Informal Logic A Pragmatic Approach

ISBN-10: 0521713803

ISBN-13: 9780521713801

Edition: 2nd 2008 (Revised)

Authors: Douglas Walton

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Informal Logic is an introductory guidebook to the basic principles of constructing sound arguments and criticizing bad ones. Non-technical in approach, it is based on 186 examples, which Douglas Walton, a leading authority in the field of informal logic, discusses and evaluates in clear, illustrative detail. Walton explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical responses. Among the many subjects covered are: forms of valid argument, defeasible arguments, relevance, appeals to emotion, personal attack, straw man argument, jumping to a conclusion, uses and abuses of expert opinion, problems in drawing conclusions from polls and statistics, loaded terms, equivocation, arguments from analogy, and techniques of posing, replying to, and criticizing questions. This new edition takes into account many new developments in the field of argumentation study that have occurred since 1989, many created by the author. Drawing on these developments, Walton includes and analyzes 36 new topical examples and also brings in recent work on argumentation schemes. Ideally suited for use in courses in informal logic and introduction to philosophy, this book will also be valuable to students of pragmatics, rhetoric, and speech communication.
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Book details

List price: $35.99
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 6/2/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 366
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.254
Language: English

Argument as reasoned dialogue
Types of argumentative dialogue
Components of argumentative dialogue
Persuasion dialogue (critical discussion)
Negative rules of persuasion dialogue
Some major informal fallacies
The straw man fallacy
Argument from consequences
The critical perspective
Questions and answers in dialogue
Presuppositions of questions
Complex questions
Have you stopped abusing your spouse?
Disjunctive questions
Arguments from ignorance
Replying to a question with a question
Begging the question
Questions in polls
Advocacy and push polling
Question-answer rules in dialogue
Criticisms of irrelevance
Allegations of irrelevance
Global irrelevance
Question-answer relevance
Setting an agenda for a discussion
Red herring versus wrong conclusion
Varieties of criticisms of irrelevance
Appeals to emotion
Argumentum ad populum
The argument from popularity
Problems with appeals to popularity
Threatening appeals to force
Further ad baculum problems
Appeals to pity
Overt, pictorial appeals to pity
Valid arguments
Deductive validity
Identifying arguments
Validity as a semantic concept
Valid forms of argument
Invalid arguments
Composition and division
Defeasible reasoning
Jumping to a conclusion
Personal attack in argumentation
The abusive ad hominem argument
The circumstantial ad hominem argument
The attack on an arguer's impartiality
Non-fallacious ad hominem arguments
Replying to a personal attack
Critical questions for an ad hominem argument
Important types of error to check
Some cases for further discussion
Appeals to authority
Reasonable appeals to authority
Argumentation scheme for appeal to expert opinion
Critical questions for the appeal to expert opinion
Three common errors in citing expert opinions
Evaluating appeals to expert opinion in written sources
Expert testimony in legal argumentation
How expert is the authority?
Interpreting what the expert said
A balanced view of argument from expert opinion
Inductive errors, bias, and fallacies
Meaningless and unknowable statistics
Sampling procedures
Insufficient and biased statistics
Questionable questions and definitions
The post hoc argument
Six kinds of post hoc errors
Bias due to defining variables
Post hoc criticisms as raising critical questions in an inquiry
Strengthening causal arguments by answering critical questions
Examples of drawing causal conclusions from scientific studies
Natural language argumentation
Ambiguity and vagueness
Loaded terms and question-begging language
Equivocation and amphiboly
Arguments based on analogy
Argumentative use of analogy
Criticizing arguments from analogy
Slippery slope arguments
Subtle equivocations
Variability of strictness of standards
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