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Introducing Logic and Critical Thinking

The Skills of Reasoning and the Virtues of Inquiry

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This robust, clear, and well-researched textbook for classes in logic introduces students to both formal logic and to the virtues of intellectual inquiry. Part 1 challenges students to develop the analytical skills of deductive and inductive reasoning, showing them how to identify and evaluate arguments. Part 2 helps students develop the intellectual virtues of the wise inquirer. The book includes helpful pedagogical features such as practice exercises and a concluding summary with definitions of key concepts for each chapter.

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Preface for Instructors
Part 1: The Skills of Reasoning
1. Introduction to Arguments
1.1 Arguments vs. Nonarguments
Exercise 1.1
1.2 Evaluating Arguments
Exercise 1.2
2. Deductive Logic
2.1 Famous Forms Method
Exercise 2.1
2.2 Counterexample Method
Exercise 2.2
2.3 Venn Diagram Method
Exercise 2.3
2.4 Proof Method
Exercise 2.4
2.5 Expanded Proof Method with Predicates and Quantifiers
Exercise 2.5
3. Inductive Logic
3.1 Statistical Syllogism
Exercise 3.1
3.2 Induction by Enumeration
Exercise 3.2
3.3 Arguments from Authority
Exercise 3.3
3.4 Arguments from Analogy
Exercise 3.4
3.5 Inference to the Best Explanation
Exercise 3.5
Part 2: The Virtues of Inquiry
4. Internal Virtues
4.1 Love of Intellectual Excellence
Exercise 4.1
4.2 Intellectual Courage and Caution
Exercise 4.2
4.3 Introspective Vigilance
Exercise 4.3
5. Virtues of Intellectual Dependence
5.1 Trust
Exercise 5.1
5.2 Interpretive Charity
Exercise 5.2
5.3 Intellectual Empathy
Exercise 5.3
6. Virtues of Intellectual Dependability
6.1 Intellectual Generosity
Exercise 6.1
6.2 Communicative Clarity
Exercise 6.2
6.3 Audience Sensitivity
Exercise 6.3
Appendix: Argument Forms and Proof Rules
Glossary of Key Terms


"This excellent textbook both introduces students to logic and invites them to lives of intellectual virtue. Even better, it exemplifies the virtues that it discusses. Byerly's book is a real gift--one that deserves widespread appreciation and use. I won't hesitate to use this book in my own classes, and I will continue to learn from it as well."

Thomas H. McCall, professor of biblical and systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"The Christian academic world has long been waiting for an introduction to logic and critical thinking that is meticulous, lucidly written, relevant, and at the same time attentive to the faith of the church. This is precisely what T. Ryan Byerly provides. Introducing Logic and Critical Thinking is a superb book that will help students to think in a way that is crucial for the mission of the church today."

Andrew Torrance, lecturer in theology, University of St. Andrews

"Introducing Logic and Critical Thinking offers a clear and approachable introduction to formal and informal logic. What differentiates it from other logic textbooks is its focus in part 2 on the virtues of inquiry, where Byerly makes a strong case that good reasoning involves fostering various excellences of thought--both individually and communally. This unique approach will help students to see the practical importance of logic for their own flourishing. I highly recommend this book."

Kevin Timpe, William H. Jellema Chair in Christian Philosophy, Calvin College

"Byerly's clearly written and abundantly illustrated textbook on good reasoning is unique in combining guidance in acquiring the skills of a good reasoner with guidance in acquiring the personal concerns and virtues without which the skills are liable to become instruments of sophistry. Though designed with Christian students especially in mind, Byerly's book is so good that even the most ardent secularists are likely to be tempted to assign it in their courses."

Robert C. Roberts, Distinguished Professor of Ethics, Emeritus, Baylor University

"Introducing Logic and Critical Thinking is an ideal textbook for courses in critical thinking. Byerly covers the familiar range of techniques in deductive and inductive logic with clarity, rigor, and humor. But the unique feature of the book is its use of the intellectual virtue tradition to schematize what--beyond logical techniques--is required to be an excellent inquirer. Students will discover a helpful range of concepts for thinking about the personal qualities that can make inquiry go well (or poorly) along with exercises that will train them to describe successes or failures of inquiry in terms of the virtues. 'Critical thinking' is a buzzword these days, but this book recovers the most venerable tradition of thinking about thinking--that of the intellectual virtues."

Kent Dunnington, associate professor of philosophy, Biola University

"The church desperately needs solid critical thinkers to face the challenges of contemporary culture. I am pleased to recommend T. Ryan Byerly's Introducing Logic and Critical Thinking as an excellent foundation for meeting these challenges. Byerly begins with the basics of logical reasoning and leads readers through a step-by-step method to understand how to evaluate arguments they encounter and to construct strong arguments of their own. His emphasis on the intellectual virtues as primary in critical thinking is especially valuable, as this element is often missing in standard logic textbooks. This much-needed book is for anyone who wishes to become a better disciple of Jesus Christ by loving the Lord with all their heart, mind, and soul."

Mark W. Foreman, professor of philosophy and religion, Liberty University

The Author

  1. T. Ryan Byerly

    T. Ryan Byerly

    T. Ryan Byerly (PhD, Baylor University) is lecturer in philosophy of religion at the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, England. He previously taught at Regent University. He is the author of The Mechanics of Divine Foreknowledge and Providence and...

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