Critical Thinking

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-12-02
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
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More than any other textbook, Moore and Parker's Critical Thinking has defined the structure and content of the critical thinking course at colleges and universities across the country-and the authors have done so with a fun and witty writing style that students actually enjoy. The seventh edition provides fresh topical examples and exercises taken from the real world, even more clear and focused explanations, and dramatically expanded online resources.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Critical Thinking Basics



Other Concepts and Terms


Value Judgments

Basic Critical Thinking Skills

Two Kinds of Good Argument

Deductive Arguments

Inductive Arguments

Recognizing Arguments

The Two Parts of an Argument
The Language of Arguments

Two Confusions about Argument

Arguments and Explanations
Arguments and Persuasion

Relevance, Rhetoric, and Keeping a Clear Head



Box 1-1 In the Media: The Talk Show Syndrome

Box 1-2 On Language: Doing Things with Words

Box 1-3 Real Life: The Greatest President?

Chapter 2: Clear Thinking, Critical Thinking, and Clear Writing


Box 2-3 On Language: A Weakest Link Quiz

Vague and Misleading Comparisons

Ambiguous Claims

Semantic ambiguity
Syntax ambiguity
Grouping ambiguity

The Fallacies of Composition and Division

Recognizing and Deciphering Ambiguity

Defining Terms

The Purpose of Definitions
Types of Definitions
Rhetorical Definitions

Writing Argumentative Essays

Principles of organization and focus
Good writing practices

Essay types to avoid

Persuasive writing

Writing in a Diverse Society



Box 2-1 Real Life: Who Said What?

Box 2-2 In the Media: Say What?

Box 2-4 Real Life: Misleading Comparisons in Medical Studies

Box 2-5 Real Life: Cause for Alarm?

Box 2-6 In the Media: A Misleading Mathematical Visual

Box 2-7 Real Life: Misleading Averages

Box 2-8: On Language: Making Ambiguity Work for You

Box 2-9: On Language: Check Your Chart

Box 2-10: In Depth: More Examples of Critical Thinking

Box 2-11: On Language: And while Were on the Subject of Good Writing

Box 2-12: On Language: Avoiding Sexist Language

Chapter 3: Credibility

The Claim and its Source

Assessing the Content of the Claim

Does the Claim Conflict with Our Personal Observations?
Does the Claim Conflict with our Background


Credibility of a Source

Credibility and the News Media

Government Management of the News
Media Foul-Ups
Bias within the Media
Talk Radio
The Internet




Box 3-1: Real Life: The Nigerian Advance Fee 419 Fraud: The Internets Longest-Running Scam

Box 3-2: Real Life: Could he be an Interested Party?

Box 3-3: Real Life: Who Do You Trust?

Box 3-4: In the Media: The Lake Wobegon Effect

Box 3-5: Real Life: Eyewitness Accounts

Box 3-6: Real Life: When is a Scam not a Scam?

Box 3-7: Real Life: The Boeing 757 Conspiracy

Box 3-8: Real Life: Fib Wizards

Box 3-9: Real Life: Who Can you trust?

Box 3-10: Real Life: Do Your Ears Stick Out

Box 3-11: In the Media: Schwarzeneggers News

Box 3-12: In the Media: Fox news, PBS, and Misperceptions of the Iraq War

Box 3-13: In the Media: Saving Private Jessica

Box 3-14: In the Media: The Public Agony over Terri Schiavo

Box 3-15: In the Media: Bloggers on Prime Time

Box 3-16: Real Life: When is an Ad not an Ad? When its Product Placement!

Box 3-17: On Language: Celebrity Endorsements We Can Live With

Chapter 4: Persuasion through Rhetoric: Common Devices and Techniques

Euphemisms and Dysphemisms

Rhetorical Comparisons, Definitions, and Explanations



Loaded Questions



Horse Laugh/Ridicule/Sarcasm


Proof Surrogates

Persuasive Rhetoric in Photographs and Other Images



Box 4-1: Real Life: The Death Tax

Box 4-2: On Language: Dont Think of an Elephant

Box 4-3: On Language: Legislative Misnomers

Box 4-4: In the Media: Photographic Innuendo

Box 4-5: In Depth: Innuendo with Statistics

Box 4-6: In Depth: Dont Get Carried Away

Chapter 5: More Rhetorical Devices: Psychological and Related Fallacies

The Argument from Outrage

Scare Tactics

Other Fallacies based on Emotions


Everyone Knows

Subjectivism Again

The Relativist Fallacy

Two Wrongs Make a Right

Red Herring/Smokescreen



Box 5-1: In the Media: Christopher Shay as a beauty queen

Box 5-2: Examples from Life: Rhetoric and Social Security

Box 5-3: Examples from Life: Knee Operation Judged Useless

Box 5-4: In the Media: Positive Outlook Wont Delay Cancer Death, Study Says

Box 5-5: Examples from Life: The Great White Van

Box 5-6: Examples from Life: A Red Herring in a Letter to Time

Chapter 6: More Fallacies

The Ad Hominem Fallacy

The Personal Attack Ad Hominem
The Inconsistency Ad Hominem
Circumstantial Ad Hominem
Poisoning the Well

Genetic Fallacy

Positive Ad Hominem Fallacies

Straw Man

False Dilemma

The Perfectionist Fallacy
Line Drawing Fallacy

Slippery Slope

Misplacing the Burden of Proof

Begging the Question



Box 6-1: In Depth: The Double Standard

Box 6-2: In the Media: Straw Man in the Elder Competition

Box 6-3: Real Life: Photo False Dilemma

Box 6-4: Real Life: $8 Billion, Down the Tube

Box 6-5: In the Media: A Double Slippery Slope

Box 6-6: In Depth: Innocent Until Proved Guilty

Box 6-7: In the Media: So Much for Presumed Innocent

Box 6-8: Real Life: Getting Really Worked up over Ideas

Chapter 7: The Anatomy and Varieties of Arguments

Arguments: General Features and Review

Conclusions Used as Premises
Unstated Premises and Conclusions

Deductive Logic

A Mistaken Concept of Deduction

Inductive Logic

Unstated Premises

Identifying Unstated Premises

Techniques for Understanding Arguments

Clarifying an Arguments Structure
Distinguishing Arguments from Window Dressing

Evaluating Arguments



Box 7-1: In Depth: Conclusion Indicators

Box 7-2: In Depth: Premise Indicators

Box 7-3: In Depth: Dont Confuse Arguments with Explanations!

Box 7-4: Real Life: Abe Lincoln Knew his Logic

Box 7-5: On Language: Everyday English Definitions

Box 7-6: In Depth: Unstated Arguments

Box 7-7: In Depth: Dont Forget Fallacies

Box 7-8: On Language: Stupid Liberal!

Chapter 8: Deductive Arguments I: Categorical Logic Categorical Claims

Venn Diagrams
Translation into Standard Form
The Square of Opposition

Three Categorical Operations


Categorical Syllogisms

The Venn Diagram Method of Testing for Validity
Categorical Syllogisms with Unstated Premises
Real-Life Syllogisms
The Rules Method of Testing for Validity


Additional Exercises

Box 8-1: On Language! The Most Versatile Word in English

Box 8-2: In Depth: Venn Diagrams for the Three Operations

Box 8-3: In Depth: Two Common Mistakes

Box 8-4: Real Life: Brodie!

Box 8-5: In Depth: Additional Common Invalid Argument Forms

Box 8-6: Real Life: Wolfowitz and the World Bank

Chapter 9: Deductive Arguments II: Truth-Functional Logic

Truth Tables and the Truth-Functional Symbols

Claims Variables
Truth Tables
Symbolizing Compound Claims

Truth-functional Logic and Electrical Circuits

Symbolizing Compound Claims

If and Only If
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions



Truth-Functional Arguments


Group I Rules: Elementary Valid Argument Patterns
Rule 1: Modus ponens (MP), also known as affirming the antecedent
Rule 2: Modus tollens (MT), also known as denying the consequent
Rule 3: Chain Argument (CA)
Rule 4: Disjunctive argument (DA)
Rule 5: Simplification (SIM)
Rule 6: Conjunction (CONJ)
Rule 7: Addition (ADD)
Rule 8: Constructive dilemma (CD)
Rule 9: Destructive dilemma (DD)
Group II Rules: Truth-Functional Equivalences
Rule 10: Double Negation (DN)
Rule 11: Commutation (COM)
Rule 12: Implication (IMPL)
Rule 13: Contraposition (CONTR)
Rule 14: DeMorgans Laws (DEM)
Rule 15: Exportation (EXP)
Rule 16: Association (ASSOC)
Rule 17: Distribution (DIST)
Rule 18: Tautology (TAUT)
Conditional Proof

Box 9-1: In Depth: Test Yourself

Box 9-2: Real Life: Truth-Functional Trickery

Box 9-3: Real Life: Hell Hath Enlarged Herself

Box 9-4: On Language: Another If and Only if Confusion

Box 9-5: Real Life: Rule I

Box 9-6: In Depth: Some Common Truth-Functional Argument Patterns

Box 9-7: Real Life: If the Dollar Falls

Chapter 10: Inductive Arguments Analogical Arguments

Inductive Generalizations

Formal and Informal Inductive Arguments

Example of a Formal Generalization: A Political Poll

Random Variation: Problems and Solutions

Sample Size

Informal Inductive Arguments

Informal Error Margins: Cautious Conclusions
Informal Confidence Levels: Hedging our Bets
Summing Up: Evaluating Inductive Generalizations and Analogical Arguments


Polls: Problems and Pitfalls

Self-Selected Samples
Slanted Questions

Playing by the Numbers


Box 10-1 Real Life: Bears!

Box 10-2 In Depth: Typical Sample Cases: Deduction in Disguise

Box 10-3 Real Life: The Great Slip-ups of 1948

Box 10-4 On Language: Danger: Doctors and Guns

Box 10-5 Real Life: Who do you Trust?

Box 10-6 On Language: Ask Us No [Loaded] Questions; Well Tell You Lies

Box 10-7 Real Life: Welcome to Saint Simpsons

Box 10-8 In Depth: Which is More Likely

Chapter 11: Causal Arguments

Informal Causal Reasoning

Two Basic Patterns of Causal Reasoning

Relevant Difference Reasoning
Common-Thread Reasoning

Common Mistakes in Informal Causal Reasoning

General Causal Claims

Controlled Cause-to-Effect Experiments
Nonexperimental Cause-to-Effect Studies
Nonexperimental Effect-to-Cause Studies

Appeal to Anecdotal Evidence

Doubtful Causal Claims/Hypotheses

Causal Explanations and Arguments

Explanations and Excuses


Additional Exercises

Box 11-1: Real Life: Converting Correlation to Causation

Box 11-2: On Language: The Great 9/11 Mystery

Box 11-3: Real Life: See What Happens if You Watch the Tube?

Box 11-4: In the Media: Teen Smoking Surge Reported after Joe Camels 1988 Debut

Box 11-5: Real Life: Televisions Effect on Kids

Box 11-6: Real Life: Hey, Couch PotatoRead This!

Box 11-7: In Depth: Cigarettes, Cancer, and the Genetic-Factors Argument

Box 11-8: Real Life: A Fool and His or Her Money are Soon Parted

Box 11-9: On Language: The Wrong Initials Can Shorten Your Life

Box 11-10: Real Life: Study Backs an Old Idea about Crime

Box 11-11: Real Life: Birthday Coincidences

Box 11-12: Real Life: Auberry Drive Cancer Toll at 7

Box 11-13: Real Life: When is Affirmative Action not Affirmative Action?

Box 11-14: Real Life: Are Women Less Competent?

Box 11-15: In Depth: Acts and Rules

Box 11-16: Real Life: The Inmate who got a new heart

Box 11-17: In Depth: While Moral Problems

Chapter 12: Moral, Legal, and Aesthetic Reasoning

Moral Evaluations

Moral vs. Non-moral; Moral vs. Immoral
Deriving Moral Value Judgments
Consistency and Fairness

Major Perspectives in Moral Reasoning

Duty Theory/Deontologism
Divine Command Theory
Virtue Ethics

Moral Deliberation

Legal Reasoning

Legal Reasoning and Moral Reasoning Compared
Two Types of Legal Studies: Justifying Laws and Interpreting Laws
The Role of Precedent in Legal Reasoning

Aesthetic Reasoning

Eight Aesthetic Principles
Using Aesthetic Principles to Judge Aesthetic Value
Evaluating Aesthetic Criticism: Relevance and Truth

Why Reason Aesthetically?


Additional Exercises

Box 12-1: Examples from Life: Acts and Rules

Box 12-2: In the Media: Inmate Who got New Heart While Still in Prison Dies

Box 12-3: Critical Thinking: Why Moral Problems Seem Unresolvable

Appendix 1: Readings & Ads for Analysis

Selection 1: Three Strikes and the Whole Enchilada
Selection 2: Controlling Irrational Fears after 9/11
Selection 3: Excerpts from Federal Court Ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance
Selection 4: Gays Impact on Marriage Underestimated by Jeff Jacoby
Selection 5: Bushs Environmental Record by Bob Herbert
Selection 6: Death Penalty Has no Place in U.S. by Cynthia Tucker
Selection 7: Hetero by Choice? A Radio Commentary by Richard Parker
Selection 8: Bonnie and Clyde
*Selection 9: Excerpt from Disinformation on Judges by Thomas Sowell
Selections 10A & 10B: Equal Treatment is Real IssueNot Marriage from USA Today & Gay Marriage Unnatural by Rev. Louis P. Sheldon
*Selection 11: Excerpt from Paying the Price for Bushs Retro Energy Policy by Arianna Huffington
*Selection 12: Excerpt from Liberals Love America Like O.J. Loved Nicole by Ann Coulter
Selection 13: Is God Part of Integrity? Editorial from Enterprise Record, Chico, CA
*Selection 14: Excerpt from Calling the Kettle Gay
Selections 15A & 15B: Make Fast Food Smoke Free from USA Today & Dont Overreact to Smoke by Brennan M. Dawson
Selections 16A & 16B: Buying Notes Makes Sense at Lost-in-Crowd Campuses from USA Today & Buying or Selling Notes is Wrong
Selections 17A & 17B: Next, Comprehensive Reform of Gun Laws from USA Today & Gun Laws Are No Answer
Selections 18: Letter from the National Rifle Association
Selections 19A & 19B: How Can School Prayer Possibly Hurt? Heres How from USA Today & We Need More Prayer by Armstrong Williams
Selection 20: Do Women Really Need Affirmative Action? By Joanne Jacobs
Selection 21: Want Better Schools? Support Teachers by Dean Simpson Jr.
*Selection 22: An American Revolution ad
*Selection 23: Can You Wait Queen Mary ad
*Selection 24: What tobacco issue is important to you? Ad
*Selection 25: ROXY ad
*Selection 26: Cointreau ad

Appendix 2: The Top Ten Fallacies of All Time

Appendix 3: The Scrapbook of Unusual Issues

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