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Cover

The Power of Critical Thinking

Effective Reasoning about Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims

Sixth Edition

Lewis Vaughn

Publication Date - September 2018

ISBN: 9780190852719

600 pages
Paperback
8 x 10 inches

Retail Price to Students: $109.99

Provides the broadest range of tools to show students how critical thinking applies in their lives and the world around them

Description

The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Sixth Edition, provides the broadest range of tools to show students how critical thinking applies in their lives and the world around them. It explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating important topics that most other texts leave out, such as "inference to the best explanation," scientific reasoning, evidence and authority, visual reasoning, and obstacles to critical thinking.

New to this Edition

  • An updated guide to Thinking Critically about the Media (Chapter 4) tackles contemporary issues of fake news, evaluating sources, and distrust of mainstream media
  • Updated exercises, boxes, text, and photos reflect current events, new interests, and social changes
  • New material in Chapter 11 on critical thinking and racism, moral dilemmas, and the divine command theory expands Vaughn's narrative on crucial issues
  • Many revised text boxes on such compelling topics as critiquing moral theories, the deadly post hoc fallacy, political straw, lying, fallacious appeals to (questionable) authority, and the best explanation for hurricanes Katrina and Harvey apply critical thinking to the student experience
  • Dashboard for The Power of Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition, delivers a wealth of automatically graded activities in an intuitive, web-based learning environment. It offers students two unique quizzes for each chapter and two additional "Logic Tool" Venn diagram quizzes for Chapter 7.

Features

  • Offers the clearest step-by-step explanations available
  • Provides students with a solid grounding in a wide range of critical thinking skills applicable to many kinds of claims, evidence, and arguments
  • Incorporates hundreds of diverse exercises--including Field Problems, Integrative Exercises, Self-Assessment Quizzes, and Essay Questions--presented progressively, from simple to complex and elementary to more advanced, with selected answers at the back of the book
  • Includes numerous photos with caption questions that encourage critical thinking
  • Shows students how scientific reasoning applies to an array of questions in many scientific fields, everyday life, and even the realm of extraordinary phenomena (Ch. 8, 9, and 10)
  • Offers the best and most thorough coverage of inference to the best explanation (Chs. 9 and 10)
  • Covers the evaluation of evidence, authority, and credibility, showing students how to assess the evidence and claims offered by scientists and other experts, the news media, advertising, and everyday experience
  • Emphasizes writing throughout, with writing assignments in each chapter and an extensive appendix on argumentative writing that includes twenty-one essays for analysis
  • An Ancillary Resource Center includes an Instructor's Manual, PowerPoint lecture slides, and a Test Bank with chapter summaries, multiple-choice, true/false, short-answer, and short-essay questions
  • A free, open-access Companion Website offers students self-assessment quizzes and flashcards of key terms from the text
  • Dashboard for this text delivers a wealth of automatically graded activities in an intuitive, web-based learning environment. It offers students two unique quizzes for each chapter and two additional "Logic Tool" Venn diagram quizzes for Chapter 7.

About the Author(s)

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of several textbooks, including Philosophy Here and Now, Third Edition (2018), Writing Philosophy, Second Edition (2018), Living Philosophy, Second Edition (2017), and Concise Guide to Critical Thinking (2017), all published by Oxford University Press.

Reviews

"This is an excellent critical thinking book! I will likely adopt it for future classes. It is well written, engaging, appropriate for undergraduates, and has a lot of good exercises, including real-world applications. In addition, the cost is much more affordable than competing texts, without compromising the content."--Ken Hochstetter, College of Southern Nevada

"The Power of Critical Thinking is a great textbook. Its strengths are its repetition of key ideas and the many real-world applications, like the connection between ESP and expectation. This text offers a taste of all areas of human reasoning in an accessible and intelligent manner. The fun information boxes will also keep students interested."--June Yang, Grossmont College

"Vaughn's textbook is one of the most readable critical thinking textbooks. It is written for freshmen college students, even those who are not fully prepared for college-level work. The self-assessment quizzes and integrated exercises are among the best features of this book."--Tobyn DeMarco, Bergen Community College

Table of Contents

    Preface
    PART 1. BASICS
    1. The Power of Critical Thinking
    Why It Matters
    How It Works
    Claims and Reasons
    Reasons and Arguments
    Arguments in the Rough
    Key Words
    Summary
    Exercises
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Writing Assignments
    2. Obstacles to Critical Thinking
    Psychological Obstacles
    The Almighty Self
    The Power of the Group
    Philosophical Obstacles
    Subjective Relativism
    Social Relativism
    Skepticism
    Key Words
    Summary
    Exercises
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    3. Making Sense of Arguments
    Argument Basics
    Judging Arguments
    Finding Missing Parts
    Argument Patterns
    Diagramming Arguments
    Assessing Long Arguments
    Key Words
    Summary
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    PART 2. REASONS
    4. Reasons for Belief and Doubt
    When Claims Conflict
    Experts and Evidence
    Personal Experience
    Impairment
    Expectation
    Innumeracy and Probability
    Fooling Ourselves
    Resisting Contrary Evidence
    Looking for Confirming Evidence
    Preferring Available Evidence
    * Evaulating Sources: The Internet and Beyond
    * Fake News
    Advertising and Persuasion
    Identification
    Slogans
    Misleading Comparisons
    Weasel Words
    Key Words
    Summary
    Exercises
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    5. 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
    Faulty Analogy
    Persuaders: Rhetorical Moves
    Innuendo
    Euphemisms and Dysphemisms
    Stereotyping
    Ridicule
    Rhetorical Definitions
    Key Words
    Summary
    Exercises
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    PART 3. ARGUMENTS
    6. Deductive Reasoning: Propositional Logic
    Connectives and Truth Values
    Conjunction
    Disjunction
    Negation
    Conditional
    Checking for Validity
    Simple Arguments
    Tricky Arguments
    Streamlined Evaluation
    Proof of Validity
    Rules of Inference
    Rules of Replacement
    Key Words
    Summary
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    7. Deductive Reasoning: Categorical Logic
    Statements and Classes
    Translations and Standard Form
    Terms
    Quantifiers
    Diagramming Categorical Statements
    Sizing Up Categorical Syllogisms
    The Square of Opposition
    Categorical Equivalence
    Key Words
    Summary
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    8. Inductive Reasoning
    Enumerative Induction
    Sample Size
    Representativeness
    Opinion Polls
    Analogical Induction
    Causal Arguments
    Testing for Causes
    Causal Confusions
    Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
    Key Words
    Summary
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    PART 4. EXPLANATIONS
    9. 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
    Key Words
    Summary
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    10. Judging Scientific Theories
    Science and Not Science
    The Scientific Method
    Testing Scientific Theories
    Judging Scientific Theories
    Copernicus Versus Ptolemy
    Evolution Versus Creationism
    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
    Summary
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    11. Critical Thinking in Morality and the Law
    Moral Arguments
    Moral Premises
    Moral Theories
    Evaluating Moral Theories
    Two Important Theories
    Legal Reasoning
    A Coherent Worldview
    Key Words
    Summary
    Exercises
    Field Problems
    Self-Assessment Quiz
    Integrative Exercises
    Writing Assignments
    * Appendix A: The Truth About Philosophy Majors
    Appendix B: Essays for Evaluation
    1. Death Penalty Discriminates Against Black Crime Victims
    2. Marine Parks
    3. A Feminist Defense of Pornography
    4. A Defense of Homosexuality
    5. More Innocents Die When We Don't Have Capital Punishment
    6. What's Wrong with Adultery?
    7. A Pat-Down Is Better Than a Blow-Up
    8. The Cohabitation Epidemic
    9. Not Being Vaccinated Is Not Acceptable
    10. Women and the Afghanistan Peace Process
    11. A Deviance from God's Norm
    12. Marriage Still Evolving, as Ever
    13. Slouching Toward Chimeras
    14. Fighting Islamic Extremists Who Stifle Free Speech
    15. Is Sluttishness a Feminist Statement?
    16. Torture: Time for Congress to End the Debate,
    17. Torture: Severe Interrogations Work
    18. Freedom of Expression: Protect Student Speech-Even "Unwise" Bong Banner
    19. Freedom of Expression: Policy Reflects Common Sense
    20. It's Irresponsible to Spread Fear of Vaccine
    21. Flag Amendment: Flag Needs Protection
    Appendix C. Answers to Exercises
    Appendix D. Answers to Self-Assessment Quizzes
    Appendix E. Critical Thinking and Writing
    Notes
    Glossary
    Credits
    Index