Concise Guide to Critical Thinking

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Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2020-10-30
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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Summary

Lewis Vaughn's Concise Guide to Critical Thinking, Second Edition, offers a compact, clear, and economical introduction to critical thinking and argumentative writing. Based on his best-selling text, The Power of Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition, this affordable volume is more manageable than larger textbooks yet more substantial than many of the smaller critical thinking handbooks.

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Author Biography


Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of several textbooks, including Applying Critical Thinking to Modern Media (2020), Living Philosophy, Third Edition (2020), Bioethics, Fourth Edition (2019), The Power of Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition (2018), and Philosophy Here and Now,Third Edition (2018).

Table of Contents


Preface

CHAPTER 1. Critical Thinking, Facts, and Feelings
WHY IT MATTERS
CLAIMS AND REASONS
REASONS AND ARGUMENTS
ARGUMENTS IN THE ROUGH

CHAPTER 2. Obstacles to Critical Thinking
PSYCHOLOGICAL OBSTACLES
Self-Centered Thinking
Group-Centered Thinking
Resisting Contrary Evidence
Looking for Confirming Evidence
Preferring Available Evidence
Motivated Reasoning
Homophily
Mere Exposure Effect
Illusion-of-Truth Effect
False Consensus Effect
THE DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT
PHILOSOPHICAL OBSTACLES
Subjective Relativism
Social Relativism

CHAPTER 3. Identifying and Evaluating Arguments
ARGUMENT BASICS
JUDGING ARGUMENTS
UNCOVERING IMPLIED PREMISES
ASSESSING LONG ARGUMENTS

CHAPTER 4. Deductive Argument Patterns
COMMON FORMS
Modus Ponens
Modus Tollens
Hypothetical Syllogism
Disjunctive Syllogism
Invalid Argument Forms
REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM

CHAPTER 5. Inductive Arguments and Statistics
ENUMERATIVE INDUCTION
Sample Size
Representativeness
OPINION POLLS
ANALOGICAL INDUCTION
Relevant Similarities
Relevant Dissimilarities
The Number of Instances Compared
Diversity Among Cases

CHAPTER 6. Evidence and Experts
EXPERTS AND NONEXPERTS
JUDGING EXPERTS
EXPERTS AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
Impairment
Expectation
INNUMERACY AND PROBABILITY

CHAPTER 7. Fake News
TAXONOMY OF MISINFORMATION
TELLING FAKE FROM REAL
Read Laterally
Read Critically
Use Google and Wikipedia Carefully
Check Your Own Biases
FAKE IMAGES

CHAPTER 8. Advertising: Commercial and Political
HOW ADVERTISING WORKS
INTERNET ADVERTISING
POLITICAL ADVERTISING

CHAPTER 9. Causal Arguments
TESTING FOR CAUSES
Agreement or Difference
Both Agreement and Difference
Correlation
CAUSAL CONFUSIONS
Misidentifying Relevant Factors
Mishandling Multiple Factors
Being Misled by Coincidence
Confusing Cause with Temporal Order
Confusing Cause and Effect
NECESSARY AND SUFFICIENT CONDITIONS

CHAPTER 10. Inference to the Best Explanation
EXPLANATIONS AND INFERENCE
THEORIES AND CONSISTENCY
THEORIES AND CRITERIA
Testability
Fruitfulness
Scope
Simplicity
Conservatism
TELLING GOOD THEORIES FROM BAD
A Doomed Flight
An Amazing Cure
CHAPTER 11. Judging Scientific Theories
WHAT SCIENCE IS AND IS NOT
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
TESTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES
JUDGING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES
Copernicus Versus Ptolemy
Climate Change
SCIENCE AND WEIRD THEORIES
MAKING WEIRD MISTAKES
Leaping to the Weirdest Theory
Mixing What Seems with What Is
Misunderstanding the Possibilities
JUDGING WEIRD THEORIES
Crop Circles
Talking with the Dead

CHAPTER 12. Fallacies and Persuaders
FALLACIES: IRRELEVANT PREMISES
Genetic Fallacy
Composition
Division
Appeal to the Person
Equivocation
Appeal to Popularity
Appeal to Tradition
Appeal to Ignorance
Appeal to Emotion
Red Herring
Straw Man
Two Wrongs Make a Right
FALLACIES: UNACCEPTABLE PREMISES
Begging the Question
False Dilemma
Decision-Point Fallacy
Slippery Slope
Hasty Generalization
PERSUADERS: RHETORICAL MOVES
Innuendo
Euphemisms and Dysphemisms
Stereotyping
Ridicule
Rhetorical Definitions

CHAPTER 13. Critical Thinking in Morality
MORAL ARGUMENTS
MORAL PREMISES
MORAL THEORIES
Evaluating Moral Theories
Two Important Theories

Appendix A: Answers to Exercises
Appendix B: Answers to Self-Assessment Quizzes
Notes
Glossary
Credits
Index

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