Tag Archive

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 10

Published on January 19, 2014 By sirrahc

Part 10: Scarecrows, Decoys, and Invisible Elephants We get three lessons today, boys and girls, as we head into the home stretch for this series (sort of)! Straw Man Everyone has heard of this one. You don’t have to be involved in debates and discussions on controversial topics for long before someone accuses someone else […]

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 9

Published on December 15, 2013 By sirrahc

Part 9: Apples, Oranges, and Character Assassination “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”  — Socrates Only two fallacies on the docket today, but they are biggies! Category mistake/error I’m sure you have heard the term, “It’s apples and oranges.” Maybe you have used it, yourself. When Person A says this […]

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 8

Published on November 17, 2013 By sirrahc

Part 8: Validity and Clarity “Most of the arguments to which I am party fall somewhat short of being impressive, owing to the fact that neither I nor my opponent knows what we are talking about.”  — Robert Benchley, American columnist & actor Hey, folks! Ready for another lesson in logic? Of course, you are!! […]

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 6

Published on August 19, 2013 By sirrahc

Part 6: Avoiding Presumptions “A presumption becomes a self-refuting assertion.”   — R. Alan Woods Following hot on the heels of “Part 5: Facts Over Feelings”, today’s logical fallacies involve inappropriate presumptions that confuse and invalidate one’s argument. (Of course, I would never do this! … OK, OK, maybe.) Sometimes when making a case or […]

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 5

Published on August 14, 2013 By sirrahc

Part 5: Facts Over Feelings “Feelings should never supersede rational thought… so, if you feel that you’ve got the answer, you should think some more.”  — Julie Ann Elliott-Morton Up to this point in the series, we have dealt with the basics. We learned about the fundamental laws of logic, categorical propositions and logical relationships. […]

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 4

Published on July 22, 2013 By sirrahc

Part 4: Three Ways to Argue Meanwhile, at the clinic… Client (Michael Palin): “Aha! If you’re arguing, I must have paid.” Mr. Barnard (John Cleese): “Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time….” OK, if you aren’t a Monty Python fan (and I am only marginally) and you don’t understand the above quote, […]

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 3

Published on July 14, 2013 By sirrahc

Part 3: Logical Suicide and Staying on TRACK “Without good support, not only is it a ‘bad argument’, it’s merely opinion.”  — me Welcome back! (Or, just “Welcome!”, if this is the first part you read in this series.) So far, we’ve been learning some fundamental ideas in what is known as “informal logic”. We […]

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 2

Published on June 16, 2013 By sirrahc

Part 2: Propositions and Logical Relationships “Having, then, once introduced an element of inconsistency into his system, he was far too consistent not to be inconsistent consistently, and he lapsed ere long into an amiable indifferentism which to outward appearance differed but little from the indifferentism….”  — Samuel Butler, iconoclastic Victorian author Despite what you […]

Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 1

Published on June 12, 2013 By sirrahc

Part 1:  Firm Foundation “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”  — Popeye, the sailorman Given the subjects that I usually read and write about on this blog, critical thinking really comes in handy. Not that I’m some great logician or anything. Far from it! But, over the last few years, […]

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