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Critical Reasoning

ISBN-10: 0534605079
ISBN-13: 9780534605070
Edition: 6th 2006
List price: $212.95 Buy it from $2.91
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Description: CRITICAL REASONING helps students to gain a firm grasp on the dynamics of critical reasoning in the context of real-world experiences and information. Via clear explanations and the application of various analytic techniques, the text skillfully  More...

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Book details

List price: $212.95
Edition: 6th
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Wadsworth
Publication date: 7/19/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 432
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

CRITICAL REASONING helps students to gain a firm grasp on the dynamics of critical reasoning in the context of real-world experiences and information. Via clear explanations and the application of various analytic techniques, the text skillfully presents the rudiments of logic without losing students in the explication of complex theories and provides a rich array of reading passages drawn from everyday sources, such as newspaper editorials and popular essays. The text culminates in a chapter on the challenges of being a consumer of information in our contemporary "world of experts."

Dr. Jerry Cederblom serves in The University of Nebraska-Omaha Philosophy Department, teaching courses in moral and political philosophy, epistemology, history of philosophy, critical reasoning, and logic. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Whitman College and his Ph.D. in philosophy from the Claremont Graduate School. He is co-author of two books�CRITICAL REASONING and ETHICS AT WORK (both published by Wadsworth)--and co-editor (with William Blizek) of a third book: JUSTICE AND PUNISHMENT.

Deciding What to Believe
Critical Reasoning Versus Passive Reading or Listening
Critical Reasoning Versus Mere Disagreement
The Attitude of the Critical Reasoner
Critical Reasoning as a Cooperative Enterprise
Some Common Misconceptions About Critical Reasoning
Benefits of Critical Reasoning
Taking Notice of Disagreements and Reasoning
The Main Techniques of Critical Reasoning
A Beginning Step: Identifying Main Points and Supporting Points
The Anatomy of Arguments: Identifying Premises and Conclusions
The Key to Identification: Seeing What Is Supported by What
Clues to Identifying Argument Parts: Indicator Words
Techniques for Marking the Parts of Arguments
What to Do When There Are No Indicator Words: The Principle of Charitable Interpretation
Using the Principle of Charitable Interpretation to Pick Out Premises and Conclusions in Arguments Without Explicit Indicator Words
Patterns of Argument
Using Argument Patterns to Pick Out Premises and Conclusions in Arguments Without Explicit Indicator Words
Identifying Premises and Conclusions in Longer Passages
Reconstructing Explicit Arguments in Longer Passages
Understanding Arguments Through Reconstruction
Understanding Arguments by Identifying Implicit Conclusions
Understanding Arguments by Identifying Implicit Premises
Adding Both Conclusion and Premises
Guidelines and Warnings in Adding Implicit Premises and Conclusions
Recognizing Argument Patterns and Adding Implicit Premises, Conclusions, or Both
Moving to Real-World Discourse
Simplification and Paraphrasing: Making a First Approximation
Finding an Argument in a Sea of Words
Putting All This into Practice
Evaluating Arguments: Some Basic Questions
When Does the Conclusion Follow from the Premises?
Showing Invalidity
When Should the Premises Be Accepted As True?
Casting Doubt on Premises
Sample Appraisals: Examples of Techniques of Criticism
Distinguishing the Validity of an Argument (That Is, Whether the Conclusion Follows) from the Truth of Its Premises
Some Special Cases: Arguments That We Should or Should Not Do Something
The Rationale for Using These Critical Techniques
Criticizing Arguments
When Does the Conclusion Follow? A More Formal Approach to Validity
Statements Containing Logical Connectives: When Are They True? When Are They False?
Evaluating Statements
Truth Tables As a Test for Validity
Truth Tables
Representing Structures Within Statements: Predicates and Quantifiers
(Optional) A More Formal Way of Representing Statements with Quantifiers
Venn Diagrams
A Glimpse at Natural Deduction
Fallacies: Bad Arguments That Tend to Persuade
What Is a Fallacy?
Distraction Fallacies: False Dilemma, Slippery Slope, Straw Man
Identifying Distraction Fallacies
Resemblance Fallacies: Affirming the Consequent, Denying the Antecedent, Equivocation, Begging the Question
Identifying Distraction and Resemblance Fallacies
Emotion and Reason in Argument
When Is an Emotional Appeal Illegitimate?
Emotion Fallacies: Appeal to Force, Appeal to Pity, Prejudicial Language
Identifying Emotion Fallacies
Emotion and Resemblance Combined: Appeal to Authority, Attacking the Person
Note on Terminology
A Comprehensive Review of Fallacies
Fallacious or Not?
"That Depends on What You Mean by..."
Unclear Expressions in the Premises: Looking for Shifts in Meaning
The Possibility of Misleading Definition
Kinds of Unclarity: Vagueness and Ambiguity
Interpreting and Evaluating: A Dialogue Process
Criticizing Arguments That Contain Unclear Words or Expressions
Argument and Definition
Evaluating Definition-like Premises
Conceptual Theories
A Model for Conceptual Theories
Reconstructing Fragmentary Theories
Reconstructing Conceptual Theories
The Criticism of Conceptual Theories
Criticism of Conceptual Theories
Conceptual Clarification and Argument
Reconstructing and Criticizing Conceptual Theories and Arguments Based on Them
Arguments That Are Not Deductive: Induction and Statistical Reasoning
Two Types of Inductive Arguments
Inductive Versus Deductive Arguments
Generalizations, Descriptions of Particulars, and Inductive Arguments
Criticizing Arguments That Generalize: Sampling Arguments
Criticizing Sampling Arguments
Arguments with Statistical Premises
Criticizing Arguments with Statistical Premises
Review: Types of Inductive Arguments
Causal, Analogical, and Convergent Arguments: Three More Kinds of Nondeductive Reasoning
Causal Generalization
Five Ways in Which Causal Reasoning Might Fail
The Controlled Experiment: Handling the X-Factor
What Happens If Control Is Limited?
The Faulty Move from Correlation to Cause
Arguments from Analogy
Criticizing Arguments from Analogy
Convergent Arguments
Reconstructing and Criticizing Convergent Arguments
Review: Types of Nondeductive Arguments
Explanation and the Criticism of Theories
"That's Just a Theory"
Picking Out Theories
Identifying Theories and Regularities
Criticism of Theories
First-Stage Criticisms-Plausible Alternative; Doubtful Predictions
Applying First-Stage Criticisms to Theories
Second-Stage Criticisms-ad Hoc Defense; Untestability
Applying Second-Stage Criticisms to Theories
Review of Techniques for Criticizing Theories
Criticizing Empirical Theories in Longer Passages
Putting It All Together: Six Steps to Understanding and Evaluating Arguments
A Sample Application of the Six-Step Procedure
A Second Application: A Convergent Argument Contained in a Linked Argument
Applying the Six-Step Procedure
Putting It All Together in the Classroom: "Fishbowl" Discussions and Critical Exchanges
Making Reasonable Decisions As an Amateur in a World of Specialists
Leaving It to the Experts
The Dilemma
Coping with the Dilemma
Creating Arguments and Theories in a World of Experts
The Strategy and Its Prospects
Can Information Technology Dissolve the Dilemma?
The Contemporary Problem of Knowledge
Case Study for Individual Writing Exercise of Group Discussion
Answers to Selected Exercises

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