments in which non-verbal sounds play a central role. It provides examples and explores the use of sounds in argument and argumentation. It argues that auditory arguments are not reducible to verbal arguments but have a similar structure and can be evaluated by extending standard informal logic accounts of good argument. I conclude that an understanding of auditory elements of argument can usefully expand the scope of informal logic and argumentation theory.
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.
The prodigious development of argumentation theory over the last three decades has raised many issues that challenge some of the long held assumptions that characterize the traditional study of argument. One of these issues is the role of emotion in argument and argument analysis. While rhetoric has, with its emphasis on persuasion, always recognized that emotions play some role determining which arguments we accept and reject, a long tradition sees appeals to emotion as fallacies that violate the standards of rationality (...) and objectivity reason and argument require. (shrink)
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)
In the last quarter-century, the emergence of argumentation theory has spurred the development of an extensive literature on the study of argument. It encompasses empirical and theoretical investigations that often have their roots in the different traditions that have studied argument since ancient times – most notably, logic, rhetoric, and dialectics. Against this background, I advocate a “thick” theory of argument that merges traditional theories, weaving together their sometimes discordant approaches to provide an overarching framework for the assessment of arguments (...) in a broad range of contexts. In sketching such a theory, I propose six steps that can “thicken” traditional approaches to argument in the interests of a comprehensive theory. (shrink)
In “Image, Evidence, Argument,” Ian Dove defends an intriguing ‘middle ground’ between those who argue that there are “visual arguments” and skeptics who argue that there are not. I discuss one of Dove’s key examples, proposing a different analysis of it, arguing that there are problems with the “verbal repackaging” of the argument he suggests.
CONTEMPORARY TREATMENTS OF INFORMAL FALLACIES TAKE TWO WRONGS REASONING AS A FORM OF FALLACIOUS INFERENCE. I ARGUE THAT SUCH INFERENCES ARE OFTEN VALID AND THAT AN ADEQUATE TREATMENT OF TWO WRONGS ARGUMENTS MUST DISTINGUISH VALID AND INVALID ARGUMENTS, RATHER THAN REJECT THEM OUT OF HAND.
We show that four central aspects of Hume's account of cause were contained and available to him in the translation of Sextus Empiricus' "Outlines of Pyrrhonism" contained in Thomas Stanley's 1687 _History of Philosophy.
The idea that Western philosophy is a footnote to Plato is simplistic and inaccurate. Much of modern and contemporary epistemology owes a debt not so much to Platonism or Aristotelianism as to their antithesis: scepticism. Recent discussions in the history of philosophy have sparked a great deal of interest in the ancient sceptics, but until now they have been misunderstood and the significance of their philosophy not fully appreciated.
According to the standard account of Nicholas' views,his scepticism is constrained by his commitment to the law of non-contradiction as a basis for certain truth. Such an account fails to distinguish the views found in the "Leters to Bernard" and the "Exigit Ordo" the latter clear rejects the law of non-contradiction and propounds a full fledged scepticism.
Both 'persuasion' and 'rational convincing' play a major role in argumentative discourse but only the latter is said to constitute argument and be amenable to traditional logical analysis. I argue against this assumption by showing that there are many paradigmatic instances of persuasion which are best understood as implicit arguments. So understood, acts of persuasion can conform to well recognized argument schemata and are best assessed accordingly. I shall argue that the attempt to distinguish arg ument and persuasion is fraught (...) with difficulties. I contrast my conclusions with those of authors like Gilbert, Johnson, and Johnson and Blair. (shrink)