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Cover

Concise Guide to Critical Thinking

Second Edition

Author Lewis Vaughn

Publication Date - October 2020

ISBN: 9780197535790

400 pages
Paperback
6 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $71.94

A brief but thorough introduction to core concepts in critical thinking

Description

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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All new print and digital copies of Concise Guide to Critical Thinking, Second Edition, include access to the Oxford Insight Study Guide, a data-driven, personalized digital learning tool that reinforces key concepts from the text and encourages effective reading and study habits. Developed with a learning-science-based design, Oxford Insight Study Guide engages students in an active and highly dynamic review of chapter content, empowering them to critically assess their own understanding of course material. Real-time, actionable data generated by student activity in the tool helps instructors ensure that each student is best supported along their unique learning path.

Visit www.oup.com/he/vaughn concise2e for a wealth of additional digital resources for students and instructors.

New to this Edition

  • A chapter on fake news that shows how to identify fake news, distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate reasons for accepting a claim, assess the reliability of online information by reading laterally, use Google and Wikipedia judiciously, identify and use trustworthy fact-checkers, and understand the ethical implications of sharing fake news
  • Coverage of even more psychological obstacles to critical thinking, including motivated reasoning, the mere exposure effect, the false consensus effect, the illusion-of-truth effect, and the Dunning-Kruger effect
  • A chapter on commercial and political advertising that explains how online targeted advertising works, how political video ads can present false or misleading messages, and why the most insidious and relentless political ads may be the ones that we see on Facebook
  • A revised discussion of how to judge experts, supplemented with a "hierarchy of reliability" chart-a general ranking of trustworthiness for the sources that we rely on for most of our knowledge
  • A new section in Chapter 11: Judging Scientific Theories on how to think critically and scientifically about climate change
  • New material in Chapter 12: Fallacies and Persuaders discusses of the now-prevalent fallacy of whataboutism and provides a checklist of techniques for dealing with online ad hominem attacks

Features

  • Six chapters on identifying, evaluating, and devising deductive and inductive arguments
  • A chapter on obstacles to critical thinking
  • Comprehensive coverage of inference to the best explanation
  • Extensive treatment of scientific reasoning, with chapters on inductive reasoning, causal arguments, scientific theories and inference, and scientific method and theory evaluation
  • Emphasis on evaluation of evidence, authority, and credibility
  • A chapter on fallacies and rhetorical persuaders
  • A substantial chapter on writing argumentative essays
  • Numerous exercises, including review questions, exercises for applying critical thinking skills, writing assignments and prompts, and self-assessment quizzes

About the Author(s)

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).

Reviews

"Vaughn's Concise Guide is probably the best textbook on critical thinking out there. Its main strength is the almost perfect balance between the scope and depth. It covers the majority of critical thinking concepts and explains them with just enough detail for undergrads to get a solid introductory knowledge of the craft."--Eldar Sarajilic, CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

"The writing is lucid, concise, and lively. The examples are well chosen and relevant. This text is perfectly pitched for any undergraduate's first foray into informal logic."--Michael Fletcher Maumus, Brooklyn College

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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