By Anthony Weston
A Rulebook for Arguments is a succinct creation to the artwork of writing and assessing arguments, equipped round particular ideas, each one illustrated and defined soundly yet in short. This extensively well known primer - translated into 8 languages - is still the 1st selection in all disciplines for writers who search effortless tips approximately how one can determine arguments and the way to cogently build them.
The fourth version deals a made over and extra tightly centred method of prolonged arguments, a brand new bankruptcy on oral arguments, and up to date examples and subject matters all through.
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Additional resources for A Rulebook for Arguments (4th Edition)
Russell begins by pointing out the two sources of evil in the world: “moral defects,” as he puts it, and lack of intelligence. He then claims that we do not know how to correct “moral defects,” but that we do know how to correct lack of intelligence. Therefore—notice that the word “therefore” clearly marks his conclusion—progress will have to come by improving intelligence. Getting an argument to unfold in this smooth sort of way is a real accomplishment. It’s not easy to find just the right place for each part—and plenty of wrong places are available.
Therefore, all fast foods are unhealthy. The “Yes” version may still be weak (Rule 11 returns to it), but it certainly gives you much more to chew on, so to speak, than the “No” version. In a generalization about a small set of things, the strongest argument should consider all, or at least many, of the examples. A generalization about your siblings should consider each of them in turn, for instance, and a generalization about all the planets in the solar system can do the same. Generalizations about larger sets of things require picking out a sample.
Critical thinking can be practiced in a far more constructive spirit. This book is one attempt to suggest how. Note to the Fourth Edition Logic doesn’t change, but the times do. Today students are coming to college better prepared, and high schools and even middle schools are teaching critical thinking themselves. A rulebook of this sort, still very introductory, can ask more and go further than it did when I first wrote it twenty years ago. This new edition therefore has been significantly overhauled.