The Elements of Reasoning

elements of reasoning conway munson 2nd edition wadsworth 1997The Elements of Reasoning by David A. Conway and Ronald Munson, 2/5

This book provides an introduction to informal logic, focusing mostly on valid and invalid ways arguments can be formed, along with a brief look at common fallacies and errors in reasoning.  The argument forms seem contrived and the analysis methods limited–it is hard to imagine a use for these concepts outside of a classroom and the book is certainly not written in a way meant to smooth the transition from academic thought exercise to real life.  In fact, the whole tone of the book is very dry and dead, which is a pity because the topic is fascinating and I have seen it treated in much more interesting and lively ways.  A good teacher could bring it to life, perhaps, and also provide insight on the numerous thought exercises that the authors leave unanswered.

Why I read it: I wanted to learn about the symbols used in formal logic (only a few of which are covered in this book) and the title caught my eye at the thrift store.

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