Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction

Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction

Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction

Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction


We all engage in the process of reasoning, but we do not always pay attention to whether we are doing it well. This book offers students the opportunity to practise reasoning in a clear-headed and critical way, with the aims of developing an awareness of the importance of reasoning well, and of improving the reader's skill in analysing and evaluating arguments. In this second edition of the highly successful Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction , Ann Thomson has updated and revised the book to include new and topical examples which will guide students through the processes of critical reasoning in a clear and engaging way.


Sir: Martin Kelly ('Fishy business in Loch Ness', 28 March) reports Dr Ian Winfield as saying that the fish stocks in Loch Ness are not big enough to feed a monster, therefore a monster does not exist. He confuses cause and effect.

It is perfectly obvious to me that the reason why the fish stocks are low is because the monster keeps eating them.

(Peter Stanton, Letters to the Editor, The Independent, 31 March 1995)

Sir: I read with disbelief James Barrington's letter (31 December) in which he contrasts foxhunting and fishing. He argues that the League Against Cruel Sports does not campaign against angling, because most fish which are caught are either eaten or returned to the water. Does that mean that the League would stop campaigning against foxhunting if the victims were turned into stew afterwards?

(Patricia Belton, Letters to the Editor, The Independent, 4 January 1994)

This is not a book about whether the Loch Ness monster exists, nor one about whether foxhunting is more cruel than angling. What the two extracts above have in common is that they are examples of reasoning - the first one perhaps tongue-in-cheek, but reasoning nevertheless. This book is concerned with helping readers to develop their ability to understand and evaluate reasoning.

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