The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims

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9780195161427: The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims

Enhanced by many innovative exercises, examples, and pedagogical features, The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims provides a clear-cut introduction to the subject. Author Lewis Vaughn explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating material on important topics that most other texts leave out.

Offering comprehensive treatments of core topics, The Power of Critical Thinking includes an introduction to claims and arguments (Chapter 3); discussions of propositional and categorical logic (Chapters 6 and 7); and full coverage of the basics of inductive reasoning, including Mill's methods, enumerative and analogical induction, causal arguments, and opinion polls (Chapter 8). Building on this solid foundation, the book also delves into areas neglected by other texts, adding extensive material on "inference to the best explanation" and on scientific reasoning; a thorough look at the evaluation of evidence and credibility; and a chapter on the psychological and social factors that can impede critical thinking. Additional notable elements are a chapter on moral reasoning, advice on how to evaluate Internet sources, and guidelines for evaluating occult, paranormal, or supernatural claims.

Designed to help students move from passive to active learning, The Power of Critical Thinking contains many helpful pedagogical features including:

* Hundreds of diverse exercises, examples, and illustrations drawn from a broad spectrum of sources
* Progressive, stand-alone writing modules that encourage students to develop effective writing skills
* Numerous informative and provocative text boxes in three types: Review Notes, Highlights of Previous Chapters, and Further Thought
* Opening "reminder" sections (brief sketches of preceding chapters) and end-of-chapter summaries
* Step-by-step guidelines for evaluating claims, arguments, and explanations
* A glossary of important terms
* A companion website at www.oup.com/us/criticalthinking that includes a student study guide with notes, quizzes, additional exercises, and other materials
* A printed Instructor's Manual with Test Bank and a Computerized Test Bank

Written in a student-friendly style and enhanced by humor where appropriate, this unique text makes critical thinking engaging and applicable to students' lives without oversimplifying the material or avoiding difficult issues. Featuring a modular structure that allows instructors to teach the chapters in almost any order, it is an ideal text for courses in critical thinking, introduction to logic, informal logic, argumentative writing, and introduction to argumentation.

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About the Author:


Lewis Vaughn is a coauthor of Doing Philosophy: An Introduction Through Thought Experiments; How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age; and The Case for Humanism: An Introduction. He is the former editor of Free Inquiry magazine and the former executive editor of the philosophy journal Philo.

Review:

"All in all, this is the best book on the market. . . . Chapter 9, 'Inference to the Best Explanation, ' is unique to Vaughn's book and rather brilliant. It is both philosophically interesting and teaches students an important skill."--John Gibson, University of Louisville"The Power of Critical Thinking is unique in that it offers a comprehensive introduction to the basic principles of critical thinking in an engaging and approachable manner. It is the best book that I have seen for teaching critical thinking and practical logic skills."--Daniel Engster, TheUniversity of Texas at San Antonio"Two unique features are the stand-alone writing modules and the diverse collections of exercises. . . . including field problems, writing exercises, and quizzes."--Stephen Ma, California State University, Los Angeles

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Lewis Vaughn
Published by Oxford University Press (2004)
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