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Critical Thinking The Art of Argument



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Pub. Date:
Wadsworth Publishing
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  • Critical Thinking The Art of Argument
    Critical Thinking The Art of Argument
  • Critical Thinking: The Art of Argument, 1st Edition
    Critical Thinking: The Art of Argument, 1st Edition


With a complete, approachable presentation, CRITICAL THINKING: THE ART OF ARGUMENT is an accessible yet rigorous introduction to critical thinking. The text emphasizes immediate application of critical-thinking skills to real life. The relevance of these skills is shown throughout the text by highlighting the advantages of basing one's decisions on a thoughtful understanding of arguments and presenting the overarching commonalities across arguments. With its conversational writing style and carefully selected examples, the book employs a consistent and unified treatment of logical form and an innovative semiformal method of standardizing arguments that illustrates the concept of logical form while maintaining a visible connection to ordinary speech. Without sacrificing accuracy or detail, the authors have clearly presented the material with appropriate study tools and exercises that emphasize application rather than memorization.

Table of Contents

Critical Thinking & Arguments
What Critical Thinking Is
What an Argument Is
Statements v. Sentences
Why Think Critically
Finding Arguments
The First Three Steps
Look for an Attempt to Convince
Find the Conclusion
Find the Premises
Complicating Factors
Indicator Words Are Imperfect Guides
Sentence Order
Conclusions and Premises Not in Declarative Form
Unstated Premises and Unstated Conclusions
Things That Are Not Arguments
Questions and Instructions
Putting Arguments into Standard Form
Diagramming Arguments
Chapter Summary
What Makes a Good Argument
The Two Characteristics of a Good Argument
True Premises
The Problem of Ignorance
Proper Form
Deductive and Inductive Arguments
Guide: Terms Used in Logic, Philosophy and Math
Dependent and Independent Premises
Arguing about Arguments
Fallacies and Relevance
Fallacy: Easy Target
Fallacy: Appeal to Popularity
Fallacy: Appeal to Novelty or Tradition
Fallacy: Ad Hominem
Fallacy: Appeal to Ignorance
Fallacy: Begging the Question
Chapter Summary
Premises and Conclusions
Three Kinds of Premises
Empirical Statements
Testimonial Empirical Statements
Definitional Statements
Statements by Experts
Appropriate Credentials
Lack of Bias
Appropriate Area of Expertise
Fallacy: Inappropriate Expertise
Expert Consensus
Guide: Proper Citation of Experts
Premises and the Internet
A Common Mistake
Strength of Conclusions
Scope of Conclusions
Chapter Summary
Identifying Definitions
Extension and Intension
Genus and Species
Dictionary Definitions
Technical Definitions
Evaluating Definitions
Correct Extension
Correct Intension
Language and Clarity
Fallacy: Equivocation
Language and Emotion
Fallacy: Appeal to Emotions
Persuasive Definitions
Rhetorical Devices
Chapter Summary
Propositional Arguments
Identifying Propositional Statements
Conditionals: Some Complications
Evaluating Propositional Arguments
Denying a Disjunct
Fallacy: Affirming an Inclusive Disjunct
Affirming an Exclusive Disjunct
Fallacy: False Dichotomy
Affirming the Antecedent
Fallacy: Denying the Antecedent
Denying the Consequent
Fallacy: Affirming the Consequent
Chapter Summary
Categorical Arguments
Identifying Categorical Statements
Universal Affirmation, All G1 Are G2
Universal Negation, All G1 Are Not G2
Particular Affirmation, Some G1 Are G2
Particular Negation, Some G1 Are Not G2
Evaluating Categorical Arguments with One Premise
Fallacy: Confusing a Contrary and a Contradictory
Evaluating Categorical Arguments with Two Premises
Identifying Categorical Syllogisms
Evaluating Categorical Syllogisms: the Test Method
The Equal Negations Test
The Distributed Conclusion Test
The Distributed Middle Category Test
Evaluating Categorical Syllogisms: the Venn Method
Chapter Summary
Analogical Arguments
Identifying Analogical Arguments
The Form of Analogies
Illustrative Analogies
Uses of Analogies
Logical Analogies
Refutation by Logical Analogy
Evaluating Analogical Arguments
The True Premises Test
The Proper Form Test
Analogies, Consistency, and False Beliefs
Chapter Summary
Statistical Arguments
Descriptive Statistics
The Many Meanings of "Average." Standard Deviation
Identifying Statistical Arguments
Parts of a Statistical Argument
Statistical Arguments and Analogical Arguments
Evaluating Statistical Arguments
The True Premises Test
The Proper Form Test
Sampling Techniques
Statistical Fallacies
Fallacy: Hasty Generalization
Fallacy: Biased Sample
Fallacy: Biased Questions
Chapter Summary
Causal Arguments
The Many Meanings of "Cause." Cause as Necessary Condition
Cause as Sufficient Condition
Cause as Necessary and Sufficient Condition
Contributory Cause
Primary Cause
Remote and Proximate Causes
Identifying Causal Arguments
The Form of a Causal Argument
Evaluating Causal Arguments
Premise (1), Correlation
Binary Correlation
Scalar Correlation
Establishing Correlations, Mill's Methods
The Method of Agreement
The Method of Difference
The Joint Method of Agreement and Difference
The Method of Scalar Variation
Correlation Is Not Causation
Fallacy: Hasty Cause
Fallacy: Causal Slippery Slope
Premise (2), Causation and Time
Fallacy: Post Hoc
Premise (3), Third Party Causation
Causal Arguments by Elimination
Premise (4), Coincidental Correlation
The Scientific Method
Identify the Question to Be Answered
Formulate a Tentative Theory
Check for Correlations
Step 4
Check for Reverse Causation, Third-party Causation, and Coincidental Correlation
Develop New Questions
An Example of the Scientific Method
Chapter Summary
Moral Arguments
Identifying Moral Arguments
Values: Often Overlooked Presuppositions
The Nature of Moral Arguments
Moral Arguments and Truth
Moral Arguments, Emotion, and Self-interest
Evaluating Moral Arguments
Consequentialist Moral Arguments
Deontic Moral Arguments
Aretaic Moral Arguments
Moral Conflict
Chapter Summary
Reference Guide
Alphabetical List of Fallacies
Alphabetical List of Guides
Alphabetical List of Habits of Critical Thinkers
Alphabetical List of Key Concepts
Alphabetical List of Technical Terms
Guide for Finding, Standardizing, and Evaluating Arguments
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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