What is a meaningful argument (and how can I have one?)

Everyone has arguments. Some people seem to have them all the time, others back away from them quickly and do anything to avoid any form of confrontation.

But what enables one person to win lots of debates and arguments, while another seems never to win at all?

Of course, force of personality and an access to relevant facts can help, as can be being a confident natural speaker with a winning smile.

But even so there is more – and there is no doubt that when students actually understand the nature of debate and proof they tend not only to get better A level grades and be better prepared for university and/or employment, but they also win more arguments.

In short, for many students it is a grasp of critical thinking which takes them from a C to a B and a B to an A, which delivers a far more impressive UCAS application, and which enables them to be much more persuasive in interviews and presentations.

The problem for students is that the issue of argument and debate is not just common sense. Even if they get to grips with the difference between such concepts as “claims” and “arguments”, there still remain such puzzling issues as explanations, assumptions, counter-claims, evidence, examples, deduction, induction, generalisation…

It is for these reasons that the volume “Critical Thinking” has been written.

For “Critical Thinking” is about far more than just dismantling and evaluating other people’s arguments; it is also about putting together the student’s own explanations and arguments.

Through examples and activities the volume encourages students to develop their considered point of view in essays, reports, debates, etc, and helps them be prepared to stand back and assess their own reasoning.

Critical Thinking is available as a printed copiable volume or as a CD which can be put on the school’s learning platform for use by students and staff.

You can see some sample pages at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1821.pdf

Publisher’s reference:T1821EMN; ISBN: 978 1 86083 861 3


  • Photocopiable report in a book: £29.95
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95
  • Both the book and the CD: £36.94

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1821EMN

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What is the simplest way of making philosophical arguments accessible to students?

Understanding philosophical argument requires a knowledge of the fundamentals such as logic, argument, empiricism, rationalism, justification, scepticism…

But the study of these concepts can become rather dry and removed from the work of philosophers unless presented in a way that relates to the world of the student, taking them from their own world to these different approaches to that world.

This approach makes the concepts accessible and comprehensible to students before getting into the application of these concepts through the work of specific philosophers and their approaches.

Thus in this volume we look at moral philosophy which takes the student through utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics, to practical ethics looking at topics such as abortion and voluntary euthanasia, and to meta-ethics.

There is also a separate section on the philosophy of region covering ideas of God, cosmological ontological and teleological arguments, faith, reason and belief, and the implications of God’s existence.

After each argument there is an explanation – where necessary – of each part of the argument, followed by discussion of any problems or issues arising. Finally there are questions and points for discussion.

Some of the material on God and Moral Philosophy will also be useful to students of A level Religious Studies whose course includes some Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Of particular relevance are sections on: arguments for the existence of God; faith, reason and belief; religious experience; God and morality; miracles.

There are sample pages from the photocopiable book at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/re/T1706.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1706EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 771 5


  • Photocopiable book: £25.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £25.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £32.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.  Please quote the order ref: T1706EMN

You can purchase the book

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