Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking

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Matthew Van Cleave, Lansing Community College

Pub Date: 2016

ISBN 13:

Publisher: Independent

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Reviewed by Laurel Panser, Instructor, Riverland Community College, on 6/21/2017.

This is a review of Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking, an open source book version 1.4 by Matthew Van Cleave. The comparison book used was … read more

 

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Reviewed by Rebecca Owen, Adjunct Professor, Writing, Chemeketa Community College, on 6/21/2017.

This textbook is quite thorough--there are conversational explanations of argument structure and logic. I think students will be happy with the … read more

 

Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1: Reconstructing and analyzing arguments

  • 1.1 What is an argument?
  • 1.2 Identifying arguments
  • 1.3 Arguments vs. explanations
  • 1.4 More complex argument structures
  • 1.5 Using your own paraphrases of premises and conclusions to reconstruct arguments in standard form
  • 1.6 Validity
  • 1.7 Soundness
  • 1.8 Deductive vs. inductive arguments
  • 1.9 Arguments with missing premises
  • 1.10 Assuring, guarding, and discounting
  • 1.11 Evaluative language
  • 1.12 Evaluating a real-life argument

Chapter 2: Formal methods of evaluating arguments

  • 2.1 What is a formal method of evaluation and why do we need them?
  • 2.2 Propositional logic and the four basic truth functional connectives
  • 2.3 Negation and disjunction
  • 2.4 Using parentheses to translate complex sentences
  • 2.5 “Not both” and “neither nor”
  • 2.6 The truth table test of validity
  • 2.7 Conditionals
  • 2.8 “Unless”
  • 2.9 Material equivalence
  • 2.10 Tautologies, contradictions, and contingent statements
  • 2.11 Proofs and the 8 valid forms of inference
  • 2.12 How to construct proofs
  • 2.13 Short review of propositional logic
  • 2.14 Categorical logic
  • 2.15 The Venn test of validity for immediate categorical inferences
  • 2.16 Universal statements and existential commitment
  • 2.17 Venn validity for categorical syllogisms

Chapter 3: Evaluating inductive arguments and probabilistic and statistical fallacies

  • 3.1 Inductive arguments and statistical generalizations
  • 3.2 Inference to the best explanation and the seven explanatory virtues
  • 3.3 Analogical arguments
  • 3.4 Causal arguments
  • 3.5 Probability
  • 3.6 The conjunction fallacy
  • 3.7 The base rate fallacy
  • 3.8 The small numbers fallacy
  • 3.9 Regression to the mean fallacy
  • 3.10 Gambler’s fallacy

Chapter 4: Informal fallacies

  • 4.1 Formal vs. informal fallacies
  • 4.1.1 Composition fallacy
  • 4.1.2 Division fallacy
  • 4.1.3 Begging the question fallacy
  • 4.1.4 False dichotomy
  • 4.1.5 Equivocation
  • 4.2 Slippery slope fallacies
  • 4.2.1 Conceptual slippery slope
  • 4.2.2 Causal slippery slope
  • 4.3 Fallacies of relevance
  • 4.3.1 Ad hominem
  • 4.3.2 Straw man
  • 4.3.3 Tu quoque
  • 4.3.4 Genetic
  • 4.3.5 Appeal to consequences
  • 4.3.6 Appeal to authority

Answers to exercises
Glossary/Index

About the Book

This is an introductory textbook in logic and critical thinking. The goal of the textbook is to provide the reader with a set of tools and skills that will enable them to identify and evaluate arguments. The book is intended for an introductory course that covers both formal and informal logic. As such, it is not a formal logic textbook, but is closer to what one would find marketed as a “critical thinking textbook.”

About the Contributors

Author(s)

Matthew Van Cleave, PhD, Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, 2007.  VAP at Concordia College (Moorhead), 2008-2012.  Assistant Professor at Lansing Community College, 2012-2016. Professor at Lansing Community College, 2016-