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Whether regarded as a science, an art, or a skill–and it can properly be regarded as all three–logic is the basis of our ability to think, analyze, argue, and communicate. Indeed, logic goes to the very core of what we mean by human intelligence. In this concise, crisply readable book, distinguished professor D. Q. McInerny offers an indispensable guide to using logic to advantage in everyday life. Written explicitly for the layperson, McInerny’s Being Logical promises to take its place beside Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style as a classic of lucid, invaluable advice. As McInerny notes, logic is a deep, wide, and wonderfully varied field, with a bearing on every aspect of our intellectual life. A mastery of logic begins with an understanding of right reasoning–and encompasses a grasp of the close kinship between logical thought and logical expression, a knowledge of the basic terms of argument, and a familiarity with the pitfalls of illogical thinking. Accordingly, McInerny structures his book in a series of brief, penetrating chapters that build on one another to form a unified and coherent introduction to clear and effective reasoning. At the heart of the book is a brilliant consideration of argument–how an argument is founded and elaborated, how it differs from other forms of intellectual discourse, and how it critically embodies the elements of logic. McInerny teases out the subtleties and complexities of premises and conclusions, differentiates statements of fact from statements of value, and discusses the principles and uses of every major type of argument, from the syllogistic to the conditional. In addition, he provides an incisive look at illogical thinking and explains how to recognize and avoid the most common errors of logic. Elegant, pithy, and precise, Being Logical breaks logic down to its essentials through clear analysis, accessible examples, and focused insights. Whether you are a student or a teacher, a professional sharpening your career skills or an amateur devoted to the fine points of thought and expression, you are sure to find this brief guide to effecting reasoning both fascinating and illuminating.
A hallmark of Western culture is a massive moral confusion, rendering the very idea of virtue "exotic and incomprehensible." McInerny here drags the conversation back to the beginning, establishing the terms and the tools of what it means to think and to do what is moral. As he asserts, the virtuous life and the moral life are one and the same. To be moral is to be good, and the goodness of one's acts reflects the fundamentals of thought placed in the service of a pursuit of a virtuous life. Why is the concept of a virtuous life so foreign to many? We do not know the basics of a moral life. As McInerny states, "To be good we have to know what that means." The two biggest judgments one will make during life pertain to knowing what is good, what is bad, and the difference between the two. This bleeds into a study of morality and ethics when it pertains to concrete acts, but in reality all aspects of our lives bear on these judgments. "Being ethical is not simply a state of mind, it is a state of being, a way of living one's life that reflects the fundamental principles of ethics [...] [it is one] who lives in a certain way." Nevertheless, the subject of this book focuses on ethics--namely, the goodness or badness of human acts. McInerny's great reason for writing this work is to teach the reader that he or she cannot properly tackle ethical questions (even if they are not identified as such) if one is not himself or herself actually ethical (living virtuously). Writing very much as a teacher of teachers, McInerny relies on the foundations of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, as well as his late brother, Ralph McInerny, to reiterate the principles of ethics that inform both thought and act. To speak of ethics, then, is to admit a commitment to virtue and how the theoretical distinction of good and bad is necessarily practical. Acting well will lead to thinking better, but McInerny notes that culture has lost sight of the former and thereby the coherency to address ethical questions. Being Ethical aims to correct this disconnect in forty-eight cogent lessons. Being Ethical is fundamentally intended to serve as a sequel to D. Q. McInerny's Being Logical (Random House, 2004), which has remained in print and has been translated into six languages. Its style lends itself to being used as a textbook in liberal studies. More generally, it is a refreshing presentation of this topic and timely and timeless exhortation to readers of the necessity of a love of virtue for ethical thought. For friends and students of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and Ralph McInerny, this book bears a style and manner that is both familiar and much loved.
Finding a coherent set of answers to life's age-old questions can be an onerous undertaking. Yet the questions abound in our culture, and a rational collection of answers is seemingly ungraspable. Commoners have been led to believe that beliefs are irreversibly inconsequential. Youngsters are boldly instructed to merely seek success. Teachers unblushingly preach to students that there is no such thing as truth. With uncountable opinions and beliefs put forth, who ought we to trust? Should we give credence to the preachy words of secularists who do not even have the backbone to adhere to a logically consistent worldview? Are we to trust the pop psychologists who unmindfully and unabashedly bypass life's essential questions? Would it be shrewd of us to subscribe to the pluralists who lack the decency to study incommensurable worldviews, yet absurdly accept contrasting worldviews as equally valid? Whom shall we trust? In a culture where common sense has commonly vanished amongst commoners, we would do well to welcome common sense into our lives. Thinking episodically has become the modern routine, and yet, such a routine suffocates us in the ruins of our own lack of thinking, for thinking episodically is really no way of thinking at all. Perhaps, just perhaps, the answers to life's most pressing questions are within our reach, but first we must be willing to embrace common sense.
This guide provides parens with an oppotunity to chronicle their own personal history and past experiences as well as the history and experiences of their child's life in a direct, loving, and supportive way. Don't wait - let Parent To Child : The Guide assist you in writing the legacy you want and need to leave for your chldren ... just in case.
You've Got to Be Kidding!: How Jokes Can Help You Think is a thoughtful and accessible analysis of the ways in which jokes illustrate how we think critically, and how the thinking process goes awry in everyday human situations Uses jokes to illustrate the various mistakes or fallacies that are typically identified and discussed in courses on critical reasoning Provides an effective way to learn critical thinking skills since jokes often describe real-life situations where it really matters whether a person thinks well or not Demonstrates how philosophy is actually very practical and clearly related to real- life human experiences Explains how developing good reasoning habits can make a real difference in all aspects of one’s life
This is a systematic and concise introduction to more than forty fallacies, from anthropomorphism and argumentum ad baculum, to reductionism and the slippery slope argument. With helpful definitions, relevant examples, and thought-provoking exercises, the author guides the reader through the realms of fallacious reasoning and deceptive rhetoric.

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