Required reading for more than 250,000 students since the publication of the first edition in 1986, Moore and Parker’s Critical Thinking has done more than any other text to help define the structure and content of the critical thinking course, while at the same time serving as a model for the creation of texts that students actually enjoy reading and learning from. The result is a genuinely successful teaching experience for the hundreds of instructors who have used and continue to use Moore and Parker’s text.
The treatment of arguments and discussion of truth in Chapter 1 is improved.
New material on the Internet and evaluating Web sites appears in Chapter 3.
New collaborative learning exercises are featured throughout the text.
The term "Rhetoric" replaces the categories of "Nonargumentative Persuasion" and "Pseudoreasoning" in Chapters 4 and 5, and Chapter 4 now treats pseudoreasoning and slanters as rhetorical devices.
Instruction on identifying unstated premises is added to Chapter 9, along with new exercises and essays integrated into the chapter.
A revised approach to inductive generalizing and causal argument appears in Chapters 11 and 12.
The brief essays at the back of the text have been updated.
After two introductory chapters, the book divides into two parts: the first part covers claims, the second covers arguments. Students find the distinction between unsupported and supported claims natural; this organization allows the authors to address many features of claims and the variety of non-argumentative ways they are made before engaging the more complex discussion of arguments.
Hundreds of examples and anecdotes—drawn primarily from politics, sports, high technology, entertainment, and academia—keep students interested and motivated.
A focus on writing appears throughout. Chapter 2 focuses exclusively on guidelines for writing argumentative essays.
A complete glossary of terms; answers to one-third of the exercises; cartoons; and the informal, often tongue-in-cheek writing style all help make critical thinking more comprehensible and approachable for beginning college students.
Brooke Moore and Richard Parker have taught philosophy at California State University, Chico, for almost as long as they can remember. Moore has been that university’s Outstanding Professor, and both he and Parker have received top academic honors on their campus. Moore has seen several terms as department
chair, and Parker has served as chair of
the academic senate and dean of undergraduate
Moore has a bachelor’s degree in music
from Antioch College and a PhD in philosophy
from the University of Cincinnati; Parker did his
undergraduate degree at the University of Arkansas
and his PhD at the University of Washington,
both in philosophy.
Moore has finally given up being the world’s most serious amateur volleyball
player. He and Marianne share their house and life with several dogs. He has never sold an automobile.
Parker gets around in a 1962 MG or on a Harley softail. He plays golf for fun, shoots pool for money, and plays guitar for a semiprofessional flamenco troupe.
He gets to Spain as often as he is able.
The two have remained steadfast friends through it all. They are never mistaken
1. What Is Critical Thinking?
Claims and Critical Thinking
Issues and Arguments
Identifying the Issue
Settling an Issue Through Argument
Facts and Opinions
Objective and Subjective Claims
"Everyone's Entitled . . ."
Beliefs, Opinions, Views, Convictions, Prejudices
A Note About Feelings
2. Critical Thinking and Clear Writing
Organization and Focus
Principles of Organization
Good Writing Practices
Essay Types to Avoid
Clarity in Writing
Claims That Make Comparisons
Writing in a Diverse Society
PART II. CLAIMS
3. Evaluating Informative Claims
Assessing the Content of the Claim
Does the Claim Conflict with Our Personal Observations?
Does the Claim Conflict with Our Background Information?
Assessing the Credibility of the Source
The News Media
Reporting the News
Who Listens to the News?
4. Persuasion Through Rhetoric
Rhetorical Devices and Techniques (Starters)
Euphemisms and Dysphemisms
Persuasive Comparisons, Definitions, and Explanations
Primates of the Miocene
5. More Rhetorical Devices
The Subjectivist Fallacy
Appeal to Popularity (ad populum)
Appeal to Pity
Appeal to Anger or Indignation
Two Wrongs Make a Right
6. More Pseudoreasoning and Other Rhetorical Plays
Circumstantial Ad Hominem
Poisoning the Well
Burden of Proof
Begging the Question
Explanations and Arguments
Explanations and Justifications
Kinds of Explanations
Spotting Weak Explanations
Freedom from Excessive Vagueness
Freedom from Unnecessary Assumptions
Consistency with Well-Established Theory
Absence of Alternative Explanations
Explanatory Comparisons (Analogies)
PART III. ARGUMENTS
8. Understanding and Evaluating Arguments
The Anatomy of Arguments
Good and Bad, Valid and Invalid, Strong and Weak
Deduction and Induction
Identifying Unstated Premises
Techniques for Understanding Arguments
Clarifying an Argument's Structure
Distinguishing Arguments from Window Dressing
Do the Premises Support the Conclusion?
Are the Premises Reasonable?
9. Deductive Arguments I: Categorical Logic
Translation into Standard Form
The Square of Opposition
Three Categorical Operations
The Venn Diagram Method of Testing for Validity
Categorical Syllogisms with Unstated Premises
The Rules Method of Testing for Validity
10. Deductive Arguments II: Truth-Functional Logic
Truth Tables and the Truth-Functional Symbols
Symbolizing Compound Claims
Group I Rules: Elementary Valid Argument Patterns
Group II Rules: Truth-Functional Equivalences
11. Inductive Arguments
Representativeness and Bias
Everyday Inductive Generalizations
The Two Key Questions We Should Ask of Any Inductive
Playing by the Numbers
12. Causal Arguments
Causation Among Specific Events
Common Mistakes Found in Causal Reasoning
Possible Mistakes in Relevant-Difference Reasoning
Possible Mistakes in Common-Thread Reasoning Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
Overlooking the Possibility of Coincidence
Questions to Ask About Causal Reasoning
Causation in Populations
Controlled Cause-to-Effect Experiments
Nonexperimental Effect-to-Cause Studies
Appeal to Anecdotal Evidence
13. Moral, Legal, and Aesthetic Reasoning
Descriptive and Prescriptive Moral Claims
Consistency and Fairness
Major Perspectives in Moral Reasoning
Legal Reasoning and Moral Reasoning Compared
Two Types of Legal Studies: Justifying Laws and Interpreting Laws
The Role of Precedent in Legal Reasoning
Eight Aesthetic Principles
Using Aesthetic Principles to Judge Aesthetic Value
Evaluating Aesthetic Criticism: Relevance and Truth
Why Reason Aesthetically?
Appendix 1: Conflicting Claims
Appendix 2: Analytic Claims
Appendix 3: Some Common Patterns of Deductive
Answers, Suggestions, and Tips for Triangle Exercises
Essays for Analysis
Selection 1: Cynthia Tucker, Death Penalty Has No Place in U.S.
Selection 2: Richard Parker, Hetero by Choice?
Selection 3: Bonnie and Clyde
Selection 4: EDWARD C. KRUG, Will Ozone Blob Devour the Earth?
Selection 5a: USA TODAY, Equal Treatment Is Real Issue—Not Marriage
Selection 5b: THE REV. LOUIS P. SHELDON, Gay Marriage "Unnatural"
Selection 6a: USA Today, Latest Ruling Is Good Scout Model
Selection 6b: Larry P. Arnn, Decision Assaults Freedom
Selection 7: Enterprise Record, Is God Part of Integrity?
Selection 8: DON EDWARDS, Shorten Federal Jail Time
Selection 9a: USA TODAY, Clean Needles Benefit Society
Selection 9b: PETER B. GEMMA JR., Programs Don't Make Sense
Selection 10a: USA TODAY, Make Fast Food Smoke-Free
Selection 10b: BRENNAN M. DAWSON, Don't Overreact to Smoke
Selection 11a: USA TODAY, Buying Notes Makes Sense at Lost-in-Crowd Campuses
Selection 11b: Buying or Selling Notes Is Wrong
Selection 12a: USA TODAY, Next, Comprehensive Reform of Gun Laws
Selection 12b: ALAN M. GOTTLIEB, Gun Laws Are No Answer
Selection 13a: USA TODAY, How Can School Prayer Possibly Hurt? Here's How
Selection 13b: ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS, We Need More Prayer
Selection 14: BARBARA EHRENREICH, Planet of the White Guys
Selection 15: JOANNE JACOBS, Do Women Really Need Affirmative Action?
Selection 16: FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, In Defense of a Little Virginity