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Overview

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 Verdict shows 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 Verdict shows 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 Verdict because 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 visit www.mythinkinglab.com or you can purchase a valuepack of the text + MyThinkingLab (VP ISBN-10: 0205176046, VP ISBN-13: 9780205176045)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Excellent: explanations are very clear; end of section exercises reinforce the material in the text very effectively; diagrams and inset examples are also helpful” —Victoria Rogers, Indiana University- Perdue University Indianapolis

“I really liked the way Waller uses a court of law to organize this text.” —Eli Kanon, University of North Florida

“I have been using Waller's book (4th and 5th editions) for years and I find it is an excellent way to introduce critical thinking to students and to show the importance of it in daily life. I especially like how he reasons out in words truth table reasoning rather than simply teaching it as a plug and chug methods.” —Jean Miller, Virginia Tech

“I like the pedagogy of the book. Having used it in the past, it worked quite well.” —Glenn Sanford, Sam Houston State University

“The first half of the text focuses on how to recognize and construct a good argument, while the second half of the text deals with how to recognize and avoid bad arguments." —Chris Clayton, Portland Community College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205098507
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 12/27/2012
  • Edition number: 6
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Cheers,

Bruce N. Waller

Youngstown State University

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Table of Contents


IN THIS SECTION:

1.) BRIEF
2.) COMPREHENSIVE


BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments

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
Index


COMPREHENSIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments

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

Exercises
Additional Reading
Online Resources

Chapter 2 A Few Important Terms
Arguments
Statements

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
Strawman
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

Subarguments
Exercises 7-1, 7-2 and 7-3
Assumptions: Their Use and Abuse
Legitimate Assumptions
Enthymemes
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
Defintions
Stipulative Definitions
Controversial Definitions

Deceptive Language

The Fallacy of Ambiguity

Amphiboly

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

Surveys

Exercise 17-2

Additional Reading

Online Resources

Chapter 18 Symbolic Sentential Logic
Truth-Functional Definitions
Negation
Disjunction
Conjunction
Conditional
Material Implication

Exercise 18-1
Testing for Validity and Invalidity

Exercise 18-2
Punctuation

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
Index

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