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Cover

Critical Thinking

An Introduction to Analytical Reading and Reasoning

Second Edition

Larry Wright

Publication Date - October 2012

ISBN: 9780199796229

416 pages
Paperback
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $65.95

Employs distinctive and provocative examples to guide students through analytical reading and the evaluation of arguments

Description

Now in its second edition, Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Analytical Reading and Reasoning provides a nontechnical vocabulary and analytic apparatus that guide students in identifying and articulating the central patterns found in reasoning and in expository writing more generally. Understanding these patterns of reasoning helps students to better analyze, evaluate, and construct arguments and to more easily comprehend the full range of everyday arguments found in ordinary journalism.

Critical Thinking, Second Edition, distinguishes itself from other texts in the field by emphasizing analytical reading as an essential skill. It also provides detailed coverage of argument analysis, diagnostic arguments, diagnostic patterns, and fallacies.

Opening with two chapters on analytical reading that help students recognize what makes reasoning explicitly different from other expository activities, the text then presents an interrogative model of argument to guide them in the analysis and evaluation of reasoning. This model allows a detailed articulation of "inference to the best explanation" and gives students a view of the pervasiveness of this form of reasoning. The author demonstrates how many common argument types--from correlations to sampling--can be analyzed using this articulated form. He then extends the model to deal with several predictive and normative arguments and to display the value of the fallacy vocabulary.

Ideal for introductory courses in critical thinking, critical reasoning, informal logic, and inductive reasoning, Critical Thinking, Second Edition, features hundreds of exercises throughout and includes worked-out solutions and additional exercises (without solutions) at the end of each chapter. An Instructor's Manual--offering solutions to the text's unanswered exercises and featuring other pedagogical aids--is available on the book's Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/wright.

New to this Edition

  • A revised and more detailed treatment of the "internal structure" metaphor in Ch. 4
  • A complete reworking and expansion of the diagnostic vocabulary developed in Ch. 5
  • More care was taken in articulating the role of explanatory "resources" in diagnostic reasoning

About the Author(s)

Larry Wright is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, where he has taught since 1970. He is the author of Practical Reasoning (1989), Better Reasoning: Techniques for Handling Argument, Evidence & Abstraction (1982), and Teleological Explanations: An Etiological Analysis of Goals and Functions (1976).

Previous Publication Date(s)

October 2012
March 2001

Reviews

"This is the best critical-thinking book on the market. Its strengths are its originality, thoughtfulness, attention to scholarship in informal logic/critical thinking, focus on the importance of critical-reading skills, and practical application to the kinds of reasoning we do every day through a remarkably careful discussion of inference to the best explanation."--Dale Turner, Cal Poly Pomona

"I have seen students understand what they are reading and evaluate arguments in a meaningful way in classes where this text is being used. This in itself motivates me to use it."--Sharon Crasnow, Norco College, Riverside Community College District

"Critical Thinking constitutes a unified approach to a whole trajectory of intellectual development; that is, it can take someone from 'able to read' all the way to 'able to think analytically and creatively about reasoning.'"--Chris Campolo, Hendrix College

Table of Contents

    Chapters 1 and 4-8 open with an Introduction.
    Each chapter ends with Supplemental Exercises and Answers.
    Preface
    PART ONE. PARAPHRASING
    1. THE BARE-BONES PARAPHRASE
    The Concept of Paraphrase
    Reading and Paraphrase
    Technique and Vocabulary
    Human Understanding
    Subtler Issues
    Two Principles of Paraphrasing
    Things to Keep in Mind
    2. READING FOR STRUCTURE: DEPENDENCY AND SUBORDINATION
    Complexity
    Technique and Vocabulary
    Useful Patterns
    Tricks for Tough Cases
    Systematic Features
    Trial and Error Exercise
    3. READING FOR REASONING: PARAPHRASING ARGUMENTS
    Reading for a Particular Purpose
    Reading for Reasoning
    A Shortcut: Schematizing Directly from a Passage
    Charitable Schematizing
    PART TWO. ANALYZING REASONING
    4. ARGUMENT ANALYSIS: ANSWERING QUESTIONS
    The Purpose of Analysis
    The Fundamental Concepts: Questions and Answers
    Refining the Apparatus and Exercising Our Skills
    Evaluating Arguments: How Good Are the Reasons?
    Interim Summary: What We Have Learned So Far
    Dealing with Disagreement
    5. DIAGNOSTIC ARGUMENTS: REASONING BY EXPLAINING
    Diagnostic Questions
    Diagnostic Concepts
    Objects and Resources: Different Kinds of Support
    Refinements
    Diagnostic Investigation
    6. DIAGNOSTIC PATTERNS
    Cause and Correlation
    Testimony
    Sampling
    Counting Cases: Induction by Enumeration
    Circumstantial Evidence
    7. FURTHER APPLICATIONS: PREDICTION AND RECOMMENDATION
    Prediction
    Recommendation
    8. FALLACIES
    Fallacies of Construction
    Critical Fallacies
    APPENDIX. DEDUCTION
    Introduction
    Semantic Conflict
    Semantic Evaluation
    Deductive Arguments
    Structure
    Tests and Criteria
    Relative Strength
    Summary
    Glossary of Important Terms
    Index