Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction by Anne Thomson

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By Anne Thomson

All of us interact within the strategy of reasoning, yet we don't constantly concentrate on even if we're doing it good. This publication bargains scholars the chance to guidance reasoning in a clear-headed and important method, with the goals of constructing an wisdom of the significance of reasoning good, and of enhancing the reader's ability in analysing and comparing arguments. during this moment version of the hugely winning severe Reasoning: a realistic creation , Ann Thomson has up to date and revised the ebook to incorporate new and topical examples so one can consultant scholars during the techniques of severe reasoning in a transparent and interesting manner.

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Example text

If the reason were true, then, in this example, we would have a good argument, since the reason supports the conclusion. By contrast, in our second example the reason does not support the conclusion: Everyone who exercises regularly in the gym has well-developed muscles. So if Mel has well-developed muscles, she must be exercising regularly in the gym. Here, even if the reason is true, the conclusion is not established, since the reason establishes only that all those who exercise regularly in the gym have well-developed muscles, and not that no-one else has well-developed muscles.

Both these assumptions function as reasons which need to be taken together in order to support the claim that the threat of penalties would reduce accidents; and both are reasonable assumptions to make. However, even with these assumptions, the conclusion is too strong, since nothing has yet been said to support the idea that introducing penalties is the surest way of achieving a reduction in accidents. So there is yet another assumption – that no other method would be as effective in reducing the number of accidents – and this assumption is more controversial than the others, since it may be possible to get employers to take appropriate action by offering them incentives.

This exercise 32 analysing reasoning aims to make you more aware that there may be unstated beliefs in your own reasoning which others would wish to challenge. Suppose, for example, you were to say that the police force should devote more of their time to patrolling on foot in rural areas and suburbs, and, as your reason for believing this, you said that crime has increased in these areas. Someone may point out to you that you are assuming that the presence of policemen on the streets and country lanes can deter potential criminals from committing crimes.

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