Students learn argument analysis through argument diagrams, with color-coding of the argument's various elements -- conclusion, claims, and "indicator phrases." (An online "mini-course" in argument diagramming and argument diagramming software are both freely available online.) Each chapter ends with exercises and reading questions.
After a general introduction to philosophy and logic and an explanation of argument analysis, the book presents selections from primary sources, arranged by topics that correspond to contemporary debates, with detailed analysis and evaluation. These topics include philosophy of religion, epistemology, theory of mind, free will and determinism, and ethics; authors include Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Ryle, Fodor, Dennett, Searle, and others. What Is the Argument? not only introduces students to great philosophical thinkers, it also teaches them the essential skill of critical thinking.