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Critical Thinking / Edition 11


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 Defining Terms Ambiguous Claims Vague Claims Claims That Make Comparisons Persuasive Writing 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 Experts The News Media Reporting the News Who Listens to the News? The Internet

4. Persuasion Through Rhetoric

Rhetorical Devices and Techniques (Starters) Euphemisms and Dysphemisms Persuasive Comparisons, Definitions, and Explanations Stereotypes Innuendo Loaded questions Weaselers Downplayers Horse Laugh/Ridicule/Sarcasm Hyperbole Proof Surrogates Advertising Primates of the Miocene

5. More Rhetorical Devices

Smokescreen/Red Herring The Subjectivist Fallacy

Appeal to Popularity (ad populum)

Common Practice Peer Pressure Bandwagon Wishful Thinking Scare Tactics Appeal to Pity Apple Polishing Appeal to Anger or Indignation Two Wrongs Make a Right

6. More Pseudoreasoning and Other Rhetorical Plays

Ad Hominem Personal Attack Circumstantial Ad Hominem Pseudorefutation Poisoning the Well Genetic Fallacy Burden of Proof Straw Man False Dilemma Perfectionist Fallacy Line-Drawing Fallacy Slippery Slope Begging the Question

7. Explanations

Explanations and Arguments Explanations and Justifications Kinds of Explanations Physical Explanations Behavioral Explanations Functional Explanations Spotting Weak Explanations Testability Noncircularity Relevance Freedom from Excessive Vagueness Reliability Explanatory Power 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 Unstated Premises Identifying Unstated Premises Techniques for Understanding Arguments Clarifying an Argument's Structure Distinguishing Arguments from Window Dressing Evaluating Arguments Do the Premises Support the Conclusion? Are the Premises Reasonable?

9. Deductive Arguments I: Categorical Logic

Categorical Claims Venn Diagrams Translation into Standard Form The Square of Opposition Three Categorical Operations Conversion Obversion Contraposition Categorical Syllogisms The Venn Diagram Method of Testing for Validity Categorical Syllogisms with Unstated Premises Real-Life Syllogisms The Rules Method of Testing for Validity

10. Deductive Arguments II: Truth-Functional Logic

Truth Tables and the Truth-Functional Symbols Claim Variables Truth Tables Symbolizing Compound Claims Truth-Functional Arguments Deductions Group I Rules: Elementary Valid Argument Patterns Group II Rules: Truth-Functional Equivalences Conditional Proof

11. Inductive Arguments

Inductive Generalizations Representativeness and Bias Random Variation Everyday Inductive Generalizations The Two Key Questions We Should Ask of Any Inductive Generalization Analogical Arguments Fallacies Untrustworthy

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Polls Playing by the Numbers

12. Causal Arguments

Causation Among Specific Events Only-Relevant-Difference Reasoning Only-Relevant-Common-Thread Reasoning 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

Moral Reasoning Descriptive and Prescriptive Moral Claims Consistency and Fairness Major Perspectives in Moral Reasoning Moral Deliberation Legal Reasoning Legal Reasoning and Moral Reasoning Compared Two Types of Legal Studies: Justifying Laws and Interpreting Laws The Role of Precedent in Legal Reasoning Aesthetic 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 Arguments Glossary 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

Category: Critical thinking

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