Synopses & Reviews
Unique in perspective, this book provides a general approach to critical thinking skills that can be applied to all disciplines. With an emphasis on writing, as well as on deciding what to believe or do, it offers extended discussions, examples, and practice of such skills as observing, making judgments, planning experiments, and developing ideas and alternatives.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Decision and Argument.
Argument. Check—Ups. Check—Up 1A. Six Basic Elements in Critical Thinking: The FRISCO Approach. Writing a Position Paper Using Critical Thinking. Responsibility for the Wise Exercise of Your Knowledge. Chapter Summary. Check—Up 1B. Suggested Answers for Chapter 1.
2. Argument Analysis: Identifying Conclusions and Reasons.
The Murder Trial. Conclusions and Reasons. Check—Up 2A. Check—Up 2B. Propositions with Two or More Parts. Figuring Out the Conclusion. Since and Because in Explanations that Try to Account for Something. Summary So Far. Check—Up 2C. An Alternative: Diagramming the Whole Argument. Check—Up 2D. Suggested Answers for Chapter 2.
3. The Credibility of Sources.
Four Basic Criteria for Credibility. Tabulating the Results. Check—Up 3A. Further Criteria. Check—Up 3B. Fallacy Labels. Chapter Summary. Check—Up 3C. Suggested Answers for Chapter 3.
Credibility Criteria. Conclusions Versus Observations. Check—Up 4A. The Process of Observing. Observation Reports. Check—Up 4B. Making an Overall Appraisal of an Observation Statement. Chapter Summary. Check—Up 4C. Suggested Answers for Chapter 4.
5. Deduction: Class Logic.
Deductive Validity and Invalidity. Check—Up 5A. A Basic Circle System. Check—Up 5B. Check—Up 5C. Check—Up 5D. Suggested Answers for Chapter 5.
6. Deduction: Propositional Logic.
Propositions. If—Then Reasoning. Summary. Check—Up 6A. Affirming and Denying the Antecedent and Consequent. Summary So Far. Check—Up 6B. Negation. Check—Up 6C. Saving Time with Letters. Check—Up 6D. Suggested Answers for Chapter 6. Conjunction, Alternation, and Embedded Complex Propositions. Check—Up 6E.
7. Applications of Deductive Logic: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions, Straight Deduction, Loose Derivation, and Assumption Attribution.
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions. Soundness in Deductive Logic. Three Cases of Deduction in Context. Loose Derivation. Summary So Far. Check—Up 7A. Assumption Attribution and Identification. Check—Up 7B. Application of Deductive Logic in Writing Position Papers. The Distinction Between Needed and Used Implicit Assumptions in Real Situations. Summary. Check—Up 7C. Suggested Answers for Chapter 7.
8. Experimentation, Diagnosis, and Troubleshooting.
Control Group Experimentation. Check—Up 8A. Systematic control of the Variables—Without Using a Separate Control Group. Check—Up 8B. Comparability. Summary so Far. Check—Up 8C. Experimental Reasoning Assumptions. The Reasoning Pattern in Rejecting Hypotheses. Accepting Hypotheses: Four Criteria. Summary so Far—and Comment. Check—Up 8D. Diagnosis or Troubleshooting. Check—Up 8E. Writing About Your Results. Check—Up 8F. Chapter Summary. Suggested Answers for Chapter 8.
9. Best-Explanation and Causal Inference: Argument and Writing Strategy.
Best-Explanation Hypotheses. Check-Up 9A. Necessarily Following: Deductive Versus Best-Explanation Inference and General Argument Strategy. Check-up 9B. Causation. Check-Up 9C. Best-Explanation and Casual Reasoning in Position Papers and Other Argumentative Writings. Check-Up 9D. Suggested Answers for Chapter 9.
10. Generalization: Meaning, Sampling, Typicality, Tables, Graphs, and Correlations.
Types of Generalizations. Check-up 10A. Sampling and Typicality. Check-Up 10B. Interpretation of Data: Tables, Graphs, and Correlations. Check- Up 10C. Suggested Answers for Chapter 10.
11. Making Value Judgements.
The Distinction Between Value Statements and Factual Statements. Loose Derivation from Principles and Factual Statements. Summary. Sheck-Up 11A. Facts About the past: Future Consequences. Weighing Reasons. FRISCO. Writing a Value Argument. Summary. Check-Up 11B. Relativism. Check-Up 11C. Suggested Answers for Chapter 11.
12. Reported Definition and Definition Forms.
Reported Definition. Check-Up 12A. The Classification Definition Form. Check-Up 12B. Some Alternatives to Classification Definition. Using Definitions in Your Writing. Check-Up 12C. Suggested Answers for Chapter 12.
13. Arbitrary Stipulative Definition, Positional Definition, and Definition Strategy.
Arbitrary Stipulative Definition and Positional Definition. Check-Up 13A. Definitional Strategy. Summary. Check-Up 13B. Writing That Consciously Takes Account of Definitional Activities. Check-Up 13C. Suggested Answers for Chapter 13.
14. Applying Critical Thinking: FRISCO, Overview, and Critical Thinking in Conversation and Presentation.
Broad Critical Thinking Elements: FRISCO. Check-Ups. Check-Up 14A. Thinking Critically When Discussing Things with Others. Check-Up 14B. Check-Up 14C. Check-Up 14D. Summary. Suggested Answers for Chapter 14.
You Have Reached the End of This Book.