The Logic of Real Arguments, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


This new and expanded edition of The Logic of Real Arguments explains a distinctive method for analysing and evaluating arguments.

It discusses many examples, ranging from newspaper articles to extracts from classic texts, and from easy passages to much more difficult ones.

It shows students how to use the question 'What argument or evidence would justify me in believing P?', and also how to deal with suppositional arguments beginning with the phrase 'Suppose that X were the case.' It aims to help students to think critically about the kind of sustained, theoretical arguments which they commonly encounter in the course of their studies, including arguments about the natural world, about society, about policy, and about philosophy.

It will be valuable for students and their teachers in a wide range of disciplines including philosophy, law and the social sciences.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Philosophy: logic
  • ISBN: 9780521654814



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The author asserts a "novel method" for handling "complex, important, and hard to handle" arguments. This assertion is an academic's conceit. While his device of employing what he calls the "Assertibility Question" shows promise, his technique of suppositional reasoning which is largely ignored by other scholars in this field, is ignored for a reason: it is not useful. Although the study of argument is a fascinating and rewarding endeavor, which the author warmly conveys particularly well in an appendixed explanation of scientific method and modal logic, he fails to leave us with an improved methodology for evaluating logic in real arguments. Provides excellent examples of 'scientific' arguments--e.g. Pascal's Wager, Karl Marx's challenge to lowering wages, Hume's induction from experience, Karl Popper's falsifiability test, Kuhn's idea of a paradigm.