hits counter Think Again: How to Reason and Argue - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Think Again: How to Reason and Argue

Availability: Ready to download

Our personal and political worlds are rife with arguments and disagreements, some of them petty and vitriolic. The inability to compromise and understand the opposition is epidemic today, from countries refusing to negotiate, to politicians pandering to their base. Social media has produced a virulent world where extreme positions dominate. In most of these disagreements, Our personal and political worlds are rife with arguments and disagreements, some of them petty and vitriolic. The inability to compromise and understand the opposition is epidemic today, from countries refusing to negotiate, to politicians pandering to their base. Social media has produced a virulent world where extreme positions dominate. In most of these disagreements, parties yell at each other, very little progress is made, and the end result is a hardening (or further widening) of positions. There is however, such a thing as 'good' arguments. Arguments that offer reasons on both sides can ultimately allow for some mutual understanding and respect, and even if neither party is convinced by the other, the possibility of compromise can result. Sinnott-Armstrong's book shows the importance of good arguments and reveals common misunderstandings about them. Many people see an argument just as a means to persuade other people or beat them in an intellectual competition. Sinnott-Armstrong sees them as much more essential-as a means to play a constructive role in the way we interact with each other. He shows the way out of the impasse by introducing readers to what makes a good argument. In clear, lively, and practical prose, and using plentiful examples from politics, popular culture, and everyday life, he introduces the reader to topics such as: what defines an argument; the role that reasons play in arguments; the pieces that make up good arguments; what arguments can accomplish effectively; the difference between essential terms like deductive, inductive, and abductive in creating an argument; and how to spot fallacies in others' arguments. Armed with these tools, Sinnott-Armstrong wants readers to be able to spot bad reasoning and bad arguments, and to advance their own view in a forceful and logical way-with an eye toward effective resolution of disputes.


Compare

Our personal and political worlds are rife with arguments and disagreements, some of them petty and vitriolic. The inability to compromise and understand the opposition is epidemic today, from countries refusing to negotiate, to politicians pandering to their base. Social media has produced a virulent world where extreme positions dominate. In most of these disagreements, Our personal and political worlds are rife with arguments and disagreements, some of them petty and vitriolic. The inability to compromise and understand the opposition is epidemic today, from countries refusing to negotiate, to politicians pandering to their base. Social media has produced a virulent world where extreme positions dominate. In most of these disagreements, parties yell at each other, very little progress is made, and the end result is a hardening (or further widening) of positions. There is however, such a thing as 'good' arguments. Arguments that offer reasons on both sides can ultimately allow for some mutual understanding and respect, and even if neither party is convinced by the other, the possibility of compromise can result. Sinnott-Armstrong's book shows the importance of good arguments and reveals common misunderstandings about them. Many people see an argument just as a means to persuade other people or beat them in an intellectual competition. Sinnott-Armstrong sees them as much more essential-as a means to play a constructive role in the way we interact with each other. He shows the way out of the impasse by introducing readers to what makes a good argument. In clear, lively, and practical prose, and using plentiful examples from politics, popular culture, and everyday life, he introduces the reader to topics such as: what defines an argument; the role that reasons play in arguments; the pieces that make up good arguments; what arguments can accomplish effectively; the difference between essential terms like deductive, inductive, and abductive in creating an argument; and how to spot fallacies in others' arguments. Armed with these tools, Sinnott-Armstrong wants readers to be able to spot bad reasoning and bad arguments, and to advance their own view in a forceful and logical way-with an eye toward effective resolution of disputes.

30 review for Think Again: How to Reason and Argue

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    Reviewed for The Bibliophibian. I always meant to take the Coursera class this is based on, but I never quite got round to it, so when I saw it’d been made into a book, well, that seemed likely to be a format that would work for me (and wait for me to get round to it, though as it happened, it didn’t have to wait long). I think it does have some good suggestions and some good analysis of ways to argue, but there are a couple of things I find difficult. One is the claim that the world is increasing Reviewed for The Bibliophibian. I always meant to take the Coursera class this is based on, but I never quite got round to it, so when I saw it’d been made into a book, well, that seemed likely to be a format that would work for me (and wait for me to get round to it, though as it happened, it didn’t have to wait long). I think it does have some good suggestions and some good analysis of ways to argue, but there are a couple of things I find difficult. One is the claim that the world is increasingly polarised and things were better, people were more polite, in ye olde days of yore. Sure, it’s very clear that the discourse has changed, and Sinnott-Armstrong does have the receipts to show that we are more polarised in terms of our political view. On the other hand, I have a hard job seeing that as just a symbol of our current times: countries have been split by civil war before. People haven’t always been more polite or known how to argue or how to disagree civilly, and maybe the less-polarised times he’s holding up as a better time had their own problems (like people feeling unable to express their opinions, perhaps even feeling unsafe to do so, in the cases of a lot of minorities). The other thing is the way Sinnott-Armstrong pushes always being civil, always giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. On the one hand, it feels like the right thing — I would love more civility in debates. But there are some views which are legitimised by being engaged with, and there are some things that are indefensible. Now it’s true that he does say that it’s not always the time to argue, but it really wasn’t clear to me that he understood the position his insistence on civility and hearing both sides would put some people in: debating with someone who believes that it’s simply a fact that they and everyone like them should be cleansed from the world, and asking them why, charitably reframing their argument… Ew. No. It comes across as very “good people on both sides”, and it’s not true. Perhaps it’s a fault of it being a rather short book and limited space, but given he’s constantly framing the issue in terms of the political divide in the US, I wonder. I don’t feel that he quite gets out of it by simply stating that sometimes it isn’t the right time to argue. Maybe it’s just a matter of saying that you just can’t argue productively with some people/views, and he’s automatically discounting those right away. It didn’t feel like it, though, with some of his examples. The book did make me want to try debating more instead of constantly either passing arguments by or dismissing people as too biased to bother. I do think it could be pretty useful when both parties are willing to argue in good faith. I doubt it’ll be an antidote to political polarisation right now, though, for most people — I think for many people, the other side (whichever that is) just isn’t willing to talk anymore. There’s too much at stake, and it’s too exhausting.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    TL;DR Think Again by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues effectively for improving recognition, evaluation, and consideration of political arguments. This timely, nonpartisan book of instructions teaches logical argument construction in a relatable, understandable method and is badly needed for tense political discussions. Recommended. Disclosure Oxford University Press provided an advanced electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. Review cross-posted at my website: PrimmLife Review M TL;DR Think Again by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues effectively for improving recognition, evaluation, and consideration of political arguments. This timely, nonpartisan book of instructions teaches logical argument construction in a relatable, understandable method and is badly needed for tense political discussions. Recommended. Disclosure Oxford University Press provided an advanced electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. Review cross-posted at my website: PrimmLife Review Modern American society is one big competition for people’s attention. From phones to television to social media, our attention span decreased to nothing. At the same time, the so-called culture wars deepened the divide in our two party system. While political division exists all through US history, it is much more extreme than just twenty years ago. The rise of hostile political media contributes in part; fake news and foreign nations meddling in our elections plays a role; but in my opinion the main corrupter falls on political sound bites. Politicians, public relations consultants, and media personalities love distilling complex, societal issues down into small, simple phrases and slogans. Often, these slogans sound like propaganda instead of a nuanced, reasoned argument, and these sound bites allow people to feel well-read and in-touch with current politics when they are not. In Think Again, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong teaches us how to evaluate arguments based on principles of logic. Why Think Again? By using contemporary examples, Professor Sinnott-Armstrong lays out a process to improve political debating. Think Again’s primary goal is to increase political debate for the entire political spectrum; it is a nonpartisan approach to bridge the divide. Professor Sinnott-Armstrong succeeds by returning to basic principles. If this book had a slogan, it’d be “First, seek to understand, then, to be understood.” In Sinnott-Armstrong’s opinion, being charitable in arguing is the path back to civil political discourse. To achieve this, we must ask questions of our political opponents. Even labeling the person as an opponent goes against the spirit of this book. I found this text refreshing. In a political climate where invective, derision, and outright lies are standing operating procedure, this nuanced, balanced book feels mature and necessary. Professor Sinnott-Armstrong shows that political debate improves without name calling, without contempt. Because he uses contemporary examples, he gives us a step-by-step method for how to and how not to argue. I loved this book. But Why Think Again For the first roughly third of the book, Professor Sinnott-Armstrong lays out an argument for why we should debate. This section is the most important one in the book and separates it from other logic texts. It surveys the current state of political debate, and it provides a look at the pitfalls in which we currently engage. In this section, I saw a number of my own faults, and that led me to evaluate my own conduct. For me, that alone made the book a success. This section sets the book apart from another book on introductory logic. People should read this book before debating on Facebook or Twitter. It, without doubt, can improve our ability to argue, but it also requires study, work, and maintenance. This book requires a reread to learn all the methods. I struggled recognizing suppressed arguments; so, that presents an opportunity for personal improvement. Writing This book has a dry, academic tone but also a compassionate voice. It reminds me of all the best professors from my college days because Sinnott-Armstrong cares about the material and conveying the information. Though it read slowly, the pace picks up speed near the end. Through the use of contemporary examples, the reader can follow along to Walter’s method. Conclusion For a book that aims to teach, the key question of any review is: Does it work? Did it achieve its goal? The answer, resoundingly, is yes. Think Again works well as an instruction in logic, and it works well as a call to civility in political discourse. With a little work, this book can improve political literacy; it teaches us how to think critically. For anyone interested in politics, Think Again is a must have tool for the debating toolbox.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro Núñez baladrón

    This is a very informative and necessary book. We'd be so much better off if people just knew how to argue with each other and did it with the right attitude, that is, moved by a constructive desire for understanding and collaboration, instead of, as we see so often nowadays (just open your facebook), by competition and egoism. In this way this book is both educative and inspiring, and motivates you to further, more advance readings into the topic. This is a very informative and necessary book. We'd be so much better off if people just knew how to argue with each other and did it with the right attitude, that is, moved by a constructive desire for understanding and collaboration, instead of, as we see so often nowadays (just open your facebook), by competition and egoism. In this way this book is both educative and inspiring, and motivates you to further, more advance readings into the topic.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Wilde Sky

    A book describing how to reason / argue. A few sections of this book were interesting, but overall it read like an academic work and there was too much padding.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dan Graser

    In works like this you run the risk of rating them at the extremes of either far too harshly for not being of greater depth or as superficially great but practically and academically lacking. As such I will try to review this book for what it is, and that is an introduction to reasoning and arguing in more purposeful ways and in more philosophically sound fashion. In this mission, it serves as an effective précis and will provide context and names for various forms of argument and disputation th In works like this you run the risk of rating them at the extremes of either far too harshly for not being of greater depth or as superficially great but practically and academically lacking. As such I will try to review this book for what it is, and that is an introduction to reasoning and arguing in more purposeful ways and in more philosophically sound fashion. In this mission, it serves as an effective précis and will provide context and names for various forms of argument and disputation that you likely have found both compelling and spurious. Sinnott-Armstrong divides the work into three sections: Why to Argue, How to Argue, How Not to Argue. He provides cases from recent history to illustrate where arguments that sounded convincing at the time were self-evidently weak and reliant on well-known fallacies that we, the public, have become numb to due to overuse. His section on how to refute an argument is the one section that even in a short introductory work such as this, I wish were much longer as it is the most important topic presented and a greater amount of time was spent on argument construction proportionately. As a supplement to the last section of this work, I would also recommend you pick up a copy of Michael Withey's, "Mastering Logical Fallacies." However, this book itself is a fine introduction to the topic and would do society a great service if it became widely read as perhaps then we could all agree that we need to hold those in power to a much higher standard and more objectively evaluate their arguments...hey, a guy can dream...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Islomjon

    Book explores wide world of arguments: types, fallacies, use, etc. Moreover author scrutinizes arguments by analysing some texts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Quinten Sprenkels

    An interesting read , especially in this day and age, about how you should look at the things people say (mainly political).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Duy Dang

    Summary: This book comprises of 3 parts: part I - Why to argue, part II - How to argue, and part III - How to not argue. This book helps to separate between argument and discussion and provide plenty of techniques to support or refute an argument. Worth reading? The author explains again and again some simple ideas, and this bored me. The fact that this book comes from the author's experience of teaching MOOC course on Coursera. I feel that this book is a collection of lecture notes. I did find som Summary: This book comprises of 3 parts: part I - Why to argue, part II - How to argue, and part III - How to not argue. This book helps to separate between argument and discussion and provide plenty of techniques to support or refute an argument. Worth reading? The author explains again and again some simple ideas, and this bored me. The fact that this book comes from the author's experience of teaching MOOC course on Coursera. I feel that this book is a collection of lecture notes. I did find some interesting ideas and applicable technique, but I don't have enough patience to finish the book. Nội dung tóm tắt: Sách gồm 3 phần: phần 1 - Tại sao cần lập luận, phần 2 - Lập luận như thế nào, phần 3 - Làm thế nào để phản bác lập luận. Sách phân biệt giữa lập luận với việc tranh cãi và đưa ra nhiều kỹ thuật để ủng hộ hoặc phản bác một lập luận. Có đáng đọc không: Có một số nội dung tương đối dễ hiểu nhưng tác giả vẫn giải thích đi giải thích lại làm cho người đọc bị chán. Cuốn sách ra đời từ trải nghiệm của tác giả khi giảng dạy một khóa học về lập luận trên Coursera. Có lẽ vì thếnên cuốn sách giống như một tập hợp các bài giảng. Tôi tìm thấy một số kiến thức thú vị từ cuốn sách, nhưng cũng không đủ kiên nhẫn để đọc hết.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Niels

    What I thought it would be: an engaging book about how to spot argumentative fallacies, not fall in them myself, and in general become a better participant in debates. What it actually was: a rather dry exercise in explaining the basics of reasoning (premises, propositions, conclusion, evaluation, validity, soundness, completion, fallacies - that kind of stuff). It would be unfair to ascribe my low score to this discrepancy between expectations and reality, but it was nevertheless quite a dull rea What I thought it would be: an engaging book about how to spot argumentative fallacies, not fall in them myself, and in general become a better participant in debates. What it actually was: a rather dry exercise in explaining the basics of reasoning (premises, propositions, conclusion, evaluation, validity, soundness, completion, fallacies - that kind of stuff). It would be unfair to ascribe my low score to this discrepancy between expectations and reality, but it was nevertheless quite a dull read, which did little to spark my interest into further engaging with the topic of argumentation.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vesperia

    Possibly the worst book I have ever read. I forced myself to finish it hoping it would have something to teach me but it was a complete waste of time. It's a poorly written, uninformative borefest. The author spends 50% of the book complaining about how politicians don't know how to argue. He uses political examples throughout the book and he is very obviously left-leaning so he does a poor job of "seeing a situation from all perspectives", his own biases are showing. Possibly the worst book I have ever read. I forced myself to finish it hoping it would have something to teach me but it was a complete waste of time. It's a poorly written, uninformative borefest. The author spends 50% of the book complaining about how politicians don't know how to argue. He uses political examples throughout the book and he is very obviously left-leaning so he does a poor job of "seeing a situation from all perspectives", his own biases are showing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    SB

    A good book on the art of debate; Sinnott-Armstrong deconstructs arguments used during the Brexit campaign, the 2016 American election and opinions to do with immigration. He deconstructs arguments to see whether they are valid and teaches the reader how to better construct arguments and argue correctly for their point. He posits that we are now in a heated political climate in which the left is unwilling to listen to the right and vice versa; people have become more polarised and reluctant to d A good book on the art of debate; Sinnott-Armstrong deconstructs arguments used during the Brexit campaign, the 2016 American election and opinions to do with immigration. He deconstructs arguments to see whether they are valid and teaches the reader how to better construct arguments and argue correctly for their point. He posits that we are now in a heated political climate in which the left is unwilling to listen to the right and vice versa; people have become more polarised and reluctant to debate with the other side. Indeed, left-wingers and right-wingers of each nation have become more radicalised and more likely to dismiss their opponents as, stupid/greedy/crazy (insert other offensive adjective here). He also notes that most people have friends and family of the same political persuasions and that it is dangerous for democracy if we do not engage with other points of view, as diversity of opinion is a wonderful thing and can instigate informed change. Often, each side wants to shut down opponents without listening to them, as evidenced in British and American politics, but we need to debate and argue with the other side, rather than ignoring and insulting them. The author also breaks down the dichotomy between reasons vs emotions, i.e. that you can only make a decision or have an opinion that is rooted in logic or emotion; this is not always correct, as often reason can precede emotions, e.g. when you become happy because you've made the correct decision (made logically). Also, the correct way to bring someone about to your POV is not to explain why they're wrong, but to ask questions, as "questions are more powerful than assertions". He states that it is better to ask a how the opposition's proposal works, rather than why they hold their beliefs. Causing the other side to break down the "how" reasons for their argument may make them see that they do not really know their position well enough and may push them to come round to a different POV (or at the very least make them weaker in their own POV). Other interesting bits: -Reddit's Change My View forums -"Sceptics are not satisfied by any argument unless it rules out every contrary possibility and convinces everyone." -When inductive generalisations are made, it's important to ask whether the premises are true (obvs), the sample size and whether the sample size might be biased (through the framing of the question for example or whether they were chosen from a specific areas which brings out certain biases).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Muzammil

    End of Week 41: Book 41 Completed: Think Again – Walter Sinnott-Armstrong #myread4change #read2lead #read4life #books Word Argument has very negative connotation to it. Like it quoted by many famous authors. I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an Argument, and that is to avoid it. - Dale Carnegie Arguments are to be avoided, they are always vulgar and often convincing. – Oscar Wilde Author of Think again differs and claims that “although we c End of Week 41: Book 41 Completed: Think Again – Walter Sinnott-Armstrong #myread4change #read2lead #read4life #books Word Argument has very negative connotation to it. Like it quoted by many famous authors. I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an Argument, and that is to avoid it. - Dale Carnegie Arguments are to be avoided, they are always vulgar and often convincing. – Oscar Wilde Author of Think again differs and claims that “although we cannot always reason with everyone, that limitation does not show that arguments and reasoning are not useful” Think again teaches how to gain win-win outcome, learn, teach and adapt without losing our cool, sanity and end up hating others or being hated. What we can gain from Argument – •Learning – when we are open to reason with someone opposite view we can learn new perspective and then it’s up to us change our position. •Respect – When we are open and ask for reason, we show respect to other person and their view and others will be more considerate to listen to our reason. •Humility – Apart from showing and gaining respect, we learn humility if we are open to reason and ask appropriate questions. Author suggest to ask ‘HOW’ rather than ‘WHY’. •Abstraction – Arguments can also undermine polarization. If people are more humble and modest, they are less likely to adopt extreme positions. •Compromise – As both parties have opponents reason for their position and what they value most, it will be much easier to draw middle path. Points to be considered for healthy argument- •Don’t simply declare what you believe. Give reason. •Ask questions or reason for others position. •Listen attentively with open mind. •Be critical of your own reasoning. Don’t think that you have all the answers. Be humble. One must avoid below points for healthy argument- •Don’t let others merely announce their positions. Ask questions about their reasons. •Don’t interrupt. Listen carefully to their reason. (This is the most difficult for most people) •Don’t attack opponents too soon. Interpret their reason charitably. •Don’t insult or abuse opponents. It is one time read for gaining good knowledge when to argue, how to argue and how not to argue.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura Janeiro

    This book was not what I expected The more I read, the more I find that the author is not lacking in knowledge or experience on the subject, but that perhaps it would be more productive to read a structured logic book as such. At the end of the book I do not rescue much more than a very long and convoluted collection of examples of types of syllogisms and fallacies. And as a result of this reading, I am even more pessimistic about reasoning as a tool for understanding, because it seems much closer This book was not what I expected The more I read, the more I find that the author is not lacking in knowledge or experience on the subject, but that perhaps it would be more productive to read a structured logic book as such. At the end of the book I do not rescue much more than a very long and convoluted collection of examples of types of syllogisms and fallacies. And as a result of this reading, I am even more pessimistic about reasoning as a tool for understanding, because it seems much closer to utopia than reality. Unhappy examples (to my liking) in many cases. The depth varies throughout the book and makes each individual analysis seem correct, but it does not hold up as a whole. It is obvious that the forest and the tree are not confused when viewed at the correct distance, but it is also obvious that there is no "correct" distance in common for all cases. That there will always be a point where it is not clear what the object of analysis is if the depth of the analysis is varied. You cannot see an elephant coming when you are concentrating on following the ants. Even worse. There is not even a consensus about the "logic" of an argument. He says "The absurd is sometimes in the eye of the beholder." I think I can summarize the book in a quote from the same book: “Arguments will never satisfy anyone whose standards are too high, such as those who seek certainty; but they can still be very useful for people with reasonable goals, like justifying their conclusion to reasonable moderates with open minds. " My conclusion is that I didn't have read this book if I had known that I am only going to understand those who I already understand. For me, a BIG waste of time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rosa Ventura

    This book is about argumentation and reasoning. It briefly and adequately outlines the rules of proper logical reasoning as well as the social contexts under which we reason. The principle conclusion is that reasoning in general is a good thing that people should engage in and try to improve it in themselves as it can lead to better decisions, improving your ideas and that of others. This conclusion being contrary to many peoples belief of the degraded value of good reasoning and argumentation. This book is about argumentation and reasoning. It briefly and adequately outlines the rules of proper logical reasoning as well as the social contexts under which we reason. The principle conclusion is that reasoning in general is a good thing that people should engage in and try to improve it in themselves as it can lead to better decisions, improving your ideas and that of others. This conclusion being contrary to many peoples belief of the degraded value of good reasoning and argumentation. He discusses how people should come to arguments with the right mind set. One that begins with civility that accepts that the other person has reasons themselves and that you need to be open to their points of view and evaluate them as objectively and without bias to the greatest extent possible. He also discuses the current state of polarization in the world where no one seems to really care about getting at the truth but rather only care about maintaining a mindset, a belief etc, regardless of any conflicting or counterfactual information. He states that we have forgotten how to argue and therefore forgotten about the underlying values that support good argumentation. Values such as modesty (or not claiming to possess the whole truth), graciousness (including conceding opponents’ good points), patience (in waiting for audiences to think through our points), and forgiveness (when an opponent refuses to concede our own good points). I think this part of the book is the most important as it examines why we should argue and what value can come of it . it is a difficult but rewarding endeavour that can lead us to a better and more open/just society. I thoroughly recommend this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    A solid book of not just how to argue, but why we need to argue, and how and why to argue well. To explain further, this is a book that offers up some basic tenets of informal logic, but in a good-sneaky way. Sinnott-Armstrong does so in the process of explaining what argumentation is, how to analyze an argument, how to see its strength or weakness, how to make a reasonably but not naively charitable attempt to construct a structured informal logic argument out of something lacking structure and A solid book of not just how to argue, but why we need to argue, and how and why to argue well. To explain further, this is a book that offers up some basic tenets of informal logic, but in a good-sneaky way. Sinnott-Armstrong does so in the process of explaining what argumentation is, how to analyze an argument, how to see its strength or weakness, how to make a reasonably but not naively charitable attempt to construct a structured informal logic argument out of something lacking structure and more. That said, per some other reviewers that gave either four or three stars, not five? I think he does, even without encouraging naivete, encourage people to bend over backward too much. Plus, his own argument, especially if we follow his own schema for how to analyze an argument and how to extract a structured argument from something that is not structured, that we're in a uniquely uncivil era, doesn't ring true. Perhaps he's viewing modern America from Eisenhower-era rose-colored glasses behind a white picket fence, but the reason that era looked civil is that lots of people "knew their place." Women and minorities of that era aside, is there some evidence that we've gotten somewhat more uncivil than at *certain times* in the past? Yes. But, without being naively charitable, per his own analysis suggestions, I think he's made a claim that, if not absolutist, is too close to absolutist. Look at the debates over the Constitution. Or Congress in the 1850s. Or to jump across the pond, the British Parliament over Irish Home Rule.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nick M

    i tried to read a book on "the simpsons and philosophy" and it reminded me just how deeply academia can gag on balls sometimes. this is mainly due to the fact that thinking is never interesting or edifying when it drives in a straight line, at best making rigid lane merges. after reading such TOPIC EXAMPLE LINKS i never thought i'd kill to see even a hook turn or a parallel park. the thing is that the last vestige of childhood - which most people lose but *esp* (m)acadamia nuts - is the ability i tried to read a book on "the simpsons and philosophy" and it reminded me just how deeply academia can gag on balls sometimes. this is mainly due to the fact that thinking is never interesting or edifying when it drives in a straight line, at best making rigid lane merges. after reading such TOPIC EXAMPLE LINKS i never thought i'd kill to see even a hook turn or a parallel park. the thing is that the last vestige of childhood - which most people lose but *esp* (m)acadamia nuts - is the ability to digress wildly at will. after all, as bill burr observed, most stories told by children unreel like the plot of pulp fiction. this book fares marginally better but its structure is kind of all out of whack. the first half is a plea for common decency that states the obvious about our divided ad hominem times to the degree that my retinas burned out, but because the words are so non-partisan and sane in an age where SOC-MED has created rabid tribalism on all sides, i'll be damned if the basic facts of rhetorical life aren't in some sense schweppervescent. the second half does the cumbersome academic thing of listing things then examples ad nauseum, but it does it in a really threaded and analogical way so that it is difficult to parse exactly what is meant. this book does have the feel of a round online course kind of jackhammered into a book-shaped hole. but it could be worse.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cláudio

    The title - the words "How to" in particular - is misleading. Instead, it should say Argumentation and Fallacies - an Essay. A book like this has to be either insightful, offering you a fresh perspective for very old and well-known issues, or useful, offering practical solutions for very well known problems. It is neither. Instead, the author goes extensively about *what* arguments are, and *what* types are there, pointing out the obvious. Then it goes on to very well-known fallacies and *what* The title - the words "How to" in particular - is misleading. Instead, it should say Argumentation and Fallacies - an Essay. A book like this has to be either insightful, offering you a fresh perspective for very old and well-known issues, or useful, offering practical solutions for very well known problems. It is neither. Instead, the author goes extensively about *what* arguments are, and *what* types are there, pointing out the obvious. Then it goes on to very well-known fallacies and *what* those fallacies are - ok, not all will know them all, but what good is to know them, describe them, give examples of what they are, if there's no hint whatsoever as to how to address them. Only on the last 20-pages the *how* comes up when you are totally bored with the whole thing already. The author didn't need to go the way of the self-help-type of book, full of lists for all-too-easy solutions for complex problems to make this book insightful and useful read. It had only to step down from the lecturer's mindset and answer the question "so what".

  18. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    I've read a lot of books on this topic. It's hard for me to go up to four stars on this, simply because the book covers ground that is really well-trodden. At times, I found it a bit boring and predictable. However, there are moments when the personality of the author really shines through. He seems like a wonderful professor, and a sincere practitioner of his craft. His description of fallacies is wonderful, in particular his emphasis on the principle of charity. He does a great job explaining I've read a lot of books on this topic. It's hard for me to go up to four stars on this, simply because the book covers ground that is really well-trodden. At times, I found it a bit boring and predictable. However, there are moments when the personality of the author really shines through. He seems like a wonderful professor, and a sincere practitioner of his craft. His description of fallacies is wonderful, in particular his emphasis on the principle of charity. He does a great job explaining how to restate and understand arguments, and is sincere in describing why we need to do it. Several times the book takes deep dives into real-life arguments. I wish this book existed when I taught philosophy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kramer Thompson

    I think that this is a really nice introduction to critical thinking and argumentation. But, for that reason, it wasn't really that useful to me (having tutored critical thinking classes for 5 years or so). Still, it does that job well. However, I disagree with WSA that the left and the right are just as bad as one another, and that the current global political situation can really be blamed on extremists on both sides. At some level this might be true, but there are massive differences that go I think that this is a really nice introduction to critical thinking and argumentation. But, for that reason, it wasn't really that useful to me (having tutored critical thinking classes for 5 years or so). Still, it does that job well. However, I disagree with WSA that the left and the right are just as bad as one another, and that the current global political situation can really be blamed on extremists on both sides. At some level this might be true, but there are massive differences that go entirely unmentioned. So I was very much not on board with the first half of the book which seemed to be pushing a sort of moderate centrism.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Steve Voiles

    I slugged my way through it with less interest as I went along. It was basically a college class in linguistics as applied to attempts at persuasion and verbal manipulation. What was missing was emphasis on values, morality and meaning (my emphasis). Orwell did a better job of showing the hazards of propaganda. That said, if you need it, he did rip the wraps off of posturing and the divisive rhetoric that masquerades and reasoning or argument without any appeal at all to persuasion as it perform I slugged my way through it with less interest as I went along. It was basically a college class in linguistics as applied to attempts at persuasion and verbal manipulation. What was missing was emphasis on values, morality and meaning (my emphasis). Orwell did a better job of showing the hazards of propaganda. That said, if you need it, he did rip the wraps off of posturing and the divisive rhetoric that masquerades and reasoning or argument without any appeal at all to persuasion as it performs for those who already buy in to the party line on social media and in the White House.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jodi Geever

    I read this as an evaluation of resources for my Philosophy Cafe program at the library. All in all, I found the writing and the content to be accessible to the average person, and I thought the examples were timely and the politics in the background is what is needed for people right now. (The author shows how to structure an argument, how to win an argument and the structure of your opponents arguments as segments of the book.) Worth the time if you want to find, make, or understand the struct I read this as an evaluation of resources for my Philosophy Cafe program at the library. All in all, I found the writing and the content to be accessible to the average person, and I thought the examples were timely and the politics in the background is what is needed for people right now. (The author shows how to structure an argument, how to win an argument and the structure of your opponents arguments as segments of the book.) Worth the time if you want to find, make, or understand the structure of arguments or their place in philosophy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mila Mi

    What I liked: the political inclination of the author is not visible throughout the book. It’s nice to not be biased towards left or right since we are usually surrounded by like-minded people. It would be an important book for whoever is very fanatic about one political party or ideology. Not exactly what I expected as it was more of an approachable version of the philosophy classes we had in college rather than a practical “guide” but it’s still a good reminder of all the fallacies we should b What I liked: the political inclination of the author is not visible throughout the book. It’s nice to not be biased towards left or right since we are usually surrounded by like-minded people. It would be an important book for whoever is very fanatic about one political party or ideology. Not exactly what I expected as it was more of an approachable version of the philosophy classes we had in college rather than a practical “guide” but it’s still a good reminder of all the fallacies we should be spotting in the speeches.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ramesh Naidu

    A very interesting framework of inductive vs deductive reasoning including a categorical analysis of how we take in information via inductive means namely 1) Statistical generalization which means from the specific to the general 2) statistical application which means extrapolating 3) inference to the best application like Occam’s razor 4) argument from analogy 5 )causal reasoning 6 ) probability Also lists the various reasoning fallacies . Delightful read

  24. 5 out of 5

    Simon Fletcher

    Finished at last. Well what I mean when I say I finished it is that I couldn't face reading another page. I made it to page 200 but that's as much as I could take. It's not that it's a bad book, actually no it is a bad book. Its very didactic and as such very off putting and a grind to read. There were some interesting points in the book but they were all to few and infrequent. Finished at last. Well what I mean when I say I finished it is that I couldn't face reading another page. I made it to page 200 but that's as much as I could take. It's not that it's a bad book, actually no it is a bad book. Its very didactic and as such very off putting and a grind to read. There were some interesting points in the book but they were all to few and infrequent.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Ploughed through about 180 pages of this, and then just couldn't be bothered to finish it. Turned back to Alan Jacobs' book, How to Think, which I'd read before, and which was just as readable and valuable the second time around. Okay, it doesn't give you all the debating tactics that Sinnott-Armstrong goes for, but it's more useful in the long run. Ploughed through about 180 pages of this, and then just couldn't be bothered to finish it. Turned back to Alan Jacobs' book, How to Think, which I'd read before, and which was just as readable and valuable the second time around. Okay, it doesn't give you all the debating tactics that Sinnott-Armstrong goes for, but it's more useful in the long run.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bailorg

    There are some useful points on the logic of argumentation and how to approach opposing viewpoints, but if you don’t accept the idea that the moderate middle is the way forward for political thinking, then almost half this book is almost infuriatingly unreadable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jericho Eames

    A very technical introduction to what an argument is and how does an argument become an argument. I liked that he broke down an argument and guided the reader through identifying traits of an argument and how to counter argue as well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Very much enjoyed reading this very shallow dip into this philosopher's work. Definitely appreciated the reminder that good arguing forwards our minds whereas debasement does not. And that in this moment, the latter is too common. Perhaps it always was. Very much enjoyed reading this very shallow dip into this philosopher's work. Definitely appreciated the reminder that good arguing forwards our minds whereas debasement does not. And that in this moment, the latter is too common. Perhaps it always was.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jacktober

    A really technical explanation into dissecting arguments. This is not how to win an argument, nor how to get people to agree with you -- this is for understanding the construction and underlying structure of an argument, and how to best understand, and create, valid arguments.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Scotty Cameron

    This was a fascinating and thought-provoking book. It really made me think outside of my comfort zone and evaluate my beliefs. I feel better equipped to really think through things, especially in the increasingly polarized realm of politics.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.