With Good Reason

With Good Reason

With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies is an outstanding resource for high school students for critical thinking, although the price is a bit high. It covers some of the same concepts as books such as The Fallacy Detective, but it’s better for older teens. It begins with “definitions,” but even this potentially-boring foundational information is presented with touches of humor that make it both entertaining and interesting. Each brief section is followed by a summary of key points and practice exercises. Answers to a few selected questions are at the end of each section, but parents will need to read along to be able to discuss exercise questions and figure out answers to those for which none are provided--not that difficult a task. (Parents without a background in logic will find that reading this book is time well spent!)

Among topics dealt with in the first section are arguments and nonarguments, missing components, syllogisms, truth, validity, soundness, and deductive and inductive arguments.

The next section deals with language as a medium of communication. It gets into topics such as implied and actual meanings of words, ambiguity, and vagueness. Information here will be valuable to those who want to become more skillful communicators.

The bulk of the book deals with the “fun stuff”—informal fallacies. These fallacies are divided into three general sections: fallacies of ambiguity, presumption, and relevance. Under each section we encounter the more familiar labels such as begging the question, special pleading, ad hominem attacks, mob appeal, appeals to authority, etc. There are plenty of examples and exercises plus the occasional cartoon for illustration.

An appendix at the end titled “Writing with Clarity and Reason” explains how writing an essay is much like presenting an argument. It offers excellent ideas on structuring and presenting essays.

This book is broader in scope than The Fallacy Detective, but it is written for an adult, non-Christian audience. Nevertheless, it should be suitable for mature Christian teens.

Pricing Information

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With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies

With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies
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Instant Key

  • Learning Environment: independent study
  • Grade Level: grades 9-12
  • Special Audience: adults
  • Educational Methods: critical thinking
  • Religious Perspective: secular but Christian friendly

Publisher's Info

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