9780190692896

Concise Guide to Critical Thinking

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780190692896

  • ISBN10:

    0190692898

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-10-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

Lewis Vaughn's Concise Guide to Critical Thinking offers a compact, clear, and economical introduction to critical thinking and argumentative writing. Based on his best-selling text, The Power of Critical Thinking, Fifth Edition, this affordable volume is more manageable than larger textbooks yet more substantial than many of the smaller critical thinking handbooks.

FEATURES

* Six chapters on identifying, evaluating, and devising deductive and inductive arguments

* A chapter on obstacles to critical thinking

* Comprehensive coverage of inference to the best explanation

* Extensive treatment of scientific reasoning, with chapters on inductive reasoning, causal arguments, scientific theories and inference, and scientific method and theory evaluation

* Emphasis on evaluation of evidence, authority, and credibility

* A chapter on fallacies and rhetorical persuaders

* A substantial chapter on writing argumentative essays

* Numerous exercises, including review questions, exercises for applying critical thinking skills, writing assignments and prompts, and self-assessment quizzes

Author Biography


Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Living Philosophy, Second Edition (OUP, 2017), The Moral Life, Sixth Edition (2017), and Bioethics, Third Edition (OUP, 2016).

Table of Contents


Each chapter ends with Key Words, Exercises, a Self-Assessment Quiz, and Writing Assignments.
Chapter 1. Critical Thinking, Facts, and Feelings
Why It Matters
Claims and Reasons
Reasons and Arguments
Arguments in the Rough
Chapter 2. Obstacles to Critical Thinking
Psychological Obstacles
Self-Centered Thinking
Group-Centered Thinking
Resisting Contrary Evidence
Looking for Confirming Evidence
Preferring Available Evidence
Philosophical Obstacles
Subjective Relativism
Social Relativism
Skepticism
Chapter 3. Identifying and Evaluating Arguments
Argument Basics
Judging Arguments
Uncovering Implied Premises
Assessing Long Arguments
Chapter 4. Deductive Argument Patterns
Common Forms
Modus Ponens
Modus Tollens
Hypothetical Syllogism
Disjunctive Syllogism
Invalid Argument Forms
Reductio Ad Absurdum
Chapter 5. Inductive Arguments and Statistics
Enumerative Induction
Sample Size
Representativeness
Opinion Polls
Analogical Induction
Relevant Similarities
Relevant Dissimilarities
The Number of Instances Compared
Diversity Among Cases
Chapter 6. Evidence and Experts
When Claims Conflict
Experts and Authorities
Biased Opinions
The Evidence of Personal Experience
Impairment
Expectation
Innumeracy and Probability
Advertising and Persuasion
Identification
Slogans
Misleading Comparisons
Weasel Words
Evaluating Sources: The Internet and Beyond
Chapter 7. Causal Arguments
Testing for Causes
Agreement or Difference
Both Agreement and Difference
Correlation
Causal Confusions
Misidentifying Relevant Factors
Mishandling Multiple Factors
Being Misled by Coincidence
Confusing Cause with Temporal Order
Confusing Cause and Effect
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
Chapter 8. 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
Chapter 9. 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
Chapter 10. Fallacies and Persuaders
Fallacies: 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
Two Wrongs Make a Right
Fallacies: Unacceptable Premises
Begging the Question
False Dilemma
Decision-Point Fallacy
Slippery Slope
Hasty Generalization
Persuaders: Rhetorical Moves
Innuendo
Euphemisms and Dysphemisms
Stereotyping
Ridicule
Rhetorical Definitions
Chapter 11. Critical Thinking in Morality and the Law
Moral Arguments
Moral Premises
Moral Theories
Evaluating Moral Theories
Two Important Theories
Legal Reasoning
A Coherent Worldview
Chapter 12. Writing Argumentative Essays
Basic Essay Structure
Guidelines for Writing the Essay
From Issue to Thesis
From Thesis to Outline
From Outline to First Draft
Matters of Style and Content
Definitions
Ambiguity
Vagueness
An Annotated Sample Paper
Appendix A: Answers to Exercises
Appendix B: Answers to Self-Assessment Quizzes
Glossary
Index

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