Douglas Walton University of Alabama Press, 2005 Library of Congress BC199.A26W35 2004 | Dewey Decimal 160
This book examines three areas in which abductive reasoning is especially important: medicine, science, and law. The reader is introduced to abduction and shown how it has evolved historically into the framework of conventional wisdom in logic. Discussions draw upon recent techniques used in artificial intelligence, particularly in the areas of multi-agent systems and plan recognition, to develop a dialogue model of explanation. Cases of causal explanations in law are analyzed using abductive reasoning, and all the components are finally brought together to build a new account of abductive reasoning.
By clarifying the notion of abduction as a common and significant type of reasoning in everyday argumentation, Abductive Reasoning will be useful to scholars and students in many fields, including argumentation, computing and artificial intelligence, psychology and cognitive science, law, philosophy, linguistics, and speech communication and rhetoric.
In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. A bachelor’s degree is now required for entry into a growing number of professions. And some parents begin planning for the expense of sending their kids to college when they’re born. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question posed by Academically Adrift: are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there?
For a large proportion of students, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s answer to that question is a definitive no. Their extensive research draws on survey responses, transcript data, and, for the first time, the state-of-the-art Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test administered to students in their first semester and then again at the end of their second year. According to their analysis of more than 2,300 undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills—including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing—during their first two years of college. As troubling as their findings are, Arum and Roksa argue that for many faculty and administrators they will come as no surprise—instead, they are the expected result of a student body distracted by socializing or working and an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning close to the bottom of the priority list.
Academically Adrift holds sobering lessons for students, faculty, administrators, policy makers, and parents—all of whom are implicated in promoting or at least ignoring contemporary campus culture. Higher education faces crises on a number of fronts, but Arum and Roksa’s report that colleges are failing at their most basic mission will demand the attention of us all.
Ad Hominem Arguments
Douglas Walton University of Alabama Press, 2009 Library of Congress P301.5.P47W347 1998 | Dewey Decimal 808
A vital contribution to legal theory and media and civic discourse
In the 1860s, northern newspapers attacked Abraham Lincoln's policies by attacking his character, using the terms “drunk,” “baboon,” “too slow,” “foolish,” and “dishonest.” Political argumentation has steadily increased since then and the argumentum ad hominem, or personal attack argument, has now been carefully refined as an instrument of “oppo tactics” and “going negative” by the public relations experts who design political campaigns at the national level. In this definitive treatment of one of the most important concepts in argumentation theory and informal logic, Douglas Walton presents a normative framework for identifying and evaluating ad hominem or personal attack arguments.
Personal attack arguments have often proved to be so effective, in election campaigns, for example, that even while condemning them, politicians have not stopped using them. In the media, in the courtroom, and in everyday confrontation, ad hominem arguments are easy to put forward as accusations, are difficult to refute, and often have an extremely powerful effect on persuading an audience.
Walton gives a clear method for analyzing and evaluating cases of ad hominem arguments found in everyday argumentation. His analysis classifies the ad hominem argument into five clearly defined subtypes—abusive (direct), circumstantial, bias, “poisoning the well,” and tu quoque (“you're just as bad”) arguments—and gives methods for evaluating each type. Each subtype is given a well-defined form as a recognizable type of argument. The numerous case studies show in concrete terms many practical aspects of how to use textual evidence to identify and analyze fallacies and to evaluate argumentation as fallacious or not in particular cases.
Analogy after Aquinas
Domenic D'Ettore Catholic University of America Press, 2018 Library of Congress B765.T54D4658 2019 | Dewey Decimal 169
Since the first decade of the 14th Century, Thomas Aquinas’s disciples have struggled to explain and defend his doctrine of analogy. Analogy after Aquinas: Logical Problems, Thomistic Answers relates a history of prominent Medieval and Renaissance Thomists’ efforts to solve three distinct but interrelated problems arising from their reading both of Aquinas’s own texts on analogy, and from John Duns Scotus’s arguments against analogy and in favor of univocity in Metaphysics and Natural Theology. The first of these three problems concerns Aquinas’s at least apparently disparate statements on whether a name is said by analogy through a single concept or through diverse concepts. The second problem concerns the model of analogy suited for predicating names analogously across the categories of being or about God and creatures. Is “being” said analogously about God and creatures, or substance and accidents, on the model of how “healthy” is said of medicine and an animal, or on the model of how “principle” is said of a point and a line? The third problem comes from outside challenges to Aquinas’s thought, in particular Scotus’ claims that univocal names alone can mediate valid demonstrations, and any demonstration that failed to use its mediating terms univocally would fail by the fallacy of equivocation. Analogy after Aquinas makes a unique contribution to the study of philosophical theology in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas by showing the historical and philosophical connection between these three problems, as well as the variety of solutions proposed by leading representatives of this tradition. Thomists considered in the book include: Hervaeus Natalis (1250-1323), Thomas Sutton (1250-1315), John Capreolus (1380-1444), Dominic of Flanders (1425-1479), Paul Soncinas (d. 1494), Thomas dio vio Cajetan (1469-1534), Francis Silvestri of Ferrara (1474-1528), and Chrysostom Javelli (1470-1538).
The Anatomy of Judgment
Philip J. Regal University of Minnesota Press, 1990 Library of Congress BC177.R345 1990 | Dewey Decimal 128.3
The Anatomy of Judgment was first published in 1990. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
"The Anatomy of Judgment is a unique and valuable contribution to the literature of the social and humanistic contexts for science . . . The book will illuminate dark corners for any reader, and dozens of interesting points come to light." –Neil Greenberg, University of Tennessee
Tracing the emergence of science and the social institutions that govern it, The Anatomy of Judgment is an odyssey into what human thinking or judgment means. Philip Regal moves deftly from the history of Western philosophy to concepts of rationality in non-Western cultures, from the conceptual issues of the Salem witch trials to the basic structure of the human brain. The Anatomy of Judgment offers new perspectives on the workings of individual judgment and the social responsibility it entails.
Philip Regal is a professor of ecology and behavioral biology at the University of Minnesota. He served, during his pre- and postdoctoral work, as Coordinator's Appointee to the Mental Health Training Program at UCLA's Brain Research Institute.
With Ancestor of the West, three distinguished French historians reveal the story of the birth of writing and reason, demonstrating how the logical religious structures of Near Eastern and Mesopotamian cultures served as precursors to those of the West.
"Full of matter for anyone interested in language, religion, and politics in the ancient world."—R. T. Ridley, Journal of Religious History
"In this accessible introduction to the ancient world, three leading French scholars explore the emergence of rationality and writing in the West, tracing its development and its survival in our own traditions. . . . Jean Bottero focuses on writing and religion in ancient Mesopotamia, Clarisse Herrenschmidt considers a broader history of ancient writing, and Jean-Pierre Vernant examines classical Greek civilization in the context of Near Eastern history."—Translation Review
"As a distinctive philosophy, religious humanism emphasizes man's place in an unfathomed universe, reason as an instrument for discovering the truth, free inquiry as a condition for discerning meaning and purpose, and happiness as a fundamental value.
"Man's uniqueness emerges partly from homo sapiens' capacity to employ symbols effectively. For this reason, Willard's provocative book is not a celebration of controversy but a sophisticated study exploring the grounds of man's knowledge. Drawing upon phenomenologists such as Alfred Schultz, psychologists such as George Kelley, and argumentation philosophers such as Stephen Toulmin, Willard makes a genuine contribution to intellectual inquiry by extending essential consideration about human knowledge. The [author] demonstrates how 'secular sources' provide a fundamental resource in developing religious understanding from argumentative interactions.
"Highly insightful and intellectually refreshing . . . Argumentation and the Social Grounds of Knowledge provides thought-provoking reading for humanists concerned with rational inquiry, communication theory, religious philosophy, and liberal education." --Religious Humanism
Robert B. Brandom is one of the most original philosophers of our day, whose book Making It Explicit covered and extended a vast range of topics in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language--the very core of analytic philosophy. This new work provides an approachable introduction to the complex system that Making It Explicit mapped out. A tour of the earlier book's large ideas and relevant details, Articulating Reasons offers an easy entry into two of the main themes of Brandom's work: the idea that the semantic content of a sentence is determined by the norms governing inferences to and from it, and the idea that the distinctive function of logical vocabulary is to let us make our tacit inferential commitments explicit.
Brandom's work, making the move from representationalism to inferentialism, constitutes a near-Copernican shift in the philosophy of language--and the most important single development in the field in recent decades. Articulating Reasons puts this accomplishment within reach of nonphilosophers who want to understand the state of the foundations of semantics.
Table of Contents:
1. Semantic Inferentialism and Logical Expressivism 2. Action, Norms, and Practical Reasoning 3. Insights and Blindspots of Reliabilism 4. What Are Singular Terms, and Why Are There Any? 5. A Social Route from Reasoning to Representing 6. Objectivity and the Normative Fine Structure of Rationality
Displaying a sovereign command of the intricate discussion in the analytic philosophy of language, Brandom manages successfully to carry out a program within the philosophy of language that has already been sketched by others, without losing sight of the vision inspiring the enterprise in the important details of his investigation ' Using the tools of a complex theory of language, Brandom succeeds in describing convincingly the practices in which the reason and autonomy of subjects capable of speech and action are expressed. --J'rgen Habermas
For Raymond Geuss, philosophers’ attempts to bypass normal ways of thinking—to point out that the question being asked is itself misguided—represents philosophy at its best. By provoking people to think differently, philosophers make clear that we are not fated to live within the stifling systems of thought we inherit. We can change the subject.
The Development of Reasoning in Children with Normal and Defective Hearing was first published in 1950. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.No. 24, Institute of Child Welfare Monograph SeriesThis important study will prove helpful to educators, psychologists, clinicians, and all workers with the hard-of-hearing and deaf. Various types of reasoning ability were measured in children whose experience was limited by defective hearing, by residence in an institution, or by both of these factors, and comparisons were made with children whose environment was normal in one or both aspects.Subjects for the study included 850 pupils in state schools for the deaf, in special day classes for the defective hearing, and in public schools. Three different reasoning tests were used, and the scores of matched groups are compared and analyzed.
What role does reason play in our lives? What role should it play? And are claims to rationality liberating or oppressive? For the Sake of Argument addresses questions such as these to consider the relationship between thought and character. Eugene Garver brings Aristotle's Rhetoric to bear on practical reasoning to show how the value of such thinking emerges when members of communities deliberate together, persuade each other, and are persuaded by each other. That is to say, when they argue.
Garver roots deliberation and persuasion in political friendship instead of a neutral, impersonal framework of justice. Through incisive readings of examples in modern legal and political history, from Brown v. Board of Education to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he demonstrates how acts of deliberation and persuasion foster friendship among individuals, leading to common action amid diversity. In an Aristotelian sense, there is a place for pathos and ethos in rational thought. Passion and character have as pivotal a role in practical reasoning as logic and language.
What, precisely, does the word hermeneutics mean? And in what sense can one speak of the hermeneutics of original argument? In The Hermeneutics of Original Argument, P. Christopher Smith explores these questions in building upon Heidegger's hermeneutical thought. In applying Heidegger's basic notion that hermeneutics is not a doctrine of interpretation but is its actual execution, Christopher Smith penetrates the abstractions that conceal original argument and explores the structure and nature of argument as it originally occurs.
Throughout the history of the Western world, science has possessed an extraordinary amount of authority and prestige. And while its pedestal has been jostled by numerous evolutions and revolutions, science has always managed to maintain its stronghold as the knowing enterprise that explains how the natural world works: we treat such legendary scientists as Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein with admiration and reverence because they offer profound and sustaining insight into the meaning of the universe.
In The Intelligibility of Nature, Peter Dear considers how science as such has evolved and how it has marshaled itself to make sense of the world. His intellectual journey begins with a crucial observation: that the enterprise of science is, and has been, directed toward two distinct but frequently conflated ends—doing and knowing. The ancient Greeks developed this distinction of value between craft on the one hand and understanding on the other, and according to Dear, that distinction has survived to shape attitudes toward science ever since.
Teasing out this tension between doing and knowing during key episodes in the history of science—mechanical philosophy and Newtonian gravitation, elective affinities and the chemical revolution, enlightened natural history and taxonomy, evolutionary biology, the dynamical theory of electromagnetism, and quantum theory—Dear reveals how the two principles became formalized into a single enterprise, science, that would be carried out by a new kind of person, the scientist.
Finely nuanced and elegantly conceived, The Intelligibility of Nature will be essential reading for aficionados and historians of science alike.
The Limits of Rationality
Edited by Karen Schweers Cook and Margaret Levi University of Chicago Press, 1990 Library of Congress HM101.L495 1990 | Dewey Decimal 303.4
Prevailing economic theory presumes that agents act rationally when they make decisions, striving to maximize the efficient use of their resources. Psychology has repeatedly challenged the rational choice paradigm with persuasive evidence that people do not always make the optimal choice. Yet the paradigm has proven so successful a predictor that its use continues to flourish, fueled by debate across the social sciences over why it works so well.
Intended to introduce novices to rational choice theory, this accessible, interdisciplinary book collects writings by leading researchers. The Limits of Rationality illuminates the rational choice paradigm of social and political behavior itself, identifies its limitations, clarifies the nature of current controversies, and offers suggestions for improving current models.
In the first section of the book, contributors consider the theoretical foundations of rational choice. Models of rational choice play an important role in providing a standard of human action and the bases for constitutional design, but do they also succeed as explanatory models of behavior? Do empirical failures of these explanatory models constitute a telling condemnation of rational choice theory or do they open new avenues of investigation and theorizing?
Emphasizing analyses of norms and institutions, the second and third sections of the book investigate areas in which rational choice theory might be extended in order to provide better models. The contributors evaluate the adequacy of analyses based on neoclassical economics, the potential contributions of game theory and cognitive science, and the consequences for the basic framework when unequal bargaining power and hierarchy are introduced.
The Limits of Scientific Reasoning was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The study of human judgment and its limitations is essential to an understanding of the processes involved in the acquisition of scientific knowledge. With that end in mind, David Faust has made the first comprehensive attempt to apply recent research on human judgment to the practice of science. Drawing upon the findings of cognitive psychology, Faust maintains that human judgment is far more limited than we have tended to believe and that all individuals - scientists included—have a surprisingly restricted capacity to interpret complex information. Faust's thesis implies that scientists do not perform reasoning tasks, such as theory evaluation, as well as we assume they do, and that there are many judgments the scientist is expected to perform but cannot because of restrictions in cognitive capacity.
"This is a very well-written, timely, and important book. It documents and clarifies, in a very scholarly fashion, what sociologists and psychologists of science have been flirting with for several decades—namely, inherent limitations of scientific judgment," –Michael Mahoney, Pennsylvania State University
David Faust is director of psychology at Rhode Island Hospital and a faculty member of the Brown University Medical School. He is co-author of Teaching Moral Reasoning: Theory and Practice.
The Logical Reasoning with Diagrams and Sentences courseware package teaches the principles of analytical reasoning and proof construction using a carefully crafted combination of textbook, desktop, and online materials. This package is sure to be an essential resource in a range of courses incorporating logical reasoning, including formal linguistics, philosophy, mathematics, and computer science.
Unlike traditional formal treatments of reasoning, this package uses both graphical and sentential representations to reflect common situations in everyday reasoning where information is expressed in many forms, such as finding your way to a location using a map and an address. It also teaches students how to construct and check the logical validity of a variety of proofs—of consequence and non-consequence, consistency and inconsistency, and independence—using an intuitive proof system which extends standard proof treatments with sentential, graphical, and heterogeneous inference rules, allowing students to focus on proof content rather than syntactic structure. Building upon the widely used Tarski’s World and Language, Proof and Logic courseware packages, Logical Reasoning with Diagrams and Sentences contains more than three hundred exercises, most of which can be assessed by the Grade Grinder online assessment service; is supported by an extensive website through which students and instructors can access online video lectures by the authors; and allows instructors to create their own exercises and assess their students’ work.
Logical Reasoning with Diagrams and Sentences is an expanded revision of the Hyperproof courseware package.
Our ancestors, the Mesopotamians, invented writing and with it a new way of looking at the world. In this collection of essays, the French scholar Jean Bottero attempts to go back to the moment which marks the very beginning of history.
To give the reader some sense of how Mesopotamian civilization has been mediated and interpreted in its transmission through time, Bottero begins with an account of Assyriology, the discipline devoted to the ancient culture. This transmission, compounded with countless discoveries, would not have been possible without the surprising decipherment of the cuneiform writing system. Bottero also focuses on divination in the ancient world, contending that certain modes of worship in Mesopotamia, in their application of causality and proof, prefigure the "scientific mind."
Based on five years of classroom experimentation, The Open Hand presents a highly practical yet transformational philosophy of teaching argumentative writing. In his course Arguing as an Art of Peace, Barry Kroll uses the open hand to represent an alternative approach to argument, asking students to argue in a way that promotes harmony rather than divisiveness and avoiding conventional conflict-based approaches.
Kroll cultivates a bodily investigation of noncombative argument, offering direct pedagogical strategies anchored in three modalities of learning—conceptual-procedural, kinesthetic, and contemplative—and projects, activities, assignments, informal responses, and final papers for students. Kinesthetic exercises derived from martial arts and contemplative meditation and mindfulness practices are key to the approach, with Kroll specifically using movement as a physical analogy for tactics of arguing.
Collaboration, mediation, and empathy are important yet overlooked values in communicative exchange. This practical, engaging, and accessible guide for teachers contains clear examples and compelling discussions of pedagogical strategies that teach students not only how to write persuasively but also how to deal with personal conflict in their daily lives.
The Place of Prejudice
Adam Adatto Sandel Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress BJ1031.S26 2014 | Dewey Decimal 170.42
We associate prejudice with ignorance and bigotry and consider it a source of injustice. Can prejudice have a legitimate place in moral and political judgment? Adam Sandel shows that prejudice, properly understood, is not an obstacle to clear thinking but an essential aspect of it. The aspiration to reason without preconceptions is misguided.
In this original study, Jonathan Jacobs provides a new account of ethical realism that combines both abstract meta-ethical issues defining the debate on realism and concrete topics in moral psychology. Jacobs argues that practical reasoners can both understand the ethical significance of facts and be motivated to act by that understanding. In that sense, objective considerations are prescriptive. In his discussion of the theory of practical realism, he extends themes and claims originating in Aristotelian ethics while engaging with the most important contemporary literature.
Arguing that desire and reason can agree on what is good, Jacobs explains how good action is naturally pleasing to the agent. In acting well, the agent affirms certain values and enjoys doing so. Jacobs grounds his explanation of ethical value in detailed explorations of the moral psychology of self-love, friendship, and respect. Students and scholars of philosophy will be intrigued by this integrated account of meta-ethics, practical reason, and moral psychology.
J. David Velleman CSLI, 2013 Library of Congress B105.A35V44 2007 | Dewey Decimal 128.4
“What do you see when you look at your face in the mirror?” asks J. David Velleman in introducing his philosophical theory of action. He takes this simple act of self-scrutiny as a model for the reflective reasoning of rational agents: our efforts to understand our existence and conduct are aided by our efforts to make it intelligible. Reflective reasoning, Velleman argues, constitutes practical reasoning. By applying this conception, Practical Reflection develops philosophical accounts of intention, free will, and the foundation of morals. This new edition of Practical Reflection contains the original 1989 text along with a new introduction and is the latest entry in The David Hume Series of Philosophy and Cognitive Science Reissues, which keeps in print previously published indispensable works in the area of cognitive science.
An anthology of the most important historical sources, classical and modern, on the subjects of presumptions and burdens of proof
In the last fifty years, the study of argumentation has become one of the most exciting intellectual crossroads in the modern academy. Two of the most central concepts of argumentation theory are presumptions and burdens of proof. Their functions have been explicitly recognized in legal theory since the middle ages, but their pervasive presence in all forms of argumentation and in inquiries beyond the law—including politics, science, religion, philosophy, and interpersonal communication—have been the object of study since the nineteenth century.
However, the documents and essays central to any discussion of presumptions and burdens of proof as devices of argumentation are scattered across a variety of remote sources in rhetoric, law, and philosophy. Presumptions and Burdens of Proof: An Anthology of Argumentation and the Law brings together for the first time key texts relating to the history of the theory of presumptions along with contemporary studies that identify and give insight into the issues facing students and scholars today.
The collection’s first half contains historical sources and begins with excerpts from Aristotle’s Topics and goes on to include the locus classicus chapter from Bishop Whately’s crucial Elements of Rhetoric as well as later reactions to Whately’s views. The second half of the collection contains contemporary essays by contributors from the fields of law, philosophy, rhetoric, and argumentation and communication theory. These essays explore contemporary understandings of presumptions and burdens of proof and their role in numerous contexts today. This anthology is the definitive resource on the subject of these crucial rhetorical modes and will be a vital resource to all scholars of communication and rhetoric, as well as legal scholars and practicing jurists.
No single work is more responsible for the heightened interest in argumentation and informal reasoning—and their relation to ethics and jurisprudence in the late twentieth century—than Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca’s monumental study of argumentation, La Nouvelle Rhétorique: Traité de l'Argumentation. Published in 1958 and translated into English as The New Rhetoric in 1969, this influential volume returned the study of reason to classical concepts of rhetoric. In The Promise of Reason: Studies in The New Rhetoric, leading scholars of rhetoric Barbara Warnick, Jeanne Fahnestock, Alan G. Gross, Ray D. Dearin, and James Crosswhite are joined by prominent and emerging European and American scholars from different disciplines to demonstrate the broad scope and continued relevance of The New Rhetoric more than fifty years after its initial publication.
Divided into four sections—Conceptual Understandings of The New Rhetoric, Extensions of The New Rhetoric, The Ethical Turn in Perelman and The New Rhetoric, and Uses of The New Rhetoric—this insightful volume covers a wide variety of topics. It includes general assessments of The New Rhetoric and its central concepts, as well as applications of those concepts to innovative areas in which argumentation is being studied, such as scientific reasoning, visual media, and literary texts. Additional essays compare Perelman’s ideas with those of other significant thinkers like Kenneth Burke and Richard McKeon, explore his career as a philosopher and activist, and shed new light on Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca’s collaboration. Two contributions present new scholarship based on recent access to letters, interviews, and archival materials housed in the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Among the volume’s unique gifts is a personal memoir from Perelman’s daughter, Noémi Perelman Mattis, published here for the first time.
The Promise of Reason, expertly compiled and edited by John T. Gage, is the first to investigate the pedagogical implications of Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca’s groundbreaking work and will lead the way to the next generation of argumentation studies.
Reasoning from Race
Serena Mayeri Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress KF4758.M39 2011 | Dewey Decimal 342.730878
In the 1960s and 1970s, analogies between sex discrimination and racial injustice became potent weapons in the battle for women’s rights, as feminists borrowed rhetoric and legal arguments from the civil rights movement. Serena Mayeri’s Reasoning from Race is the first history of this key strategy and its consequences for American law.
This volume broadens our concept of reasoning and rationality to allow for a more pluralistic and situational view of human thinking as a practical activity. Drawing on contributors across disciplines including philosophy, economics, psychology, statistics, computer science, engineering, and physics, Reasoning, Rationality, and Probability argues that the search for strong theories should leave room for the construction of context-sensitive conceptual tools. Both science and everyday life, the authors argue, are too complex and multifaceted to be forced into ready-made schemata.
Until the Scientific Revolution, the nature and motions of heavenly objects were mysterious and unpredictable. The Scientific Revolution was revolutionary in part because it saw the advent of many mathematical tools—chief among them the calculus—that natural philosophers could use to explain and predict these cosmic motions. Michel Blay traces the origins of this mathematization of the world, from Galileo to Newton and Laplace, and considers the profound philosophical consequences of submitting the infinite to rational analysis.
"One of Michael Blay's many fine achievements in Reasoning with the Infinite is to make us realize how velocity, and later instantaneous velocity, came to play a vital part in the development of a rigorous mathematical science of motion."—Margaret Wertheim, New Scientist
Return to Reason
Stephen Edelston Toulmin Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress BC177.T596 2001 | Dewey Decimal 128.33
Stephen Toulmin argues that the potential for reason to improve our lives has been hampered by a serious imbalance in our pursuit of knowledge. The centuries-old dominance of rationality has diminished the value of reasonableness. Toulmin issues a powerful call to redress the balance between rationality and reasonableness.
Responding to skeptics within higher education and critics without, James Crosswhite argues powerfully that the core of a college education should be learning to write a reasoned argument. A trained philosopher and director of a university-wide composition program, Crosswhite challenges his readers—teachers of writing and communication, philosophers, critical theorists, and educational administrators—to reestablish the traditional role of rhetoric in education.
To those who have lost faith in the abilities of people to reach reasoned mutual agreements, and to others who have attacked the right-or-wrong model of formal logic, this book offers the reminder that the rhetorical tradition has always viewed argumentation as a dialogue, a response to changing situations, an exchange of persuading, listening, and understanding. Crosswhite’s aim is to give new purpose to writing instruction and to students’ writing, to reinvest both with the deep ethical interests of the rhetorical tradition. In laying out the elements of argumentation, for example, he shows that claiming, questioning, and giving reasons are not simple elements of formal logic, but communicative acts with complicated ethical features. Students must learn not only how to construct an argument, but the purposes, responsibilities, and consequences of engaging in one.
Crosswhite supports his aims through a rhetorical reconstruction of reason, offering new interpretations of Plato and Aristotle and of the concepts of reflection and dialogue from early modernity through Hegel to Gadamer. And, in his conclusion, he ties these theoretical and historical underpinnings to current problems of higher education, the definition of the liberal arts, and, especially, the teaching of written communication.
In this book, Eric Sanday boldly demonstrates that Plato’s “theory of forms” is true, easy to understand, and relatively intuitive. Sanday argues that our chief obstacle to understanding the theory of forms is the distorting effect of the tacit metaphysical privileging of individual things in our everyday understanding. For Plato, this privileging of things that we can own, produce, exchange, and through which we gain mastery of our surroundings is a significant obstacle to philosophical education. The dialogue’s chief philosophical work, then, is to destabilize this false privileging and, in Parmenides, to provide the initial framework for a newly oriented account of participation. Once we do this, Sanday argues, we more easily can grasp and see the truth of the theory of forms.
Elwick explores how the concept of "compound individuality" brought together life scientists working in pre-Darwinian London. Scientists conducting research in comparative anatomy, physiology, cellular microscopy, embryology and the neurosciences repeatedly stated that plants and animals were compounds of smaller independent units. Discussion of a "bodily economy" was widespread. But by 1860, the most flamboyant discussions of compound individuality had come to an end in Britain. Elwick relates the growth and decline of questions about compound individuality to wider nineteenth-century debates about research standards and causality. He uses specific technical case studies to address overarching themes of reason and scientific method.
A Theory of Argumentation
Charles Arthur Willard University of Alabama Press, 1989 Library of Congress BC177.W544 1989 | Dewey Decimal 168
The thesis of this book is that argument is not a kind of logic but a kind of communication—conversation based on disagreement. Claims about the epistemic and political effects of argument get their authority not from logic but from their “fit with the facts” about how communication works. A Theory of Communication thus offers a picture of communication—distilled from elements of symbolic interactionism, personal construct theory, constructivism, and Barbara O’Keefe’s provocative thinking about logics of message design. The picture of argument that emerges from this tapestry is startling, for it forces revisions in thinking about knowledge, rationality, freedom, fallacies, and the structure and content of the argumentation discipline.
The burden of this book is to establish a theoretical context for, and to elaborate the implications of, the claim that argument is a form of interaction in which two or more people maintain what they construe to be incompatible positions.
Thinking Your Way to Freedom is a critical-thinking textbook with a difference. Rather than focusing exclusively on improving college students’ academic achievement, Susan Gardner seeks to dramatically change how students think through issues that are important in their lives beyond school. Gardner created 66 original and entertaining comic strips—featuring her dogs, Diva and Ben—that add a light touch as they encourage intellectual and personal autonomy. Through a clear step-by-step method of practical reasoning, students are taught how to think impartially and how to neutralize invisible biases that limit their freedom of thought and action. With the help of Diva and Ben, readers learn to evaluate the strengths of arguments and to recognize fallacies, all the while avoiding the paralyzing effects of relativism.
Thinking Your Way to Freedom includes the writing of short essays so that students can improve their critical thinking and writing at the same time. A Teacher’s Manual for this book will be available online.
When economists wrestle with issues such as unemployment, inflation, or budget deficits, they do so by incorporating an impersonal, detached mode of reasoning. But economists also analyze issues that, to others, do not typically fall within the realm of economic reasoning, such as organ transplants, cigarette addiction, smoking in public, and product safety. Trade-Offs is an introduction to the economic approach to analyzing these controversial public policy issues.
Harold Winter provides readers with the analytical tools needed to identify and understand the trade-offs associated with these topics. By considering both the costs and benefits of potential policy solutions, Winter stresses that real-world policy decision making is best served by an explicit recognition of as many trade-offs as possible.
Intellectually stimulating yet accessible and entertaining, Trade-Offs will be appreciated by students of economics, public policy, health administration, political science, and law, as well as by anyone who follows current social policy debates.
When economists wrestle with issues such as unemployment, inflation, or budget deficits, they do so by incorporating an impersonal, detached mode of reasoning. But economists also analyze issues that, to others, typically do not fall within the realm of economic reasoning, such as organ transplants, cigarette addiction, overeating, and product safety. Trade-Offs is an introduction to the economic approach to analyzing these controversial public policy issues.
Harold Winter provides readers with the analytical tools needed to identify and understand the trade-offs associated with these topics. By considering both the costs and benefits of potential policy solutions, Winter stresses that real-world decision making is best served by an explicit recognition of as many trade-offs as possible. This new edition incorporates recent developments in policy debates, including the rise of “new paternalism,” or policies designed to protect people from themselves; alternative ways to increase the supply of organs available for transplant; and economic approaches to controlling infectious disease.
Intellectually stimulating yet accessible and entertaining, Trade-Offs will be appreciated by students of economics, public policy, health administration, political science, and law, as well as by anyone who follows current social policy debates.
In 1963, Howard S. Becker gave a lecture about deviance, challenging the then-conventional definition that deviance was inherently criminal and abnormal and arguing that instead, deviance was better understood as a function of labeling. At the end of his lecture, a distinguished colleague standing at the back of the room, puffing a cigar, looked at Becker quizzically and asked, “What about murder? Isn’t that really deviant?” It sounded like Becker had been backed into a corner. Becker, however, wasn’t defeated! Reasonable people, he countered, differ over whether certain killings are murder or justified homicide, and these differences vary depending on what kinds of people did the killing. In What About Mozart? What About Murder?, Becker uses this example, along with many others, to demonstrate the different ways to study society, one that uses carefully investigated, specific cases and another that relies on speculation and on what he calls “killer questions,” aimed at taking down an opponent by citing invented cases.
Becker draws on a lifetime of sociological research and wisdom to show, in helpful detail, how to use a variety of kinds of cases to build sociological knowledge. With his trademark conversational flair and informal, personal perspective Becker provides a guide that researchers can use to produce general sociological knowledge through case studies. He champions research that has enough data to go beyond guesswork and urges researchers to avoid what he calls “skeleton cases,” which use fictional stories that pose as scientific evidence. Using his long career as a backdrop, Becker delivers a winning book that will surely change the way scholars in many fields approach their research.
In recent years political, religious, and scientific communities have engaged in an ethical debate regarding the development of and research on embryonic stem cells. Does the manipulation of embryonic stem cells destroy human life? Or do limitations imposed on stem cell research harm patients who might otherwise benefit?
John Lynch’s What Are Stem Cells? identifies the moral stalemate between the rights of the embryo and the rights of the patient and uses it as the framework for a larger discussion about the role of definitions as a key rhetorical strategy in the debate. In the case of stem cells, the controversy arises from the manner in which stem cells are defined--in particular, whether they are defined with an appeal to their original source or to their future application. Definitions such as these, Lynch argues, are far more than convenient expository references; they determine the realities of any given social discourse.
Lynch addresses definitions conceptually--their stability in the face of continual technological innovation, their versatility at the crossroads of scientific and public forums, and their translations and retranslations through politics. Most importantly, his work recognizes definitions as central to issues, not only within the topic of stem cell research, but also in all argumentation.