Critical Thinking: An Introduction to the Basic Skills / Edition 6

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William Hughes's Critical Thinking, recently revised and updated by Jonathan Lavery and Katheryn Doran, is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the essential skills required to make strong arguments. Hughes, Lavery, and Doran give a thorough treatment of such traditional topics as deductive and inductive reasoning, logical fallacies, the importance of inference, how to recognize and avoid ambiguity, and how to assess what is or is not relevant to an argument. The authors also cover less traditional topics such as special concerns to keep in mind when reasoning about ethical matters, and how the nature of a language can affect the structure of an argument. In addition to covering basic concepts for analyzing and assessing arguments, the text also has two chapters that are designed to help students write argumentative essays. Last but not least, Critical Thinking includes a selection of logical paradoxes and puzzles that are as entertaining as they are enlightening.
For the sixth edition particular attention has been paid to the needs of American students and instructors.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551111636
  • Publisher: Broadview Press
  • Publication date: 10/23/2009
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 468
  • Sales rank: 255,639
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The late William Hughes was Professor and Chair in the Philosophy Department at the University of Guelph. Jonathan Lavery is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Contemporary Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford. Katheryn Doran is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton College.
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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Reasoning and Critical Thinking
1.1 Reasoning
1.2 The Concept of Logical Strength
1.3 Truth, Logical Strength, and Soundness
1.4 Critical Thinking Skills
1.5 Critical Thinking and the Science of Logic
1.6 Self-Test No. 1
1.7 Questions for Discussion
Part II: Meaning
Chapter 2: Meaning and Definition
2.1 The Complexity of Language
2.2 The Meaning of Language
2.3 The Main Functions of Language
2.4 Self-Test No. 2
2.5 Questions for Discussion
2.6 Definition
2.7 The Purposes of Definition
2.8 Methods of Definition
2.9 Assessing Reportive Definitions
2.10 Assessing Stipulative and Essentialist Definitions
2.11 A Warning
2.12 Self-Test No. 3
2.13 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 3: Clarifying Meaning
3.1 The Principle of Charity
3.2 Linguistic Ambiguity
3.3 Self-Test No. 4
3.4 Analytic, Contradictory, and Synthetic Statements
3.5 Self-Test No. 5
3.6 Descriptive and Evaluative Meaning
3.7 Self-Test No. 6
3.8 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
3.9 Self-Test No. 7
3.10 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 4: Reconstructing Arguments
4.1 Reconstruction
4.2 Missing Premises and Conclusions
4.3 Self-Test No. 8
4.4 Special Cases
4.5 Self-Test No. 9
4.6 The Structure of Arguments
4.7 Self-Test No. 10
4.8 Another Warning
4.9 Questions for Discussion
Part III: Assessing Arguments
Chapter 5: Strategies for Assessing Arguments
5.1 The Fallacies Approach
5.2 The Criterial Approach
5.3 Seven Rules for Assessing Arguments
Chapter 6: Assessing Truth Claims
6.1 Theories of Truth
6.2 Types of Truth Claims
6.3 Acceptability
6.4 Self-Test No. 11
6.5 Questions for Discussion
6.6 Assessing the Acceptability of Premises
6.7 Some Particular Fallacies
6.8 Self-Test No. 12
6.9 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 7: Assessing Relevance
7.1 The Criterion of Relevance
7.2 Recognizing Irrelevant Premises
7.3 Appeals To Authority (1)
7.4 Some Particular Fallacies
7.5 Self-Test No. 13
7.6 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 8: Assessing Adequacy
8.1 The Criterion of Adequacy
8.2 Appeals to Authority (2)
8.3 Appeals to Ignorance
8.4 The Slippery Slope Fallacy
8.5 Causal Fallacies
8.6 Self-Test No. 14
8.7 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 9: Deductive Reasoning
9.1 The Nature of Deductive Reasoning
9.2 Truth-Functional Statements
9.3 Formal Validity and Soundness
9.4 Valid Argument Forms
9.5 Formal Invalidity
9.6 Self-Test No. 15
9.7 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 10: Inductive Reasoning
10.1 The Nature of Inductive Reasoning
10.2 Inductive Generalization
10.3 Statistical Syllogism
10.4 Induction by Confirmation
10.5 Analogical Reasoning
10.6 Self-Test No. 16
10.7 Questions for Discussion
Part IV: Applications
Chapter 11: Scientific Reasoning
11.1 Causation / Correlation
11.2 Mill’s Methods
11.3 Self-Test No. 17
11.4 Argument to the Best Explanation
Unrestricted Hypotheses
11.5 Case for Discussion: Semmelweis's Discovery of Anti-sepsis
Chapter 12: Moral Reasoning
12.1 Moral Judgments and Judgments of Taste
12.2 Moral Justification
12.3 Appeals to Principles of Right and Wrong
12.4 Self-Test No. 18
12.5 Questions for Discussion
12.6 Appeals to Consequences
12.7 Self-Test No. 19
12.8 Questions for Discussion
12.9 Rational Agreement
12.10 Moral Maturity
12.11 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 13: Arguing Back
13.1 Explaining the Weakness
13.2 Counter-examples
13.3 Absurd Examples
13.4 Counter-arguments
13.5 Self-Test No. 20
13.6 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 14: Irrational Techniques of Persuasion
14.1 Loaded Terms
14.2 Vague Terms
14.3 Loaded Questions
14.4 False Confidence
14.5 Selectivity
14.6 Misleading Statistics
14.7 Humour
14.8 Red Herring
14.9 Guilt By Association
14.10 Persuasive Redefinition
14.11 Self-Test No. 21
14.12 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 15: Critiquing the Media
15.1 Determining Bias
15.2 Is Objective Reporting Possible?
15.3 How to Assess News Reports
15.4 Another Warning
15.5 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 16: Writing and Assessing Argumentative Essays
16.1 Writing Argumentative Essays: Structure
16.2 Writing Argumentative Essays: Style
16.3 Assessing Argumentative Essays
16.4 Assessing a Sample Argumentative Essay
16.5 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 17: Strategies for Organizing an Argumentative Essay
17.1 Advocate's Strategy
17.2 Critic's Strategy
17.3 Impartial Adjudicator's Strategy
Appendix I: Paradoxes and Puzzles
1. Logical Paradoxes
2. Puzzles
3. Solutions to the Puzzles
Appendix II: Answers to Self-Tests
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