A concise introduction to the basic elements of argumentative prose and the conceptual tools necessary to understand, analyze, criticize, and construct arguments: as well as to the philosophical mainstays of metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophical analysis.
Part 1 Categories, Classification and Definition: Categories; Classification; Definition; Essential Terms of Metaphysics. Part 2 Assessing Claims: Necessary Truths - Analytic Truths, Logical Truths, Necessary-Synthetic Truths; Contingent Truths - Synthetic Truths, Truths of Natural Law; Essential Terms of Epistemology. Part 3 Assessing Inferences: Deductive Inferences - Analytic, Logical/Categorical, Necessary-Synthetic Transcendental, Completely Enumerative; Inductive Inferences - Relative Frequency, Sui-Generis Making-Probable Relation, Incompletely Enumerative, Causal/Lawful Regularity; Abductive Inference; Essential Terms of Epistemology. Part 4 Philosophical Analysis: Kinds of Analysis - Same and New-Level Analysis; Tools of Analysis - the Negative Way, Abstraction and Precision, Distinction and Principled Distinction Thought-Experiments; Essential Terms of Philosophical Analysis. Part 5 Philosophical Writing: Criticize, Understand, Then Write; Be Negative at First; Identify Philosophical Commitments of Your View; Distinguo! Using Latin and Special Terms; Special Terms for Writing Philosophy.