Second Thoughts : Critical Thinking for a Diverse Society

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-07-01
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
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This flexible and accessible text for the introductory critical thinking course uses current, relevant examples from a range of sources (including technology, advertising, film/TV, and the Internet) to address social issues, the law, politics, science, and more. Inviting and inclusive, the text features a wealth of examples and exercises that draw on the varied experiences of students from different ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds. "Second Thoughts: Critical Thinking for a Diverse Society" provides a refreshing and comprehensive study of critical thinking and logic tools for today's students.

Author Biography

Wanda Teays is currently a professor and chair of the Philosophy Department at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles. She has a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from CSU Fullerton, an M.A. in Philosophy of Mathematics from the University of Alberta, a Ph.D. in Humanities from Concordia University in Montreal, and an M.T.S. (Applied Ethics) from Harvard University. She teaches, writes, speaks, and edits books in the areas of critical thinking, bioethics, violence, human rights and the law. Having studied and taught in Canada over a span of twelve years, she knows the value of diverse perspectives. She draws on her work as a consultant in critical thinking to colleges, universities, and school districts (K-12) to promote quality education for all students. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, pet cockatoo, and a small herd of cats.

Table of Contents

Part One: Acquiring Critical Thinking Skills

Chapter 1: Out of the Fog: The Pathway to Critical Thinking

Introduction to the Territory

A Solid Foundation

Obstacles to Clear Thinking

Overview of Critical Thinking

Profile of a Clear Thinker: Skills and Dispositions

Frame of Reference

Diverse Perspectives in Critical Thinking

Social and Personal Decision Making

Problem Solving

Chapter 2: Out of the Silence: The Power of Language


Culturally Defined Uses of Language



Labels and Categories

Ambiguity (Linguistic Fallacies)

Concepts and Definitions: Meaning versus Use

Jargon, Buzzwords, and Technical Terms

Metaphors and Images

The Passive Voice

Loaded Language


Elusive Language and Hate Speech

Overcoming Linguistic Lethargy

Humor, Parody, and Satire

The Liberatory Voice

Chapter 3: Sharpening Our Tools: The Basics of Argument

Opinion versus Reasoned Argument

Descriptions versus Inferences

Facts, Opinions, and Ideas

Good Arguments, Bad Arguments

Chapter 4: Fallacies, Fallacies: Steering Clear of Argumentative Quicksand

Introduction to the Fallacies of Relevance

Key Fallacies of Relevance

Key Fallacies of Presumption

More Fallacies of Presumption

Key Fallacies of Ambiguity

Formal Fallacies

Chapter 5: Analysis: The Heart of Critical Thinking

Assessing Credibility


Developing Analytical Skills

Analyzing Arguments

Independent versus Interdependent Evidence

Analysis of an Article or Argument

Chapter 6: The Logic Machine: Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

Key Terms in Arguments

The Key to Distinguishing Propositions

Deductive Reasoning

Inductive Reasoning

Truth Tables

Chapter 7: The Persuasive Power of Analogies

Arguments from Analogy

The Fallacy of False Analogy

The Persuasive Force of an Analogy

Assessing an Analogy

Analyzing Analogies

The Persuasive Aspects of Analogies

Structuring the Analogy

Analogies and Hypothetical Reasoning in the Law

Part Two: Going Out Into the World

Chapter 8: Desire and Illusion: Analyzing Advertising

Reading the Society from Ads


The Use of Fallacies to Persuade

The Power of Advertising

Analyzing Ads

The Verbal Message

The Visual Message

Winners and Losers in Advertising

Chapter 9: Voices of the Community: The News Media

Tabloid-Style Journalism

Watchdog Role of the Media

Analyzing the Newspaper

A Free Press

Shaping Public Opinion

The Distinct Role of Sports in the News Media

Chapter 10: Visions of the Real: Popular Culture

The Big Picture

Analyzing Popular Culture

Assessing Arguments

Placing a Work of Popular Culture in Context

The Interface of Pop Culture and Reality

Analyzing Reviews

The Prescriptive versus Descriptive Debate

Theories of Interpretation

The Impact of Pop Culture

Violence on the Screen

Chapter 11: Web Sight: Critical Thinking and the Internet

Imaging the Internet

Web Hoaxes

Web Research

Web Analysis

Warning systems on the Internet

Assessing the Impact of Internet Use

Blogs and More Blogs

The Internet and Intellectual Freedom

Conflicting Views of the Internet

Part Three: The Logic Connection

Chapter 12: Wrestling with Big Questions: Pinning Down Arguments

First Method: The Flowchart

Second Method: Highlighting Key Words

Third Method: Standard Form of an Argument

Fourth Method: The Traditional Outline

Fifth Method: The Bubble Outline

Chapter 13: Roll the Dice: Causal and Statistical Reasoning

Cause-and-Effect Reasoning

Arguments Based on Statistical Studies

Chapter 14: Handling Claims, Drawing Inferences


Rules of Replacement for Ordinary Language

Formal Rules of Replacement

Square of Opposition

The Obverse, Converse, and Contrapositive

Chapter 15: Syllogisms

Introduction to Syllogisms

Validity and Soundness

Universal versus Particular Propositions

Categorical Propositions

Categorical Syllogisms

The Three Terms of the Syllogism

The Mood of a Syllogism

Figure of the Syllogism

Checking for Validity

Testing the Validity of a Syllogism: Two Methods

Chapter 16: Patterns of Deductive Reasoning: Rules of Inference

Advantages of Learning the Techniques of Logic

Valid Argument Forms

Rules of Inference

Formal Fallacies



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