The Critical Thinking Book

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Broadview Press
An Independent Publisher Since 1985
515-815-1 St. SW Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 1N3
Philosophy Editor Mr. Stephen Latta


Part One: The Elements of Critical Thinking: Statements, Questions, and Arguments

Chapter 1: Critical Thinking: Developing an Effective Worldview

  1. Critical Thinking and Mental Models
  2. Clarity and Consistency
  3. Relevance
  4. Justification and Explanatory/Predictive Power
  5. The Usefulness of Critical Thinking
  6. Critical Thinking as an Academic Discipline
  7. The Organization of This Book

Chapter 2: Grasping Assertions

  1. Assertions and Sentences
  2. Statement Forms: Simple and Compound
  3. Statement Forms: Particular and General
  4. Statement Content: Necessary versus Contingent
  5. Statement Content: Factual versus Evaluative

Chapter 3: Understanding Questions

  1. Questions and Sentences
  2. Types of Questions
  3. Responsive Answers
  4. Fallacies of Questions

Chapter 4: Identifying Single Arguments

  1. Premises and Conclusions
  2. Identifying Single Arguments: Rhetorical Devices
  3. Identifying Single Arguments: Rhetorical Expansion
  4. Identifying Single Arguments: Rhetorical Compression
  5. Telling Arguments from Other Things
  6. The Uses of Arguments
  7. Two Types of Evidential Relations
  8. Deductive Argument Forms
  9. Inductive Argument Forms and the IBE

Chapter 5: Multiple Arguments, Cases, and Dialogues

  1. Interwoven Arguments
  2. The Case Structure
  3. The IBE as a Compressed Case
  4. Dialogues

Part Two: The Goals of Critical Thinking: Clarity, Relevance, Consistency, Justification, and Explanatory Power

Chapter 6: Pitfalls of Language

  1. Pitfalls of Language
  2. Verbosity and Jargon
  3. Vagueness
  4. Loaded Language and Circular Argument
  5. Understatement and Overstatement
  6. Ambiguity
  7. Synonymy
  8. Figurative Language
  9. Review of Major Fallacies Discussed so Far

Chapter 7: Defining Words, Classifying Objects, and Mapping Concepts

  1. Three Tools for Organizing Thought and Clarifying Language
  2. Types of Definition
  3. Sense and Reference
  4. Methods of Definition
  5. Rules for Explicit Definitions
  6. Analogical Definition
  7. Classification
  8. Concept Mapping

Chapter 8: Topical Relevance

  1. Relevance and Questions
  2. Fallacies of Refusing to Answer
  3. Fallacies of Irrelevant Emotional Appeals
  4. Fallacies of Ignoring the Issue
  5. How to Answer Fallacies of Relevance
  6. Review of the Major Fallacies Covered so Far

Chapter 9: The Realm of the Deductive I: Truth-Functional Logic

  1. Two Types of Consistency
  2. The Psychology of Consistency
  3. Basic Concepts of Deductive Logic
  4. Truth Table Calculations
  5. Symbolization
  6. Truth Table Testing for Consistency
  7. Truth Table Testing of Implication and Validity
  8. Truth Table Testing for Other Deductive Concepts
  9. Summary

Chapter 10: The Realm of the Deductive II: Class Logic

  1. A Closer Look at Statements
  2. Statements Involving Two Classes
  3. Venn Testing for Consistency
  4. Venn Testing for Implication and Validity
  5. Venn Testing for Other Concepts
  6. Summary of Concepts
  7. The Limitations of Truth-Functional and Class Logic

Chapter 11: The Realm of the Inductive I: Observation, Memory, and Testimony

  1. Sensing, Observing, and Reporting
  2. Assessing Observation
  3. Special Issues Concerning Observation in Natural Science
  4. Assessing Memory
  5. Assessing Eyewiness Testimony
  6. Special Issues Concerning Memory and Eyewitness Testimony in Legal Proceedings
  7. Assessing Expert Testimony
  8. The Fallacy of Faulty Appeal to Authority
  9. Special Issues Concerning Expert Testimony in Journalism
  10. Special Issues Concerning Expert Testimony in Legal Proceedings
  11. Observation, Memory and Testimony IBE and CBE

Chapter 12: The Realm of the Inductive II: Inductive Generalization and Inductive Instantiation

  1. The Pervasiveness of Inductive Generalization
  2. Criteria for Assessing Generalizations
  3. The Fallacy of Hasty Generalization
  4. Defeasibility and General Rules
  5. The Statistical Syllogism
  6. The Fallacy of Accident
  7. A Common Confusion
  8. Inductive Generalization and Inductive Instantiation as IBE and CBE
  9. Stereotypes and Prejudice

Chapter 13: The Realm of the Inductive III: Analogies

  1. The Uses of Analogy
  2. Descriptive and Definitional Analogies
  3. Analogical Arguments
  4. The Heuristic Use of Analogies
  5. Models in Science
  6. Analogies in Legal Reasoning
  7. Analogical Arguments, the IBE and the CBE

Chapter 14: The Realm of the Inductive IV: Causal Inference

  1. The Relation of Cause and Effect
  2. Evidence for Causal Claims: Temporal and Statistical Linkages
  3. Establishing Deterministic Causes
  4. A More Formal Approach to Mill’s Methods
  5. Establishing Statistical Causes
  6. Special Issues in Medical and Pharmaceutical Research
  7. The Fallacy of Faulty Causal Reasoning
  8. Causal Inference as IBE and CBE
  9. A Review of the Five Major Inductive Fallacies
  10. A Review of All of the Previous Major Fallacies

Chapter 15: The Realm of the Inductive V: Explanation, Hypothesis, and Prediction

  1. Key Concepts
  2. Types of Explanation
  3. A Closer Look at Causal Explanations
  4. Rules for Forming Hypotheses
  5. Rules for Assessing Hypotheses

Part Three: Applications of Critical Thinking: Decisions in a Democratic Market Economy

Chapter 16: Classical Decision Theory: Its Uses and Problems

  1. Utility and Preferences
  2. Decision under Certainty: The Rational Choice Model
  3. Decision under Risk
  4. Decision under Uncertainty
  5. Decision under Conflict
  6. Challenges to Classical Decision Theory I: the Opacity of Costs and Benefits
  7. Challenges to Classical Decision Theory II: Behavioral Decision Theory
  8. Challenges to Classical Decision Theory III: Manipulation by Others

Chapter 17: Application I: Rational Versus Irrational Marketing

  1. Two Main Branches of Rhetoric
  2. When is Marketing Rational?
  3. Why is Marketing so Often Irrational?
  4. Psychological Mechanisms Exploited by Marketing Agents
  5. Examples of Irrational Marketing Techniques
  6. Special Issues in Advertising to Children

Chapter 18: Application II: Rational Versus Irrational Propaganda

  1. Political Agents and Propaganda
  2. Is Deceptive Propaganda More Prevalent than Deceptive Marketing?
  3. Examples of Irrational Propaganda Techniques
  4. How to Combat Deceptive Propaganda

Chapter 19: Application III: Science versus Pseudoscience

  1. Healthy Science versus Pseudoscience
  2. Symptoms of Pseudoscience
  3. First Example of Pseudoscience: Astrology
  4. Second Example of Pseudoscience: Lysenkoism
  5. A Borderline Case

Glossary Bibliography Answers to Even-Numbered Exercises Index