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Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide

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Critical Thinking: A Concise Guideis a much-needed guide to argument analysis and a clear introduction to thinking clearly and rationally for oneself. Through precise and accessible discussion this book equips students with the essential skills required to tell a good argument from a bad one. Key features of the book are: Clear, jargon-free discussion of key concepts in argumentation How to avoid common confusions surrounding words such as '¨‹truth'¨", '¨‹knowledge'¨" and '¨‹opinion'¨" How to identify and evaluate the most common types of argument How to spot fallacies in arguments and tell good reasoning from bad Chapter summaries, glossaries and useful exercises This third edition has been revised and updated throughout, with new exercises, and up-to-date topical examples, including: '¨‹real-world'¨" arguments; practical reasoning; understanding quantitative data, statistics, and the rhetoric used about them; scientific reasoning; and expanded discussion of conditionals, ambiguity, vagueness, slippery slope arguments, and arguments by analogy. The Routledge Critical Thinkingcompanion website, features a wealth of further resources, including examples and case studies, sample questions, practice questions and answers, and student activities. Critical Thinking: A Concise Guideis essential reading for anyone, student or professional, at work or in the classroom, seeking to improve their reasoning and arguing skills.

Table of Contents

Introducing arguments
Beginning to think critically
Aspects of meaning
Necessary and sufficient conditions
Primary and secondary connotation
Standard form
Identifying premises and conclusions
Extraneous material
Arguments and explanations
Extended arguments
Linguistic Phenomena, Rhetoric
Rhetorical questions
Rhetorical ploys spin
Logic: Validity
The Principle of Charity
Deductive Validity
Argument Trees
Conditional Propositions
Deductive Soundness
The connection to formal logic
Logic: Inductive Force
Inductive force 'all', 'most' and 'some'
Soft generalisations
Inductive Soundess
Probability in the premises
Arguments with multiple probabilistic premises
Inductive force in extended arguments
Conditional Probability in the conclusion
Inductive inferences
A programme for assessment
Argument Reconstruction
Extraneous material
Defusing the rhetoric
Logical streamlining
Implicit and explicit
Connecting premises
Covering generalisations
Relevance; Ambiguity and Vagueness
More on generalisations
Practical reasoning Balancing costs, benefits, and probabilities
Explanations as conclusions
Causal generalisations
A shortcut
Argument Assessment
Rational persuasiveness
Some strategies for logical assessment
Refutation by Counterexample
Avoiding the 'who is to say' criticism
Don't merely label the position
Argument commentary
A complete example
Commentary on the commentary
Pseudo Reasoning
Faulty argument techniques
Arguing from analogy
Arguments from authority
Truth, Knowledge and Belief
Truth and relativity
True for me, true for you
Truth, value and morality
Belief, justification and truth
Justification without arguments
Justification failure
Knowledge and rational persuasiveness
Philosophical directions
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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