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Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments 4th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Damer also includes "A Code of Conduct for Effective Rational Discussion," twelve principles for civilized, intelligent discussion of issues. These twelve principles include the four criteria of a good argument, thus connecting all the ideas of the book in one logical and easily understood structure. It's noteworthy that the author includes a discussion of ethics, and the "right" and "wrong" way to argue. He even has strategies on how to point out flawed arguments without being judgemental or intellectually condescending. Knowledge is power, after all, and intellectual might doesn't necessarily make right.
It's refreshing to see a critical thinking text acknowledge the ethical responsibility that comes with superior critical thinking skills. Damer takes this responsibility very seriously, and encourages readers to seek truth over victory. This is apparent in the Code of Conduct, which includes "The Fallibility Principle," "The Truth-Seeking Principle," and "The Principle of Charity.Read more ›
According to the ad copy and the first chapter or so, the overall goal is to present a coherent theory of argumentation, and of fallacies as failures to meet the obligations that theory imposes. A good argument has feature X, while a deviation from X is a type of fallacy, basically. This is a good idea for a way to structure a critical thinking textbook, and particularly for a way to work the fallacies into it so that they don't feel like an afterthought. Another feature I liked was the incorporation of that theory of argument into a larger theory of argumentative *conduct*, where we have obligations, not just to do our best to make our arguments as good as possible, but to be charitable and fair-minded toward our opponents as well. This is a point that needs to be stressed in any CT course and it's very good that Damer makes sure to do so at the outset.
However, the book has a number of serious flaws. For one thing, the "theory" of argumentation it's supposedly built around really isn't. The theory is little more than a list of five features a good argument should have (except when it doesn't; the Structural criterion doesn't apply to all arguments, at least not in a uniform way). Actually, more like eight features or so, since some of his five criteria are themselves bundles of distinct, only loosely related concepts. The reader expecting Damer to tie these features together in some way - to tell us what it is they have in common that allows them to play this role - is going to be disappointed; there is no serious, non-circular attempt to do this.Read more ›
The book uses clear and familiar everyday examples to make the points, instead of presenting things in an abstract and think-tank way, and most people will find themselves realizing that they have had arguments or debates exactly like those described in the book. The book clearly demonstrates how much reason and critical thinking can be diminished or overlooked by laziness or unwillingness on the part of people to care enough to think well.
The chapters follow a clear course and almost every logical fallacy I have ever encountered in the classroom or the real world is covered in the book. It explains the fallacy, gives examples, and shows how to expose the fallacy for being a poor argument, as well as demonstrating ways to combat and point out to the other person (in a nice way) the flaw in the reasoning. The tone of the book is pleasently informal, as it attempts to create familiar dialouge and situations to which the reader can easily identify. I highly reccommend the book and think that anyone who cares enough to want to think more maturely would benefit greatly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recommend this book to anyone studying for the LSAT or who want to be better writers, thinkers, or communicators. The author makes some really complex topics very understandable. Read morePublished on May 30, 2014 by Joaquin Murieta
Damer does a great job in introducing how to properly think by systematically destroying many common vehicles of faulty thought, and at the same time introducing ways to avoid... Read morePublished on August 11, 2013 by Alex H.
Acceptable condition, some writing but being the older verisin it got the job done. Yep that's all I have to say.Published on July 12, 2013 by Sophi23
This posting ledge to purchase a book that was only had selected chapters from the full book. Now I have a book that is not complete.Published on January 5, 2012 by Nathan
Purchased book and realized when received that it's the wrong edition. The edition was not displayed and I purchased the wrong one now. Read morePublished on September 28, 2011 by Dali
Book was in tge condition promised except it was missing pages. Didn't find out until later. Make sure when you're buying textbooks that you check for thatPublished on September 23, 2011 by Pjrv2010
Considering anyone picking up this book to seriously read it would only do so if they had a keen interest in debate, rhetoric, or pragmatic argument, this book is one of the most... Read morePublished on January 6, 2011 by Michel