Critical Thinking A Concise Guide

ISBN-10: 0415343135

ISBN-13: 9780415343138

Edition: 2nd 2004 (Revised)

List price: $32.95
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Attempts to persuade us - to believe something, to do something, to buy something - are everywhere. What is less clear is how to think critically about such attempts and how to distinguish those that are sound arguments.Critical Thinking: A Concise Guideis a much needed guide to argument analysis and a clear introduction to thinking clearly and rationally for oneself. Accessibly written, this book equips readers with the essential skills required to discuss a good argument from a bad one. Key features of the book include: * Clear, jargon-free discussion of key concepts in argumentation * How to avoid common confusions surrounding words such as "truth," "knowledge" and "opinion" * How to identify and evaluate the most common types of argument * How to spot fallacies and tell good reasoning from bad * Chapter summaries, exercises, examples, and a glossary The second edition has been updated to include topical new examples from politics, sport, medicine and music, as well asnew exercises throughout.
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Book details

List price: $32.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Routledge
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 321
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

Christopher Belshaw is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Staff Tutor with the Open University. He works mainly at the theoretical end of applied ethics. He is the author of Ideas (Open University 1998), Environmental Philosophy (Acumen, 2001) and 10 Good Questions About Life and Death (Blackwell, 2005). Another book, Annihilation: The Sense and Significance of Death, is forthcoming.Gary Kemp is Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at the University of Glasgow. He works in the philosophy of logic and language, on Frege, Russell, Quine and Davidson, and on aesthetics and philosophical themes in literature. He is the author of Quine: A Guide for the Perplexed (2005) and, with Tracy Bowell, of Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide (2002, 2005, 2009).

Preface to the first edition
Preface to the second edition
Introduction and preview
Why should we become critical thinkers?
Beginning to think critically
Aspects of meaning
Standard form
Identifying conclusions and premises
Arguments and explanations
Intermediate conclusions
Linguistic phenomena
Logic: deductive validity
The principle of charity
Deductive validity
Conditional propositions
Deductive soundness
The connection to formal logic
Argument trees
Logic: inductive force
Inductive force
'All', 'most' and 'some'
Soft generalisations
Inductive soundness
Probability in the premises
Arguments with multiple probabilistic premises
Inductive force in extended arguments
Conditional probability in the conclusion
Inductive inferences
A programme for assessment
Rhetorical ploys and fallacies
Rhetorical ploys
Further fallacies
The practice of argument-reconstruction
Extraneous material
Defusing the rhetoric
Logical streamlining
Implicit and explicit
Connecting premises
Covering generalisations
Ambiguity and vagueness
More on generalisations
Practical reasoning
Balancing costs, benefits and probabilities
Explanations as conclusions
Causal generalisations
A shortcut
Issues in argument assessment
Rational persuasiveness
Some strategies for logical assessment
Refutation by counterexample
Avoiding the 'who is to say?' criticism
Don't merely label the position
Argument commentary
A complete example
Commentary on the commentary
Truth, knowledge and belief
Truth and relativity
True for me, true for you
Truth, value and morality
Belief, justification and truth
Justification without arguments
Justification failure
Knowledge and rational persuasiveness
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