Inference and Persuasion

An Introduction to Logic and Critical Reasoning

By Leslie Armour and Richard Feist  

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The central concern of Inference and Persuasion is logic and how becoming better informed about logic ultimately brings more autonomy to thinkers. Part one considers the relationships between reasoning, thought and the world. Becoming clearer about the nature of reasoning, the book stresses, helps to free us. But the logic one chooses must be defended as much as any other body of belief. Unlike standard critical thinking texts, Inference and Persuasion investigates the problems involved in such justifications. Part two is devoted to a consideration of standard logics, including Aristotle’s and modern mathematical, as well as lesser known logics such John Dewey’s and Hegel’s. The goal is to show that the problems of logic are alive and well, not long-settled. Part three discusses how logic and belief relate to one another and offers a non-traditional perspective on the traditional fallacies. The final section considers logic within the context of various academic disciplines. A key point is to show that the ways in which we reason about the world presuppose much about that world.

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Contents

  • Preface
  • BASIC ISSUES IN CRITICAL REASONING
  • Inference, Language and Freedom
  • The Problem of Justifying a “Logic”
  • LOGIC
  • Aristotle’s Logic, Modern Logic and Gödel’s Results
  • John Dewey’s Logic
  • Dialectical Logics
  • BELIEF AND THE FALLACIES
  • Belief and its Justification
  • Unjustifiable Beliefs, Justification and Persuasion
  • The Traditional Fallacies
  • LOGIC AND KNOWLEDGE
  • Logic and Religion
  • Logic and Scientific Inquiry
  • Logic and Historical Reasoning
  • Logic and Morality
  • Logic and Politics

Authors

  • Leslie Armour

    University of Ottawa

    Leslie Armour, with a BA from the University of British Columbia (1952) and a PhD from the University of London (1956), taught Philosophy first in the US, then at Waterloo and at the University of Ottawa (since 1977). Like many Canadians foremost in their fields, his work is better known abroad than at home. He is a pioneer in publishing early Canadian philosophy and has philosophical publications in metaphysics, religion, law, politics and economics.

    His first 3 books, The Rational and the Real (1962), The Concept of Truth (1969) and Logic and Reality (1972), continue the idealist tradition which has influenced much of his work. The idea of Canada has sparked his lifelong, often tumultuous pursuit of just causes, stemming from his time as a student editor, newspaper journalist and contributor to Canadian and British news services. Much of his work (eg, The Idea of Canada and the Crisis of Community (1981) and “The Metaphysics of Community”) reflects Canada’s unique political and philosophical federalism and expresses his sincere commitment to Canada. Armour’s recent work includes publications on Spinoza and Hegel, Being and Idea (1992), and on Pascal, Infini-Rien (1993). A prolific writer, he has over 20 book chapters and 60 journal articles. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences on economics, religious studies and French and German philosophy, and he has published articles in all of the above areas. Armour truly represents the eclecticism of Canadian culture.

  • Richard Feist

    Saint Paul University

    Richard Feist is assistant professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Saint Paul University in Ottawa.