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Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of several books, including: Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases (OUP, 2008); How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age, Fifth Edition (2007); Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues (2007); Doing Philosophy: An Introduction Through Thought Experiments, Third Edition (2006); and Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays (OUP, 2005).
Table of Contents
*=New to this Edition
PART 1. BASICS
1. The Power of Critical Thinking
Why It Matters
How It Works
Claims and Reasons
Reasons and Arguments
Arguments in the Rough
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 1
* 2. Obstacles to Critical Thinking
* Psychological Obstacles
The Almighty Self
The Power of the Group
* Philosophical Obstacles
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 2
3. Making Sense of Arguments
Finding Missing Parts
Assessing Long Arguments
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 3
PART 2. REASONS
4. Reasons for Belief and Doubt
When Claims Conflict
Experts and Evidence
Resisting Contrary Evidence
Looking for Confirming Evidence
Preferring Available Evidence
Claims in the News
Inside the News
Sorting Out the News
Advertising and Persuasion
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 4
5. Faulty Reasoning
Appeal to the Person
Appeal to Popularity
Appeal to Tradition
Appeal to Ignorance
Appeal to Emotion
Begging the Question
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 5
PART 3. ARGUMENTS
6. Deductive Reasoning: Propositional Logic
Connectives and Truth Values
Checking for Validity
7. Deductive Reasoning: Categorical Logic
Statements and Classes
Translations and Standard Form
Diagramming Categorical Statements
Sizing Up Categorical Syllogisms
8. Inductive Reasoning
Testing for Causes
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
PART 4. EXPLANATIONS
9. Inference to the Best Explanation
Explanations and Inference
Theories and Consistency
Theories and Criteria
Telling Good Theories from Bad
A Doomed Flight
An Amazing Cure
10. Judging Scientific Theories
Science and Not Science
The Scientific Method
Testing Scientific Theories
Judging Scientific Theories
Copernicus Versus Ptolemy
Evolution Versus Creationism
Science and Weird Theories
Making Weird Mistakes
Leaping to the Weirdest Theory
Mixing What Seems with What Is
Misunderstanding the Possibilities
Judging Weird Theories
Talking with the Dead
11. Judging Moral Arguments and Theories
* Moral Premises
* Evaluating Moral Theories
* Two Important Theories
A Coherent Worldview
Appendix A: Essays for Evaluation
1. "Death Penalty Discriminates Against Black Crime Victims"
2. "Marine Parks"
3. "The Wrong Ruling on Vouchers"
4. "The Kalam Cosmological Argument"
5. "More Innocents Die When We Don't Have Capital Punishment"
6. "Misleading the Patient for Fun and Profit"
7. "Tight Limits on Stem Cells Betray Research Potential"
8. "The Cohabitation Epidemic"
9. "The Demon-Haunted Sentence: A Skeptical Analysis of Reverse Speech"
10. "Amityville: The Horror of It All"
11. "A Deviance from God's Norm"
12. "Marriage Still Evolving, as Ever"
13. "Slouching Toward Chimeras"
14. "The Right to Ridicule"
15. "Time to Think"
* 16. "Torture: Time for Congress to End the Debate"
* 17. "Torture: Severe Interrogations Work"
* 18. "Freedom of Expression: Protect Student Speech-Even 'Unwise' Bong Banner"
* 19. "Freedom of Expression: Policy Reflects Common Sense"
* 20. "Flag Amendment: Congress Nears Choice: Protect Freedom or Stoke Anger?"
* 21. "Flag Amendment: Flag Needs Protection"
Appendix B: Answers to Exercises