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Rulebook for Arguments Paperback – 1 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc; 4th Revised edition edition (1 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872209547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872209541
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

This is the ultimate 'how-to' book for anyone who wants to use reasons and evidence in support of conclusions, to be clear instead of confusing, persuasive instead of dogmatic, and better at evaluating the arguments of others. No one outgrows its forty-five timeless rules, all explained and illustrated with vivid examples. The fourth edition, even more elegantly organized and concise than before, adds new material on oral presentations and Web sources that everyone needs. --Debra Nails, Michigan State University I'm very pleased with the new edition of this book. I've been using A Rulebook for Arguments for several years now in my critical thinking course with great success ... the chapters on generalizations (formerly arguments by examples), sources (arguments by authority), and arguments about causes have all improved substantially. Thanks for a great new edition! --David Morrow, Hunter College An elegant, concise, and consistently useful little book that every student needs. --Rachel Hadas, Rutgers University

About the Author

Anthony Weston is Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Elon University.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sphex on 23 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
This review from the 3rd edn (A Rulebook for Arguments).

When we hear that two friends have had an argument, we think of them falling out, of having "a verbal fistfight" and possibly even a real one, and of this being not at all a good thing (although our ears still prick up). In his introduction to this excellent little book, Anthony Weston provides a more positive account: "to give an argument" means "to offer a set of reasons or evidence in support of a conclusion". This kind of argument is neither simply a statement of certain views nor a dispute, but an attempt to support those views with reasons. "Not all views are equal. Some conclusions can be supported by good reasons; others have much weaker support." Argument is essential "because it is a way of trying to find out which views are better than others".

As the title implies, Weston's approach is not intended to be definitive. Brevity is one of the book's virtues, and he takes seriously his own rule 4: "Be concrete and concise". Good reasoning is so important, mastery of the basics so elusive, that focusing on a few fundamentals is a worthwhile strategy. The trouble is, most of us imagine we are well-enough equipped already, so why bother with a book like this? That it's always the other person who is not being reasonable should give us pause: could we ever be that "other person"? Given how often even these few rules are broken in everyday life, and given how easy it is to remain unaware of their transgression, the answer is of course yes. Equally obviously, those most in need of a dose of logical thinking will be among the least likely to pick up a book like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom on 3 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this, It sits well beside the (rather better known) 'Straight and Crooked Thinking'. Aimed at students, and others, required to produce extensive polemics in the course of their work, and it is very useful in that context
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sobrino on 25 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is very slim, but it is packed with essential, useful information. It is set out logically so that the rules follow each other in a natural sequence - making them easier to remember. The rules are concise, but explained in sufficient detail. This book really doesn't need to be any longer.
Good value for money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeandCake on 16 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My class was recommended this book by my English Literature tutor at university to help use write our essays. It's a very slim volume and I found quite a few of its sections useful for helping me structure the arguments in my essays.
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This is a superb little book that many lecturers at my University swore by. During my time teaching presentation and debating skills to students, this was the key book. Short, sweet, and straight to the point. Very easy to read as well. Great purchase.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Seb on 16 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Very interesting book, covers the basics of argumentation. I feel that it is more directed to students in general rather than people wanting to learn more on how to provide strong arguments. On the whole very insightful.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Yay!! TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had this book several months. Initially I skipped though it it's very concise, a quick read.

Now some 10 books later, I appreciate it hugely.

The last chapter concerns logical fallacies. It's this chapter that I constantly refer to. Often you can see the error, but you just need a name of it. This book short-cuts to the error.

1. If you're not studying for an exam, then the best book found so far is "Ask the right questions" 9th edition. If you can only afford 1 book, buy this one.
2. If you're studying for A Level then the OCR series on Critical Thinking Books 1 & 2 especially are excellent textbooks with exam hints of what will be particularly tested at A Level.
3. This book is superb for revisiting and finding the Latin names of all these logical fallacies. It's probably one that you'd use again and again, and appreciate more as time goes on.

It's small, A5 size, so tends to float around with me as it's so light and easy to carry.

So on reflection, after months of using this book, it's superb and a solid investment in Critical Thinking.
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