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Asking the Right Questions : A Guide to Critical Thinking

by ;
Edition:
8th
ISBN13:

9780132203043

ISBN10:
0132203049
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/2007
Publisher(s):
Prentice Hall

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Summary

This highly popular text helps students to bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis. It teaches them to respond to alternative points of view and develop a solid foundation for making personal choices about what to accept and what to reject. While the structure of this new edition remains the same, for the sake of currency and relevance about two-thirds of the practice passages are new, as well as many of the longer illustrations and the final critical thinking case. Also, this eighth edition has been revised to emphasize the positive value of critical thinking as a means to autonomy, curiousity, reasonableness, openness, and better decisions.

Table of Contents

Preface viii
1 The Benefit of Asking the Right Questions
1(14)
Introduction
1(1)
Critical Thinking to the Rescue
2(1)
The Sponge and Panning for Gold: Alternative Thinking Styles
3(2)
An Example of the Panning-for-Gold Approach
5(2)
Panning for Gold: Asking Critical Questions
7(1)
The Myth of the "Right Answer"
7(1)
Thinking and Feeling
8(1)
The Efficiency of Asking the Question, "Who Cares?"
9(1)
Weak-Sense and Strong-Sense Critical Thinking
10(1)
The Satisfaction of Using the Panning-for-Gold Approach
11(1)
Trying Out New Answers
11(1)
Effective Communication and Critical Thinking
12(1)
The Importance of Practice
12(1)
The Right Questions
13(2)
2 What Are the Issue and the Conclusion?
15(10)
Kinds of Issues
16(1)
Searching for the Issue
17(1)
Searching for the Author's or Speaker's Conclusion
18(1)
Clues to Discovery: How to Find the Conclusion
19(2)
Critical Thinking and Your Own Writing and Speaking
21(1)
Practice Exercises
22(3)
3 What Are the Reasons?
25(12)
Reasons + Conclusion = Argument
26(1)
Initiating the Questioning Process
27(2)
Words That Identify Reasons
29(1)
Kinds of Reasons
29(2)
Keeping the Reasons and Conclusions Straight
31(1)
Reasons First, Then Conclusions
32(1)
"Fresh" Reasons and Your Growth
32(1)
Critical Thinking and Your Own Writing and Speaking
33(1)
Practice Exercises
33(4)
4 What Words or Phrases Are Ambiguous?
37(16)
The Confusing Flexibility of Words
38(1)
Locating Key Terms and Phrases
39(1)
Checking for Ambiguity
40(1)
Determining Ambiguity
41(2)
Context and Ambiguity
43(1)
Ambiguity, Definitions, and the Dictionary
44(2)
Ambiguity and Loaded Language
46(2)
Limits of Your Responsibility to Clarify Ambiguity
48(1)
Ambiguity and Your Own Writing and Speaking
48(1)
Summary
49(1)
Practice Exercises
50(3)
5 What Are the Value Conflicts and Assumptions?
53(18)
General Guide for Identifying Assumptions
55(1)
Value Conflicts and Assumptions
56(1)
Discovering Values
57(1)
From Values to Value Assumptions
58(2)
Typical Value Conflicts
60(1)
The Communicator's Background as a Clue to Value Assumptions
61(1)
Consequences as Clues to Value Assumptions
61(2)
More Hints for Finding Value Assumptions
63(1)
Avoiding a Typical Difficulty When Identifying Value Assumptions
64(1)
Finding Value Assumptions on Your Own
65(2)
Values and Relativism
67(1)
Summary
68(1)
Practice Exercises
68(3)
6 What Are the Descriptive Assumptions?
71(12)
Illustrating Descriptive Assumptions
72(2)
Clues for Locating Assumptions
74(2)
Applying the Clues
76(2)
Avoiding Analysis of Trivial Assumptions
78(1)
Assumptions and Your Own Writing and Speaking
78(1)
Summary
79(1)
Practice Exercises
79(4)
7 Are There Any Fallacies in the Reasoning?
83(20)
A Questioning Approach to Finding Reasoning Fallacies
85(1)
Evaluating Assumptions as a Starting Point
86(2)
Discovering Other Common Reasoning Fallacies
88(6)
Looking for Diversions
94(2)
Sleight of Hand: Begging the Question
96(1)
Summary of Reasoning Errors
97(2)
Expanding Your Knowledge of Fallacies
99(1)
Fallacies and Your Own Writing and Speaking
99(1)
Practice Exercises
99(4)
8 How Good is the Evidence: Intuition, Personal Experience, Testimonials, and Appeals to Authority?
103(14)
The Need for Evidence
104(1)
Locating Factual Claims
105(1)
Sources of Evidence
106(1)
Intuition as Evidence
107(1)
Dangers of Appealing to Personal Experience as Evidence
108(1)
Personal Testimonials as Evidence
109(1)
Appeals to Authority as Evidence
110(3)
Summary
113(1)
Practice Exercises
114(3)
9 How Good is the Evidence: Personal Observation, Research Studies, Case Examples, and Analogies?
117(20)
Personal Observation
117(1)
Research Studies as Evidence
118(5)
Generalizing from the Research Sample
123(1)
Biased Surveys and Questionnaires
124(2)
Critical Evaluation of a Research-Based Argument
126(2)
Case Examples as Evidence
128(1)
Analogies as Evidence
129(4)
Summary
133(1)
Practice Exercises
134(3)
10 Are There Rival Causes? 137(18)
When to Look for Rival Causes
138(1)
The Pervasiveness of Rival Causes
139(2)
Detecting Rival Causes
141(1)
The Cause or A Cause
142(1)
Rival Causes and Scientific Research
143(1)
Rival Causes for Differences Between Groups
144(2)
Confusing Causation with Association
146(1)
Confusing "After this" with "Because of this"
147(2)
Explaining Individual Events or Acts
149(1)
Evaluating Rival Causes
150(1)
Evidence and Your Own Writing and Speaking
150(1)
Summary
150(1)
Practice Exercises
151(4)
11 Are the Statistics Deceptive? 155(12)
Unknowable and Biased Statistics
156(1)
Confusing Averages
156(2)
Concluding One Thing, Proving Another
158(1)
Deceiving by Omitting Information
159(2)
Risk Statistics and Omitted Information
161(1)
Summary
162(1)
Practice Exercises
163(4)
12 What Significant Information is Omitted? 167(14)
The Benefits of Detecting Omitted Information
168(1)
The Certainty of Incomplete Reasoning
168(2)
Questions that Identify Omitted Information
170(4)
The Importance of the Negative View
174(1)
Omitted Information That Remains Missing
175(1)
Missing Information and Your Own Writing and Speaking
176(1)
Practice Exercises
176(5)
13 What Reasonable Conclusions Are Possible? 181(12)
Assumptions and Multiple Conclusions
182(1)
Dichotomous Thinking: Impediment to Considering Multiple Conclusions
182(1)
Two Sides or Many?
183(3)
Searching for Multiple Conclusions 185 Productivity of If-Clauses
186(1)
Alternative Solutions as Conclusions
187(1)
The Liberating Effect of Recognizing Alternative Conclusions
188(1)
All Conclusions Are Not Created Equal
188(1)
Summary
189(7)
Practice Exercises
196
14 Practice and Review 193(12)
Question Checklist for Critical Thinking
193(1)
Asking the Right Questions: A Comprehensive Example
194(2)
What Are the Issue and Conclusion?
196(1)
What Are the Reasons?
196(1)
What Words or Phrases Are Ambiguous?
197(1)
What Are the Value Conflicts and Assumptions?
198(1)
What are the Descriptive Assumptions?
198(1)
Are There Any Fallacies in the Reasoning?
199(1)
How Good Is the Evidence?
200(1)
Are There Rival Causes?
201(1)
Are the Statistics Deceptive?
201(1)
What Significant Information Is Omitted?
202(1)
What Reasonable Conclusions Are Possible?
203(2)
Final Word 205(4)
The Tone of Your Critical Thinking
205(1)
Strategies for Effective Critical Thinking
206(3)
Index 209


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