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William Atkinson's

Art Of Logical Thinking

Book page numbers, along with the number to the left of the .htm extension match the page numbers of the original books to ensure easy use in citations for research papers and books


1 - Reasoning - 2 - Process of Reasoning - 3 - The Concept - 4 - The Use of Concepts - 5 - Concepts and Images - 6 - Terms - 7 - Meaning of Terms - 8 - Judgments - 9 - Propositions - 10 - Immediate Reasoning - 11 - Inductive Reasoning - 12 - Reasoning by Induction - 13 - Theory and Hypotheses - 14 - Making and Testing Hypotheses - 15 - Deductive Reasoning - 16 - The Syllogism - 17 - Varieties of Syllogisms - 18 - Reasoning by Analogy - 19 - Fallacies -


Chapter 4 - The Use of Concepts - p. 37

Having observed the several steps or stages of a concept, let us now consider the use and misuse of the latter. At first glance it would appear difficult to misuse a concept, but a little consideration will show that people very commonly fall into error regarding their concepts.

For instance, a child perceives a horse, a cow or a. sheep and hears its elders apply the term " animal" to it. This term is perfectly correct, although symbolizing only a very general classification or generalization. But, the child knowing nothing of the more limited and detailed classification begins to generalize regarding the animal. To it, accordingly, an " animal" is identical with the dog or the cow, the sheep or the horse, as the case may be, and when the term is used the child thinks that all animals are similar to the particular animal seen. Later on, when it hears the term " animal" applied to a totally different looking creature, it thinks that a mistake has been

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