Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking By D.Q. McInerny
2004 | 160 Pages | ISBN: 1400061717 | PDF | 2 MB


“In logic, as in life, it is the obvious that most often bears emphasizing, because it so easily escapes our notice,” McInerny argues in this pithy guide to applying logical thinking to everyday life. Modeled after Strunk and White’s indispensable handbook, The Elements of Style, McInerny’s primer offers valuable counsel on making a clear and effective point. He calls attention to the tremendous importance that language holds in the crafting and presentation of an argument, advising readers to “make your words as precise and sharply focused as possible” and to keep arguments, or at least their essential purpose, simple. Readers need not have a background in philosophy to follow McInerny’s remarkably comprehensible explanation of the methods used to construct a valid case, including the syllogistic argument, the conjunctive and disjunctive arguments and the conditional argument. The author also dedicates considerable discussion to the sources and the principal forms of illogical thinking, from such common ruses as begging the question and using tears as a diversionary tactic to the more ethically questionable ad hominem strategy, in which a person ignores an argument and attacks his opponent’s character instead. McInerny recommends that people hone their logical thinking skills by using them in real life situations, but perhaps one of the best ways his audience can learn to clearly express their views is by examining the crisp, articulate writing in this slender but richly informative guide.

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