9780195161427

The Power of Critical Thinking Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780195161427

  • ISBN10:

    0195161424

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-12-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • View Upgraded Edition

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Summary

Enhanced by many innovative exercises, examples, and pedagogical features, The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims provides a clear-cut introduction to the subject. Author Lewis Vaughn explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating material on important topics that most other texts leave out. Offering comprehensive treatments of core topics, The Power of Critical Thinking includes an introduction to claims and arguments (Chapter 3); discussions of propositional and categorical logic (Chapters 6 and 7); and full coverage of the basics of inductive reasoning, including Mill's methods, enumerative and analogical induction, causal arguments, and opinion polls (Chapter 8). Building on this solid foundation, the book also delves into areas neglected by other texts, adding extensive material on "inference to the best explanation" and on scientific reasoning; a thorough look at the evaluation of evidence and credibility; and a chapter on the psychological and social factors that can impede critical thinking. Additional notable elements are a chapter on moral reasoning, advice on how to evaluate Internet sources, and guidelines for evaluating occult, paranormal, or supernatural claims. Designed to help students move from passive to active learning, The Power of Critical Thinking contains many helpful pedagogical features including: * Hundreds of diverse exercises, examples, and illustrations drawn from a broad spectrum of sources * Progressive, stand-alone writing modules that encourage students to develop effective writing skills * Numerous informative and provocative text boxes in three types: Review Notes, Highlights of Previous Chapters, and Further Thought * Opening "reminder" sections (brief sketches of preceding chapters) and end-of-chapter summaries * Step-by-step guidelines for evaluating claims, arguments, and explanations * A glossary of important terms * A companion website at www.oup.com/us/criticalthinking that includes a student study guide with notes, quizzes, additional exercises, and other materials * A printed Instructor's Manual with Test Bank and a Computerized Test Bank Written in a student-friendly style and enhanced by humor where appropriate, this unique text makes critical thinking engaging and applicable to students' lives without oversimplifying the material or avoiding difficult issues. Featuring a modular structure that allows instructors to teach the chapters in almost any order, it is an ideal text for courses in critical thinking, introduction to logic, informal logic, argumentative writing, and introduction to argumentation.

Author Biography


Lewis Vaughn is a coauthor of Doing Philosophy: An Introduction Through Thought Experiments; How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age; and The Case for Humanism: An Introduction. He is the former editor of Free Inquiry magazine and the former executive editor of the philosophy journal Philo.

Table of Contents

Preface xv
1 Basics
1 The Power of Critical Thinking
3(29)
Why It Matters
5(3)
How It Works
8(9)
Claims and Reasons
8(1)
Reasons and Arguments
9(5)
Arguments in the Rough
14(3)
Summary
17(2)
Exercises
19(6)
Field Problem
25(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
25(3)
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 1
28(3)
Writing Assignments
31(1)
2 The "Environment" of Critical Thinking
32(30)
Perils of a Haunted Mind
34(10)
The Almighty Self
34(6)
The Power of the Group
40(4)
Perils of a Haunted Worldview
44(4)
Subjective Relativism
44(2)
Social Relativism
46(1)
Skepticism
47(1)
Summary
48(1)
Exercises
49(6)
Field Problems
55(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
55(1)
Integrative Exercises
56(3)
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 2
59(2)
Writing Assignments
61(1)
3 Making Sense of Arguments
62(53)
Argument Basics
62(5)
Judging Arguments
67(8)
Finding Missing Parts
75(5)
Argument Patterns
80(7)
Diagramming Arguments
87(10)
Assessing Long Arguments
97(5)
Summary
102(1)
Field Problems
103(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
103(2)
Integrative Exercises
105(3)
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 3
108(3)
Writing Assignments
111(4)
2 Reasons
4 Reasons for Belief and Doubt
115(40)
When Claims Conflict
117(3)
Experts and Evidence
120(6)
Personal Experience
126(6)
Impairment
127(2)
Expectation
129(1)
Innumeracy
130(2)
Fooling Ourselves
132(4)
Resisting Contrary Evidence
132(1)
Looking for Confirming Evidence
133(1)
Preferring Available Evidence
134(2)
Claims in the News
136(6)
Inside the News
137(3)
Sorting Out the News
140(2)
Summary
142(1)
Exercises
143(3)
Field Problems
146(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
146(2)
Integrative Exercises
148(2)
Critical Thinking and Writing: Module 4
150(4)
Writing Assignments
154(1)
5 Faulty Reasoning
155(32)
Irrelevant Premises
156(13)
Genetic Fallacy
156(1)
Composition
156(1)
Division
157(1)
Appeal to the Person
158(3)
Equivocation
161(1)
Appeal to Popularity
161(1)
Appeal to Tradition
162(1)
Appeal to Ignorance
162(3)
Appeal to Emotion
165(1)
Red Herring
166(1)
Straw Man
167(2)
Unacceptable Premises
169(6)
Begging the Question
169(1)
False Dilemma
170(2)
Slippery Slope
172(1)
Hasty Generalization
173(1)
Faulty Analogy
174(1)
Summary
175(1)
Exercises
176(4)
Field Problems
180(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
180(1)
Integrative Exercises
181(2)
Writing Assignments
183(4)
3 Arguments
6 Deductive Reasoning: Propositional Logic
187(32)
Connectives and Truth Values
188(12)
Conjunction
191(1)
Disjunction
192(2)
Negation
194(1)
Conditional
195(5)
Checking for Validity
200(14)
Simple Arguments
200(4)
Tricky Arguments
204(3)
Streamlined Evaluation
207(7)
Summary
214(1)
Field Problems
214(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
215(1)
Integrative Exercises
216(2)
Writing Assignments
218(1)
7 Deductive Reasoning: Categorical Logic
219(31)
Statements and Classes
220(3)
Translations and Standard Form
223(7)
Terms
224(4)
Quantifiers
228(2)
Diagramming Categorical Statements
230(5)
Sizing Up Categorical Syllogisms
235(9)
Summary
244(1)
Field Problems
245(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
245(1)
Integrative Exercises
246(3)
Writing Assignments
249(1)
8 Inductive Reasoning
250(53)
Enumerative Induction
251(15)
Sample Size
253(2)
Representativeness
255(1)
Opinion Polls
256(10)
Analogical Induction
266(9)
Causal Arguments
275(18)
Testing for Causes
276(5)
Causal Confusions
281(6)
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
287(6)
Summary
293(1)
Field Problems
294(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
295(2)
Integrative Exercises
297(3)
Writing Assignments
300(3)
4 Explanations
9 Inference to the Best Explanation
303(96)
Explanations and Inference
304(11)
Theories and Consistency
315(1)
Theories and Criteria
316(14)
Testability
318(2)
Fruitfulness
320(2)
Scope
322(1)
Simplicity
323(2)
Conservatism
325(5)
Telling Good Theories from Bad
330(12)
A Doomed Flight
333(3)
An Amazing Cure
336(6)
Summary
342(1)
Field Problems
342(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
343(1)
Integrative Exercises
344(2)
Writing Assignments
346(1)
10 Judging Scientific Theories
347(52)
Science and Not Science
347(4)
The Scientific Method
351(3)
Testing Scientific Theories
354(2)
Judging Scientific Theories
356(13)
Copernicus Versus Ptolemy
357(2)
Evolution Versus Creationism
359(10)
Science and Weird Theories
369(1)
Making Weird Mistakes
370(3)
Leaping to the Weirdest Theory
371(1)
Mixing What Seems with What Is
372(1)
Misunderstanding the Possibilities
372(1)
Judging Weird Theories
373(20)
Crop Circles
374(9)
Talking with the Dead
383(10)
Summary
393(1)
Field Problems
393(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
394(1)
Integrative Exercises
395(2)
Writing Assignments
397(2)
11 Judging Moral Arguments and Theories
399(24)
Moral Arguments
400(6)
Moral Theories
406(6)
A Coherent Worldview
412(2)
Summary
414(1)
Exercises
415(4)
Field Problems
419(1)
Self-Assessment Quiz
419(1)
Integrative Exercises
420(2)
Writing Assignments
422(1)
Appendix A: Essays for Evaluation 423(32)
1. "Death Penalty Discriminates Against Black Crime Victims"
423(1)
2. "Marine Parks"
424(2)
3. "The Wrong Ruling on Vouchers"
426(1)
4. "The Kalam Cosmological Argument"
427(3)
5. "The Naturalist and the Supernaturalist"
430(5)
6. "Misleading the Patient for Fun and Profit"
435(3)
7. "Tight Limits on Stem Cells Betray Research Potential"
438(2)
8. "The Cohabitation Epidemic"
440(2)
9. "UFO Abductions"
442(9)
10. "Amityville: The Horror of It All"
451(4)
Appendix B: Answers to Exercises 455(28)
Notes 483(4)
Glossary 487(7)
Credits 494(3)
Index 497

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