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Thinking Socratically / Edition 3

Thinking Socratically / Edition 3

by Sharon Schwarze, Harvey Lape
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780205098019
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 11/25/2011
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 610,445
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dear Colleagues,

When we first started teaching critical thinking over twenty-five years ago the available textbooks fell into two camps: some were simplified "introduction to logic" texts, while others were little more than rhetoric handbooks fortified with a section on informal fallacies. The first group offered models for critical thinking but provided no material to think critically about. The second analyzed devious ways of persuasion used in everything from advertising to politics. We soon began constructing our own materials for critical thinking, using the stories, news events, and issues that our students encountered in their daily lives. We believed then, and we believe now, that students need to learn critical thinking skills in a variety of contexts and from actual instances, not from concocted textbook examples.

Our approach to critical thinking also has a strong philosophical underpinning. This helps students understand how their own beliefs are formed and how they fit together into webs of belief and ultimately into a view of the world which is shaped by their experience and which shapes their experience. Having this philosophical understanding helps them to monitor their own critical thinking in a new way, and it helps them to understand why we sometimes have arguments with each other. All of this points to our definition of critical thinking which is open rational dialogue with our friends – and with ourselves.

We include the usual topics found in critical thinking texts such as deductive and inductive reasoning and the fallacies, but we also present critical thinking as anchored in a much broader philosophical context. Thus we include excerpts from Plato, Descartes, and Kant, among others. Moreover, we show how critical thinking applies in such diverse disciplines as history and science. Finally, we conclude Thinking Socratically with a whole section on ethics because, like Socrates, we think critical thinking can help people be better people, not just better critical thinkers.

We have found that students at every level enjoy and benefit from Thinking Socratically. It has been used around the country by students from the undergraduate to the graduate level.

Even teachers in K-12 programs have used earlier editions to teach themselves how to teach critical thinking to their pre-college students. We hope that you will consider using this text if you are not using it already.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at Cabrini College with your comments, questions, and suggestions. We began this text with the desire to make our students better critical thinkers and that is still our goal – to make students everywhere more able to use critical thinking skills in their everyday lives. Our email addresses are sschwarze@cabrini.eud and


Sharon Schwarze and Harvey Lape

Cabrini College

Table of Contents

Found in this Section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents




Part I Connections

Chapter 1 Why be a Critical Thinker?

Chapter 2 Language

Chapter 3 Knowledge and Certainty

Chapter 4 Arguments and Explanations

Part II Deductive Reasoning

Chapter 5 Deductive Links

Chapter 6 Deductive Argument Forms

Part III Inductive Reasoning

Chapter 7 Supporting Our Claims

Chapter 8 Standards of Inductive Reasoning

Chapter 9 Fallacies

Chapter 10 Scientific Reasoning

Chapter 11 Pseudoscience

Part IV Reasoning About Values

Chapter 12 The Nature of Morality

Chapter 13 Reasoning about Good and Bad

Chapter 14 Moral Dialogue

Chapter 15 Reason and Commitment





Part I Connections

Chapter 1: Why be a Critical Thinker?

Critical Thinking and the Importance of Open Dialogue

What Is Critical Thinking?



Study Questions

Reason and Culture

Why the Geese Shrieked

Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Shaman and the Dying Scientist: A Brazilian Tale

Alan Riding

Study Questions

The Limits of Reason



Chapter 2: Language

The Priority of Language

Language and the World

The Corner of the Eye

Lewis Thomas

Eight Little Piggies

Stephen Jay Gould

Study Questions

Words, Statements, and Beliefs

Warranted Statements

Making of Americans

Gertrude Stein

Study Questions

Factual Statements

Web of Belief

9/11 Rumors That Harden into Conventional Wisdom

Michael Slackman


Douglas Adams

Study Questions



Chapter 3: Knowledge and Certainty

Belief and Knowledge

Knowledge and Certainty

Meditations on First Philosophy in Which the Existence of God and the Distinction of the Soul from the Body Are Demonstrated

René Descartes

A Brief History of Time

Stephen Hawking

Study Questions

Consensus and the Web of Belief

Ideas & Trends; For Air Crash Detectives, Seeing Isn’t Believing

Matthew L. Wald

President Tom’s Cabin

Jill Lepore

Study Questions



Chapter 4: Arguments and Explanations

Arguments: Premises and Conclusions

Implicit Premises and Conclusions

Arguments: Standard Form

Logical Warranting

Deductive Reasoning

Inductive Reasoning

Factual Warranting

The Decameron: Michele Scalza

Giovanni Boccaccio

The Decameron: Melchizedek

Giovanni Boccaccio

Study Questions


The Day-Care Deaths: A Mystery

Linda Herskowitz

Study Questions



Part II Deductive Reasoning

Chapter 5: Deductive Links

Reasoning with Necessity

Dissenting Opinion in Gregg v. Georgia

Thurgood Marshall

Study Questions

Analyzing a Deductive Argument

Validity and Logical Implication



Chapter 6: Deductive Argument Forms


Some Common Valid Argument Forms

Anselm’s Ontological Argument

Norman Malcolm

Study Questions

Anselm’s Ontological Argument



Part III Inductive Reasoning

Chapter 7: Supporting Our Claims

Evidence: Traces and Patterns

Report on Yale Murder Outlines Suspicions

James Barron And Alison Leigh Cowan

Trial By Fire: Did Texas Execute an Innocent Man?

David Grann

Study Questions

Confirmation and Proof: Webs of Belief

The William Bradfield Case: Murder on the Main Line

Mike Mallowe

Coded Bradfield Note: ‘My Danger Conspiracy’

Emilie Lounsberry

The Jury: Convinced or Confused?

Emilie Lounsberry and Henry Goldman

Bradfield, on Stand, Denies Any Role

Emilie Lounsberry

Bradfield and Women

Henry Goldman

Study Questions

Summary Exercises

Chapter 8: Standards of Inductive Reasoning

Three Basic Forms


The Literary Digest Predicts Victory by Landon, 1936

“Digest” Poll Machinery Speeding Up

Landon 1,293,669; Roosevelt, 972,897

What Went Wrong with the Polls?

Study Questions


Troublemakers: What Pitt Bulls Can Teach Us about Profiling

Malcolm Gladwell

Study Questions

Causal Claims

So, Smoking Causes Cancer: This Is News?

Denise Grady

Renewing Philosophy

Hilary Putnam

Study Questions



Chapter 9: Fallacies

The Nature of Fallacies

Fallacies of Irrelevance

Lost Genius

Russell Baker

Study Questions

Fallacies of Faulty Generalization

Fallacies of Emotional Manipulation

Bachmann Finds an Issue With HPV Debate

Trip Gabriel

Study Questions



Chapter 10: Scientific Reasoning

Science and Good Reasoning

Copernicus and Kepler

The Sex Life of the Whiptail Lizard

Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch

Study Questions

Hypothetical-Deductive Reasoning



Chapter 11: Pseudoscience

Distinguishing Science from Pseudoscience

Fliess, Freud, and Biorhythm

Martin Gardner

Study Questions



Part IV Reasoning About Values

Chapter 12: The Nature of Morality

Supporting Moral Claims

Chapter I: Of the Principle of Utility

Jeremy Bentham

Study Questions

Objectivism and Subjectivism

The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Study Questions

Morality and Reasoning



Chapter 13: Reasoning about Good and Bad

Making Moral Decisions

Reasonable Objectivism and Reasonable Subjectivism

Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals

Immanuel Kant

Existentialism is a Humanism

Jean-Paul Sartre

Study Questions





Chapter 14: Moral Dialogue

Dogmatism and Relativism

Euthyphro as Dogmatist


Classroom Scene

Study Questions

Moderation as Key



Chapter 15: Reason and Commitment

Open Rational Dialogue

Keynote Speech May 18 at Simpson College’s 1996 Commencement

Jane Smiley

Study Questions


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