Within Reason
A Guide to Non-Deductive Reasoning
  • Publication Date: May 31, 1995
  • ISBN: 9780921149552 / 0921149557
  • 196 pages; 6" x 9"
Exam Copy

Academics please note: this title is classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. However, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption.

Availability: Worldwide

Within Reason

A Guide to Non-Deductive Reasoning

  • Publication Date: May 31, 1995
  • ISBN: 9780921149552 / 0921149557
  • 196 pages; 6" x 9"

Seldom does human reasoning fit the standards of deduction. Yet logicians have tended to use the strict standards of deductive validity for assessing all inferences. Within Reason develops instead a way of assessing arguments and inferences that is directly appropriate to the non-deductive forms people regularly use. It uses analogy, and argument from analogy, to provide a thread that unites various forms: raising objections, inductions of various sorts, arguments to explanation (or hypothesis), and arguments to action. The discussion is developed progressively, at each stage building on the skills learned previously. And at each stage the book suggetss ways of assessing the strength of reasoning. Most of the examples are taken from the great texts of the Western tradition. In the exercises that form an integral part of each chapter an even broader range of writing is presented, offering instructors an extraordinary variety of texts at various levels ot assign to their students.

The thesis implicit in the book is that induction, arguments to explanation and arguments to action are all sophisticated forms of arguments from analogy. Burbidge is concerned not simply to warn against the misuse of non-deductive reasoning but also to develop a more positive theory that allows us both to better udnerstand the workings of non-deductive reasoning, and to better employ it.

Comments

“ … an important and unique contribution … an excellent text … The various chapters on forms of induction, analogy, and correlation are well done … the chapters on argument to explanation, reasoning for action and argumentation that does not clearly fall into any of the determinable forms of reasoning are the real highlight of the book … Within Reason is among the very best books to appear that deal with argumentation and reasoning in the real contexts in which they occur.” — Joseph C. Flay, Penn State University

Introduction

  1. Analogy
  2. Argument from Analogy
  3. Replies to Objections
  4. Induction
  5. Statistical Induction
  6. Correlation
  7. Argument to Explanation
  8. Reasoning for Action
  9. Irregular Arguments

John Burbidge is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Trent University. He is the author, translator, or editor of five other books, including On Hegel’s Logic, and Hegel in His Time.