Critical Thinking Consider the Verdict

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-07-11
  • Publisher: Pearson

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $15.75
    Check/Direct Deposit: $15.00
List Price: $140.80 Save up to $107.21
  • Rent Book $84.48
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Integrating Logic Skills into the Critical Decision-Making Process   Organized around lively and authentic examples drawn from jury trials, contemporary political and social debate, and advertising, Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdictshows students how to detect fallacies and how to examine and construct cogent arguments.    Accessible and reader friendly-yet thorough and rigorous- Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdictshows students how to integrate all logic skills into the critical decision-making process, and construct arguments from examples gained through the study of contemporary and historic debates, both legal and popular.   Teaching and Learning Experience   Personalize Learning- MyThinkingLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.   Improve Critical Thinking- ;Argue Your Case ; segments, ;Consider the Verdict ; boxes, real-life examples and cases, and an optional chapter on ;Thinking Critically about Statistics ; all encourage students to examine their assumptions, discern hidden values, evaluate evidence, assess their conclusions, and more!   Engage Students- Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict's readable, conversational style, wealth of exercises, suggested Website resources, glossary (and more!) allows your students to easily read, understand and engage with the text.                                                                                                                          Support Instructors -Teaching your course just got easier!  You can create a Customized Text or use our Instructor's Manual, Electronic ;MyTest ; Test Bank or PowerPoint Presentation Slides. Plus, instructors find it easy to teach from Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdictbecause students are given an argument context that orients them to new material and helps them place it in a familiar setting ; giving you the freedom to present different, complimentary material in class!     Note:MyThinkingLab does no come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MyThinkingLab, please visitwww.mythinkinglab.comor you can purchase a valuepack of the text + MyThinkingLab (VP ISBN-10: 0205176046, VP ISBN-13: 9780205176045)

Author Biography

In This Section:


I. Author Bio

II. Author Letter



I. Author Bio


Dr. Bruce N. Waller is Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University. He received his Ph.D. in 1979 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His other works include Consider Ethics: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues, Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict, You Decide! Current Debates in Criminal Justice, You Decide! Current Debates in Contemporary Moral Problems, You Decide! Current Debates in Introductory Philosophy, You Decide! Current Debates in Ethics, Coffee and Philosophy: A Conversational Introduction to Philosophy with Readings, and Against Moral Responsibility.




II. Author Letter


Dear Colleagues,


I’ve taught a wide range of philosophy courses, including Intro to Philosophy, Bioethics, Logic, and Ethical theory. All those courses are fun and I’ve been lucky to have students who seem to genuinely enjoy studying philosophy. The course I teach most often, Critical Thinking, is the course my students usually enjoy the most. It’s a course in which you can actually watch students become significantly more confident and more effective in critical thinking. Above all, it is a course in which students never pose that dreadful philosophical query: Is this course really relevant to my life?


It’s no accident that courtroom dramas dominate popular television. The courtroom an ideal setting for the careful study of critical thinking: first, because students find the setting interesting and have no doubt of its importance; and second, because so many key issues in critical thinking are played out in jury deliberations. Jurors must be able to detect misleading and ambiguous statements, separate relevant from irrelevant material, keep in mind who does and does not bear the burden of proof, understand the judge’s instructions, weigh the strengths and weaknesses of appeals to authority, and not only identify fallacies but also understand and appreciate legitimate arguments.


The 6th edition of Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict, like the previous editions, uses the courtroom and the jury room as a laboratory for work on critical thinking. But as in earlier editions, it is clear that the critical deliberations of the courtroom are not the only place that critical thinking is important, and they are certainly not the settings in which most students will use their critical thinking skills most of the time. Critical thinking is also important in evaluating commercials, deciding how to vote and considering major social issues. Thus while Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict, 6th editionuses the courtroom and the jury room to study and exercise critical thinking skills, the great majority of the examples and exercises come from other sources: advertisements, political campaigns, letters to the editor, editorials, and ordinary discussions.


There are new exercises and examples in every chapter of the new edition, but the most significant change from earlier editions is more attention to cooperative critical thinking. The adversarial system that dominates legal proceedings and drives political campaigns is often valuable. Adversarial argument is by no means the only type of argument, discussion and inquiry we pursue, and even the legal process has in many cases moved toward more cooperative proceedings. And of course, in discussions among friends and family and colleagues, we often find a cooperative discussion, which seeks shared benefits and emphasizes common goals, more valuable than an adversarial process which results in winners and losers.


I would be delighted to hear from anyone reviewing, teaching, or studying this book, and am always happy to receive suggestions for improvements as well as new examples for analysis. My email is bnwaller@ysu.edu.




Bruce N. Waller


Youngstown State University

Table of Contents






Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2  A Few Important Terms
Chapter 3 Ad Hominem Arguments
Chapter 4 The Second Deadly Fallacy:  The Strawman Fallacy
Chapter 5 What’s the Question?     

Chapter 6 Relevant and Irrelevant Reasons      
Chapter 7 Analyzing Arguments
Chapter 8 The Burden of Proof      

Chapter 9  Language and its Pitfalls
Chapter 10  Appeal to Authority        
Cumulative Exercises One          
(Chapters 1 through 10)

Chapter 11 Arguments by Analogy  

Chapter 12 Some Distinctive Arguments and Potential Pitfalls: Slippery Slope, Dilemma, and Golden Mean Arguments        

Chapter 13 Begging the Question     
Cumulative Exercises Two          
(Chapters 1 through 13)  

Chapter 14 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
Chapter 15 Scientific and Causal Reasoning      

Chapter 16 The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth       

Cumulative Exercises Three       
Chapters 1 through 16)

Chapter  17 Thinking Critically about Statistics  
Chapter 18 Symbolic Sentential Logic       
Chapter 19 Arguments about Classes        
Key Terms     
Answers to Selected Exercises    





Table of Contents

Chapter 1     Introduction
Critical Thinking in Everyday Life      
Play Fair    

Seating a Jury    
Jury Research: Eliminating or Selecting Bias?  
Impartial Critical Thinking 

Adversarial Critical Thinking

Cooperative Critical Thinking

Additional Reading
Online Resources

Chapter 2      A Few Important Terms

Exercise 2-1
Premises and Conclusions     

Exercise 2-2
Deductive and Inductive Arguments      

Exercise 2-3
Deduction, Validity, and Soundness   
Induction, Strong Arguments, and Cogent Arguments  

Exercises 2-4, 2-5

Review Questions

Online Resources


Chapter 3     Ad Hominem Arguments
The Ad Hominem Fallacy      
Nonfallacious Ad Hominem Arguments     
Ad Hominem and Testimony  
Distinguishing Argument from Testimony      

Exercise 3-1
Tricky Types of Ad Hominem     
Bias Ad Hominem  
Inconsistency and Ad Hominem 
Psychological Ad Hominem  

Inverse Ad Hominem      
Attacking Arguments
Exercises 3-2

Review Questions

Additional Reading

Internet Resources    


Chapter 4      The Second Deadly Fallacy:  The Strawman Fallacy
The Principle of Charity  
The Strawman Fallacy  
Special Strawman Varieties 

Limits on Critical Thinking

Exercises 4-1 and 4-2

Additional Reading


Chapter 5     What’s the Question?    
Determine the Conclusion      
What Is the Exact Conclusion?      

Exercises 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4

Review Question


Chapter 6     Relevant and Irrelevant Reasons      
Premises Are Relevant or Irrelevant Relative to the Conclusion    
Irrelevant Reason Fallacy     
The Red Herring Fallacy  

Exercises 6-1 and 6-2

Review Questions

Additional Reading   


Chapter 7     Analyzing Arguments
Argument Structure      
Convergent Arguments 
Linked Arguments  

Exercises 7-1, 7-2 and 7-3
Assumptions: Their Use and Abuse      
Legitimate Assumptions  
Illegitimate Assumptions

Exercise 7-4

Review Questions

Additional Reading


Chapter 8     The Burden of Proof      
Who Bears the Burden of Proof?      
Appeal to Ignorance     
The Burden of Proof in the Courtroom      
Presumption of Innocence  
When the Defendant Does Not Testify  
Juries and the Burden of Proof  
Unappealing Ignorance      

Exercises 8-1, 8-2, 8-3, 8-4, 8-5, 8-6, 8-7

Review Questions

Additional Reading


Chapter 9      Language and its Pitfalls
Stipulative Definitions
Controversial Definitions

Deceptive Language

The Fallacy of Ambiguity


Exercises 9-1, 9-2, and 9-3

Additional Reading

Internet Resources


Chapter 10      Appeal to Authority        
Authorities as Testifiers     
Conditions for Legitimate Appeal to Authority      
Popularity and Tradition     
Exercise 10-1

Review Questions

Additional Reading

Cumulative Exercises One          
(Chapters 1 through 10)


Chapter 11     Arguments by Analogy  
Figurative Analogy   
Deductive Argument by Analogy      

Exercise 11-1
The Fallacy of Faulty Analogy  

Exercises 11-2 and 11-3
Analyzing a Deductive Argument by Analogy  

Deductive Arguments by Analogy and Cooperative Critical Thinking
The Fallacy of Analogical Literalism  
Caution! Watch for Analogies That Look Like Slippery Slopes! 
Inductive Arguments by Analogy      

Exercises 11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9, and 11-10

Review Questions


Chapter 12 Some Distinctive Arguments and Potential Pitfalls: Slippery Slope, Dilemma, and Golden Mean Arguments        
Slippery Slope    
Separating Slippery Slopes from Strawmen

T he Slippery Slope Fallacy  
Genuine Slippery Slopes  
Exercises 12-1and 12-2

Dilemmas, False and True      
Genuine Dilemmas 
False Dilemmas  

Dilemmas in Conditional Form
False Dilemma Combined with Strawman  
Consider the Possibilities  

Exercise 12-3
Golden Mean      
The Golden Mean Fallacy  
Constructing Golden Mean Fallacies  
Exercise 12-4

Review Questsions

Additional Reading

Additional Reading

Internet Resources 


Chapter 13 Begging the Question     
The Problem with Question-Begging Arguments      

A New and Confusing Use of “Begs the Question”
Subtle Forms of Question Begging      
Synonymous Begging the Question  
Generalization Begging the Question  
Circular Begging the Question  

False Charges of Begging the Question
Self-Sealing Arguments
Complex Questions

Exercises 13-1 and 13-2

Review Questions

Additional Reading

Cumulative Exercises Two          
(Chapters 1 through 13)


Chapter 14     Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
Necessary Conditions      
Distinguishing Necessary from Sufficient Conditions 
Sufficient Conditions      
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions in Ordinary Language 

Ex Exercises 14-1, 14-2, and 14-3
Conditional Statements      
Alternative Ways of Stating Necessary and Sufficient Conditions      
Both Necessary and Sufficient 

Exe Exercises 14-4 and 14-5
Valid Inferences from Necessary and Sufficient Conditions      
Modus Ponens  
Modus Tollens  
Fallacies Based on Confusion between Necessary and Sufficient Conditions   
The Fallacy of Denying the Antecedent
The Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent  
Detecting Argument Forms      
Exercises 14-6, 14-7, and 14-8

Review Questions


Chapter 15     Scientific and Causal Reasoning      
Distinguishing Causation from Correlation  

Exercise 15-1
The Questionable Cause Fallacy  

Exercise 15-2   
The Method of Science      
Randomized Studies and Prospective Studies  
Making Predictions  
When Predictions Go Wrong  
Faulty “Scientific” Claims  

Occam’s Razor

Confirmation Bias

Scientific Integrity, Scientific Cooperation, and Research Manipulation

Exercise 15-3

Review Questions

Additional Reading

Internet Resources


Chapter 16 The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth       
Eyewitness Testimony   
Potential Sources of Eyewitness Error  
Judging the Honesty of a Witness  

Exercise 16-1
The Whole Truth      
Are the Premises True?    
Digging for Truth  
Consider the Source  

Exercise 16-2

Review Questions

Additional Reading

Online Resources


Cumulative Exercises Three       
Chapters 1 through 16)


Chapter 17     Thinking Critically about Statistics  
All Children Are Above Average     
Empty Statistics    
Finding the Appropriate Context     
Caught Off Base      
Statistical Apples and Oranges    
Statistical Half-Truths     
Sample Size and “Statistical Significance”

How to Make Your Study Yield the Results You Want

Exercises 17-1


Exercise 17-2

Additional Reading

Online Resources


Chapter 18     Symbolic Sentential Logic       
Truth-Functional Definitions      
Material Implication  

Exercise 18-1
Testing for Validity and Invalidity   

Exercise 18-2  

Exercise 18-3
The Truth-Table Method of Testing for Validity  

ExExercise 18-4   
The Short-Cut Method for Determining Validity or Invalidity  

Exercises 18-5, 18-6, and 18-7

Review Questions


Chapter 19     Arguments about Classes        
Types of Categorical Propositions      

Exercise 19-1
Relations among Categorical Propositions   
Venn Diagrams      
Diagramming Statements 
Diagramming Arguments  

Exercise 19-2
Translating Ordinary-Language Statements into Standard-Form  Categorical Propositions      

Exercise 19-3
Reducing the Number of Terms  

Exercises 19-4 and 19-5

Review Questions

Consider Your Verdict
Comprehensive Critical Thinking in the Jury Room
Case One:  Commonwealth v. Moyer
Judge Carroll’s Summation and Charge to the Jury  
Case Two:  State v. Ransom
Judge Schwebel’s Summation and Charge to the Jury 
Key Terms     
Answers to Selected Exercises    

Rewards Program

Write a Review