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A Rulebook for Arguments (Hackett Student Handbooks) Library Binding – November 14, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0872209558 ISBN-10: 0872209555 Edition: Fourth Edition,4

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Product Details

  • Series: Hackett Student Handbooks
  • Library Binding: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; Fourth Edition,4 edition (November 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872209555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872209558
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This is the ultimate 'how-to' book for anyone who wants to use reasons and evidence in support of conclusions, to be clear instead of confusing, persuasive instead of dogmatic, and better at evaluating the arguments of others. No one outgrows its forty-five timeless rules, all explained and illustrated with vivid examples. The fourth edition, even more elegantly organized and concise than before, adds new material on oral presentations and Web sources that everyone needs. --Debra Nails, Michigan State University

I'm very pleased with the new edition of this book. I've been using A Rulebook for Arguments for several years now in my critical thinking course with great success . . . the chapters on generalizations (formerly arguments by examples), sources (arguments by authority), and arguments about causes have all improved substantially. Thanks for a great new edition! --David Morrow, Hunter College

An elegant, concise, and consistently useful little book that every student needs. --Rachel Hadas, Rutgers University

About the Author

Anthony Weston is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at Elon University.

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Customer Reviews

The book is very well written and easy to read.
Robert Kiehn
I am using the book to understand argument and logic in preparation for the LSAT, and it has been a great resource.
C. Gray
This book it's a very very good book, u should to read, if u need to take the philosophy class.
Meng L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By MatthewT on July 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just got a copy of the new edition (4th). I have used this previously in teaching college, and needed to upgrade so my students and I have the same edition and page numbers.

The content of the book is wonderful, and I think the extra chapter on oral argumentation is a welcome addition. I also think that the price is great. All my Ph.D. students have been happy to have a copy and enjoy working with it.

One downside of this particular edition: there are numbers for each argument rule, but the design of these is horrible: they are placed on top of the regular text as a light gray, overlapping the heading and some of the body text. This is distracting and annoying. Not sure who gave this design a green light, but I see this as a problem that I hope is remedied in the next edition (or even the next printing of this edition!).

Overall, a great book with one design flaw that shouldn't stop anyone from spending a little for a lot of book.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By The Old Wise Man on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
"A Rulebook for Beginners" is made up of 45 discrete rules which have been categorised into nine chapters of general arguing techniques.
Not only does the author give positive rules for arguing, but he also lists about two dozen "Common Fallacies" in a glossary format at the end of the book.

The rulebook is written in an easy to read, and easy to reference layout. While you would definitely read it from front to back the first time, it has been specifically designed so that an engaged beginner can easily refer back to this rulebook when constructing arguments.
While it is clearly focused at the beginner, an intermediate `debater' will certainly glean some helpful hints from it.

Because it is only a concise rulebook, it doesn't do into detailed arguing techniques at all. So if you are interested in more advanced arguing methods, then you should definitely look elsewhere.

Overall this is a superb text for what it was designer for; A Rulebook for Beginners.

Four and a half stars
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By TW VINE VOICE on January 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Rulebook for Arguments should be required reading as it presents a definitive outline of the basis for reason.

As a centerpiece of what separates humans from animals, the ability to reason represents a critical element in all human endeavors. Illogical reasoning is regrettably everywhere we look; advertisements, politics, religion, business, and even ordinary personal justifications. As a result, improving the ability to reason properly is of vital importance to the individual intellect.

Weston presents a concise overview of the critical aspects of logical reasoning. The subjects covered are designed to strengthen argumentative writing, help avoid common fallacies, and promote the organization of sound conclusions that hold up under any level of scrutiny.

The knowledge base of logic and formation of arguments presented in this book represents a path to improved reasoning abilities and therefore should be essential reading. As an added benefit, the book is brief and the writing is coherent from start to finish, making it an effortless read and one I highly recommend to all.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James A. Redferin on March 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this because I wanted a concise quick reference book for argumentation. My job deals primarily with Administrative Law and I write to aribitrators and judges on a daily basis. This book has been exceptional in helping to develop my Agency's position before a third party. The key to any good position paper or case narrative is brevity in framing the argument. This book is a daily reference for logically setting up my arguments in easy to digest sentences.

The book is written in short chapters that give examples of properly framing an argument or position. Although written primarily for an academic setting (term papers, dissertations, etc.) it has tremendous cross occupational applications. The book is written to the layman and clearly defines academic terminology commonly used in academia. It is short enough to be read in a couple of hours and arranged in a easy to follow format with each chapter building upon the previous. The chapter on fallacious arguments is superb in that it allows the user to avoid common pitfalls that could potentially overturn the most well reasoned arugument.

Ironically, the only downside to the book comes from what makes it so great, it's conciseness. A book of this type cannot possibly be expected to contain every detail and minutia of argumentation. There have been times, when I've been left needing more. But for everyday reference this is the best book on the subject I've found yet. It's small enough to not take up too much space in my small office, yet good enough to help me in developing my argument.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lockerpunch on January 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was a required book for my philosophy class, and I'm glad we had to get it. This book is short, easy to read, and right to the point with the right amount of examples to make sure you get it. It's very no nonsense and perhaps there is something better out there, but this is perfect as a rulebook. It's not meant to be a textbook and that's part of it's charm. A good buy for students! I'll refer back to this book for classes to come.
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