The most immediate benefit derived from the study of logic is the skill needed to construct sound arguments of ones own and to evaluate the arguments of others. In accomplishing this goal, logic instills a sensitivity for the formal component in language, a thorough command of which is indispensable to clear, effective, and meaningful communication.
On a broader scale, by focusing attention on the requirement for reasons or evidence to support our views, logic provides a fundamental defense against the prejudiced and uncivilized attitudes that threaten the foundations of our democratic society. Finally, through its attention to inconsistency as a fatal flaw in any theory or point of view, logic proves a useful device in disclosing ill-conceived policies in the political sphere and, ultimately, in distinguishing the rational from the irrational, the sane from the insane. This book is written with the aim of securing these benefits.
To accomplish these and other related goals, I incorporated the following pedagogical devices:
• Relevant and up-to-date examples were used extensively throughout the book.
• Key terms were introduced in bold face type and defined in the glossary/index.
• Central concepts were illustrated in graphic boxes.
• Numerous exercises—today there are over 2,600—were included to perfect student skills.
• Many exercises were drawn from real-life sources such as textbooks, newspapers, and magazines.
• Typically every third exercise was answered in the back of the book so students could check their work.
PART I: INFORMAL LOGIC
1 Basic Concepts
2 Language: Meaning and Definition
3 Informal Fallacies
PART II: FORMAL LOGIC
4 Categorical Propositions
5 Categorical Syllogisms
6 Propositional Logic
7 Natural Deduction in Propositional Logic
8 Predicate Logic
PART III: INDUCTIVE LOGIC
9 Analogy and Legal and Moral Reasoning
10 Causality and Mill’s Methods
12 Statistical Reasoning
13 Hypothetical/Scientific Reasoning
14 Science and Superstition
Appendix: Logic and Graduate-Level Admissions Tests
Answers to Selected Exercises