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The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Third Edition, presents the broadest range of tools for today's critical thinking students to apply in any arena, from everyday life to academia, and from science to the media. It explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating important topics that most other texts leave out, such as "inference to the best explanation," scientific reasoning, evidence and authority, visual reasoning, and obstacles to critical thinking. The Power of Critical Thinking, Third Edition, integrates many pedagogical features, including hundreds of diverse exercises, examples, and illustrations; text boxes that apply critical thinking to student experience; step-by-step guidelines for evaluating claims, arguments, and explanations; a glossary of important terms; many reminders, summaries, and review notes; and five progressive, stand-alone writing modules interspersed throughout the text. Written in a student-friendly style and enhanced by humor, this text is ideal for courses in critical thinking, introduction to logic, informal logic, argumentative writing, and introduction to argumentation. New to the Third Edition: * Six new "Essays for Evaluation" (three pairs arranged in a pro/con format, each pair debating a single issue) * An expanded Chapter 11 on moral reasoning * New, more instructive photos that encourage critical thinking about visual elements * More guidance on doing research and judging sources * A revised text box program that includes "Newsmakers" and "From the Web" in addition to "For Further Thought" * Updated pop culture and political references and examples--many ripped from the headlines or drawn from everyday life The Power of Critical Thinking, Third Edition, is supplemented by an Instructor's Manual with Computerized Test Bank (available both in print and on a CD) and a Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/criticalthinking that includes instructor resources and a student study guide.
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 Preface 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 Summary Exercises Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 1 Writing Assignments * 2. Obstacles to Critical Thinking * Psychological Obstacles The Almighty Self The Power of the Group * Philosophical Obstacles Subjective Relativism Social Relativism Skepticism Summary Exercises Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 2 Writing Assignments 3. Making Sense of Arguments Argument Basics Judging Arguments Finding Missing Parts Argument Patterns Diagramming Arguments Assessing Long Arguments Summary Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 3 Writing Assignments PART 2. REASONS 4. Reasons for Belief and Doubt When Claims Conflict Experts and Evidence Personal Experience Impairment Expectation Innumeracy Fooling Ourselves Resisting Contrary Evidence Looking for Confirming Evidence Preferring Available Evidence Claims in the News Inside the News Sorting Out the News Advertising and Persuasion Identification Slogans Misleading Comparisons Weasel Words Summary Exercises Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 4 Writing Assignments 5. Faulty Reasoning Irrelevant Premises Genetic Fallacy Composition Division Appeal to the Person Equivocation Appeal to Popularity Appeal to Tradition Appeal to Ignorance Appeal to Emotion Red Herring Straw Man Unacceptable Premises Begging the Question False Dilemma Slippery Slope Hasty Generalization Faulty Analogy Summary Exercises Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 5 Writing Assignments PART 3. ARGUMENTS 6. Deductive Reasoning: Propositional Logic Connectives and Truth Values Conjunction Disjunction Negation Conditional Checking for Validity Simple Arguments Tricky Arguments Streamlined Evaluation Summary Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Writing Assignments 7. Deductive Reasoning: Categorical Logic Statements and Classes Translations and Standard Form Terms Quantifiers Diagramming Categorical Statements Sizing Up Categorical Syllogisms Summary Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Writing Assignments 8. Inductive Reasoning Enumerative Induction Sample Size Representativeness Opinion Polls Analogical Induction Causal Arguments Testing for Causes Causal Confusions Necessary and Sufficient Conditions Summary Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Writing Assignments PART 4. EXPLANATIONS 9. Inference to the Best Explanation Explanations and Inference Theories and Consistency Theories and Criteria Testability Fruitfulness Scope Simplicity Conservatism Telling Good Theories from Bad A Doomed Flight An Amazing Cure Summary Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Writing Assignments 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 Crop Circles Talking with the Dead Summary Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Writing Assignments 11. Judging Moral Arguments and Theories Moral Arguments * Moral Premises Moral Theories * Evaluating Moral Theories * Two Important Theories A Coherent Worldview Summary Exercises Field Problems Self-Assessment Quiz Integrative Exercises Writing Assignments 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 Notes Glossary Credits Index