Critical Thinking Textbooks

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P2) If Tuna catches have been decreasing significantly for the past nine years, then, if the Tuna industry is not regulated more stringently, the Tuna population will vanish. The inferences in the argument are deductively valid.

(That’s formally obvious, but [1] explains it in a non-formal way.) All the reasoning’s assumptions are hence made explicit.

While [2] discusses the concept of logical validity and provides a list of inference schemes, arguments are not systematically reconstructed in a deductively valid (or inductively strong) way.

[3] reconstructs an argument against genetic engineering as (p.

29): : The inferences in this reconstruction are not valid.

Critical implicit assumptions of the argument are, moreover, not made explicit.[5] unpacks and visualizes the structure of arguments as inference diagrams, e.g. Accordingly, the argument is not reconstructed in a way such that its inferences are deductively valid (or inductively strong).As a result, tacit assumptions of the reasoning are not systematically uncovered.Secondly, and more importantly, I assess the textbooks against a couple of key beliefs, which I shall state upfront: Argument analysis makes explicit the informal judgments involved in natural language reasoning and argumentation.In particular, a good reconstruction uncovers all the hidden assumptions an argument relies on (to make them amenable to critique) and shows, in the same time, which premisses are actually unneeded.So it’s pivotal that a textbook makes use of realistic, sufficiently complex examples.Concerning realistic examples, all books reviewed do fairly well: they discuss many and sufficiently long reasonings.These statements are part of the ideal that guides our own reconstructions (see, e.g., here or here).Accordingly, this post (as well as the reviews to come) explores to which extent a textbook teaches you to reconstruct arguments in a similarly detailed and Argunet-compatible way.In addition, [1] nicely shows that the reconstruction is the result of a hermeneutic process involving earlier and preliminary versions of the reconstruction.[2] analyses a complex argument about traffic rules as follows (p.


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