How to Think Logically by Gary Seay

How to Think Logically

byGary Seay, Susana Nuccetelli

Paperback | July 28, 2011

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Concise Principles of Reasoning


Concise, yet covering all the basics of a 15-week course in informal logic or critical reasoning, this text engages students with a lively format and clear writing style. The small scale of the book keeps the cost low, a vital consideration in today’s economy, yet without compromising on logical rigor.


The author’s presentation strikes a careful balance: it offers clear, jargon-free writing while preserving rigor.  Brimming with numerous pedagogical features, this accessible text assists students with analysis, reconstruction, and evaluation of arguments and helps them become independent, analytical thinkers.  Introductory students are exposed to the basic principles of reasoning while also having their appetites whetted for future courses in philosophy.


Teaching and Learning Experience


Improve Critical Thinking - Abundant pedagogical aids -- including exercises and study questions within each chapter -- encourage students to examine their assumptions, discern hidden values, evaluate evidence, assess their conclusions, and more!


Engage Students - Chapter and section outlines, summaries, illustrative examples, special-emphasis boxes and key terms present new ideas in manageable-sized units of information so students can digest each concept before moving on to the next one, and ensure students key-in on crucial points to remember.


Support Instructors -Teaching your course just got easier!  You can create a Customized Text or use our Instructor’s Manual, or PowerPoint Presentation Slides.  Plus, this concise textbook contains only as much material as you can cover in a course, creating an affordable alternative you can assign with confidence to a cost-conscious student population.  Additionally, each chapter in How to Think Logically is designed as a self-contained unit so that you can choose the combination and order of chapters according to the needs of your courses; making the text a flexible base for courses in logic, critical thinking, and rhetoric.


About The Author

In This Section:   I. Author Bio II. Author Letter     I. Author Bio   Gary Seay has taught formal and informal logic since 1979 at the City University of New York, where he is presently professor of philosophy at Medgar Evers College. His articles on moral philosophy and bioethics have appeared in The American Philosophica...
Engaging Bioethics: An Introduction With Case Studies
Engaging Bioethics: An Introduction With Case Studies

by Gary Seay


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Ethical Naturalism: Current Debates
Ethical Naturalism: Current Debates

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Philosophy of Language: The Central Topics
Philosophy of Language: The Central Topics

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Details & Specs

Title:How to Think LogicallyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8.9 × 7 × 1 inPublished:July 28, 2011Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205154980

ISBN - 13:9780205154982

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Extra Content

Table of Contents










Chapter One   What Is Logical Thinking? And Why Should We Care?

Chapter Two   Thinking Logically and Speaking One’s Mind

Chapter Three    The Virtues of Belief  




Chapter Four   Tips for Argument Analysis

Chapter Five   Evaluating Deductive Arguments

Chapter Six    Analyzing Inductive Arguments




Chapter Seven   Some Ways an Argument Can Fail

Chapter Eight   Avoiding Ungrounded Assumptions

Chapter Nine   From Unclear Language to Unclear Reasoning

Chapter Ten   Avoiding Irrelevant Premises




Chapter Eleven    Compound Propositions

Chapter Twelve   Checking the Validity of Propositional Arguments 

Chapter Thirteen    Categorical Propositions and Immediate Inferences                        

Chapter Fourteen   Categorical Syllogisms


Appendix: Summary of Informal Fallacies


Answers to Selected Exercises







Chapter One    What Is Logical Thinking? And Why Should We Care?


            1.1       The Study of Reasoning

            1.2       Logic and Reasoning

            1.3       What Arguments Are

            1.4       Reconstructing Arguments                               

            1.5       Arguments and Non-arguments

            1.6       Chapter Summary

            1.7       Key Words


Chapter Two    Thinking Logically and Speaking One’s Mind


            2.1       Rational Acceptability

            2.2       Beyond Rational Acceptability

            2.3       From Mind to Language                   

            2.4       Indirect Use and Figurative Language                                                                                                           

            2.5       Definition: An Antidote to Unclear Language

            2.6       Chapter Summary

            2.7       Key Words


Chapter Three    The Virtues of Belief


            3.1       Belief, Disbelief, and Non-Belief                                    

            3.2       Beliefs’ Virtues and Vices

            3.3       Accuracy and Truth                                   

            3.4       Reasonableness                                   

            3.5       Consistency                                                                                                           

            3.6       Conservatism and Revisability

            3.7       Rationality vs. Irrationality

            3.8       Chapter Summary

            3.9       Key Words




Chapter Four    Tips for Argument Analysis


            4.1       A Principled Way of Reconstructing Arguments

            4.2       Missing Premises

            4.3       Extended Arguments

            4.4       Types of Reason

            4.5       Norms and Argument

            4.6       Chapter Summary

            4.7       Key Words


Chapter Five    Evaluating Deductive Arguments


            5.1       Validity

            5.2       Soundness

            5.3       Cogency

            5.4       Chapter Summary

            5.5       Key Words


Chapter Six    Analyzing Inductive Arguments


            6.1       Reconstructing Inductive Arguments

            6.2       Some Types of Inductive Argument

            6.3       Evaluating Inductive Arguments

            6.4       Chapter Summary

            6.5       Key Words




Chapter Seven    Some Ways an Argument Can Fail


            7.1       What Is a Fallacy?

            7.2       Classification of Informal Fallacies

            7.3       When Inductive Arguments Go Wrong

            7.4       Chapter Summary

            7.5       Key Words


Chapter Eight    Avoiding Ungrounded Assumptions


            8.1       Fallacies of Presumption

            8.2       Begging the Question

            8.3       Begging-the-Question-Against

            8.4       Complex Question

            8.5       False Alternatives

            8.6       Accident

            8.7       Chapter Summary

            8.8       Key Words


Chapter Nine    From Unclear Language to Unclear Reasoning


            9.1       Unclear Language and Argument Failure

            9.2       Semantic Unclarity

            9.3       Vagueness

            9.4       Ambiguity

            9.5       Confused Predication

            9.6       Chapter Summary

            9.7       Key Words


 Chapter Ten    Avoiding Irrelevant Premises


            10.1     Fallacies of Relevance

            10.2     Appeal to Pity

            10.3     Appeal to Force

            10.4     Appeal to Emotion

            10.5     Ad Hominem

            10.6     Beside the Point

            10.7     Straw Man

            10.8     Is the Appeal to Emotion Always Fallacious?

            10.9     Chapter Summary

            10.10   Key Words




Chapter Eleven    Compound Propositions


            11.1     Argument as a Relation Between Propositions

            11.2     Simple and Compound Propositions

            11.3     Symbolizing Compound Propositions

            11.4     Defining Connectives with Truth Tables

            11.5     Truth Tables for Compound Propositions

            11.6     Chapter Summary

            11.7     Key Words


Chapter Twelve    Checking the Validity of Propositional Arguments


            12.1     Checking Validity with Truth Tables

            12.2     Some Standard Argument Forms

            12.3     Formal Fallacies

            12.4     A Simplified Approach to Proofs of Validity

            12.5     Chapter Summary

            12.6     Key Words


Chapter Thirteen    Categorical Propositions and Immediate Inferences


         13.1    What Is a Categorical Proposition?

            13.2     Venn Diagrams for Categorical Propositions

            13.3     The Square of Opposition

            13.4     Other Immediate Inferences

            13.5     Chapter Summary

            13.6     Key Words


Chapter Fourteen     Categorical Syllogisms


            14.1      What Is a Categorical Syllogism?

            14.2     Syllogistic Argument Forms

            14.3     Testing for Validity with Venn Diagrams

            14.4     Distribution of Terms

            14.5     Rules of Validity and Syllogistic Fallacies

            14.6     Chapter Summary

            14.7     Key Words


Appendix: Summary of Informal Fallacies


Answers to Selected Exercises


Editorial Reviews

"The Chapter Summay(ies) were helpful, as were the definitons. I stress mastering the definitions to the key words because these provide the materials for performing logical operations in an intentional way."

-- Andrew Waskey, Dalton State College