The Power of Critical Thinking 5th Canadian Edition by Chris MacDonald, ISBN-13: 978-0199030439


The Power of Critical Thinking 5th Canadian Edition by Chris MacDonald, ISBN-13: 978-0199030439

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  • Publisher: ‎ Oxford University Press (January 1, 2019)
  • Language: ‎ English
  •  545 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 019903043X
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0199030439

When you were born, you were completely without opinions or judgments
or values or viewpoints—and now your head is overflowing
with them. Opinions help you to make your way through the world.
They guide you to success (or failure), understanding (or ignorance), good decisions
(or bad), empowerment (or paralysis). Some of your beliefs truly enable you,
and some blind you. Some are true; some are not. But the question is, which ones
are which? This kind of question—a question about the quality of your beliefs—
is the fundamental concern of critical thinking.

Determining the quality or value of your beliefs requires thought, and the
kind of thinking that does this job best is critical thinking—a skill that a university
or college education seeks to foster. This means that critical thinking is not
directly about what you think but rather how you think.

The quality of beliefs is not about what factors caused you to have the beliefs
that you do. A sociologist might tell you how society has influenced some of your
moral views. A psychologist might describe how your emotions cause you to cling
to certain opinions. Your best friend might claim that you have unconsciously
absorbed most of your beliefs directly from your parents. But none of these speculations
have much to do with the central task of critical thinking.

Critical thinking focuses not on what causes a belief but on whether it is worth
believing. A belief is worth believing, or accepting, if we have good reasons to accept it.
The better the reasons, the more likely the belief is to be true. Critical thinking
offers us a set of standards embodied in techniques, attitudes, and principles that
we can use to assess beliefs and determine if they are supported by good reasons.
After all, we want our beliefs to be true—to be good guides for dealing with the
world—and critical thinking is the best tool we have for achieving this goal.
Here’s one way to wrap up these points in a concise definition:

CRITICAL THINKING: The systematic evaluation or formulation
of beliefs or statements by rational standards.

Critical thinking is systematic because it involves distinct procedures and
methods. It entails evaluation and formulation because it’s used both to assess existing
beliefs (yours or someone else’s) and to arrive at new ones. And it operates
according to rational standards because it involves beliefs that are judged by how
well they are supported by reasons.

Table of Contents:

Boxes xi
From the Publisher xiii
Preface xxi
PART ONE Basics 1
1 The Power of Critical Thinking 2
Why It Matters 5
How It Works 9
Claims and Reasons 9
Reasons and Arguments 12
Arguments in the Rough 17
Summary 19
Field Problems 26
Self-Assessment Quiz 26
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise 28
Writing Assignments 32
2 The “Environment” of Critical Thinking 33
Category 1: How We Think 34
Am I Really Special? 35
The Power of the Group 41
Category 2: What We Think 45
Subjective Relativism 45
Social Relativism 47
Skepticism 48
Summary 49
Field Problems 56
Self-Assessment Quiz 56
Integrative Exercises 57
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise 59
Writing Assignments 61
Notes 62
3 Making Sense of Arguments 63
Argument Basics 64
Deductive Arguments 65
Inductive Arguments 67
Good Arguments 67
Judging Arguments 70
Finding Missing Parts 77
Argument Patterns 83
Affirming the Antecedent 84
Denying the Consequent 84
Hypothetical Syllogisms 85
Denying the Antecedent 86
Affirming the Consequent 87
Disjunctive Syllogism 87
Diagramming Arguments 92
Assessing Long Arguments 104
Summary 109
Field Problems 110
Self-Assessment Quiz 110
Integrative Exercises 112
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise 115
Writing Assignments 118
Notes 119
PART TWO Reasons 121
4 Reasons for Belief and Doubt 122
When Claims Conflict 124
Experts and Evidence 128
Personal Experience 136
Impairment 136
Expectation 138
Innumeracy 140
Fooling Ourselves 142
Resisting Contrary Evidence 142
Looking for Confirming Evidence 144
Preferring Available Evidence 145
Claims in the News 147
Inside the News 148
Sorting out the News 153
Advertising and Persuasion 154
Identification 156
Slogans 156
Misleading Comparisons 156
Weasel Words 157
Summary 158
Field Problems 163
Self-Assessment Quiz 163
Integrative Exercises 165
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise 167
Writing Assignments 172
Notes 172
5 Faulty Reasoning 174
Irrelevant Premises 176
Genetic Fallacy 176
Appeal to the Person 176
Composition 179
Division 179
Equivocation 180
Appeal to Popularity 181
Appeal to Tradition 183
Appeal to Ignorance 184
Appeal to Emotion 185
Red Herring 187
Straw Man 188
Unacceptable Premises 190
Begging the Question 190
False Dilemma 191
Slippery Slope 194
Hasty Generalization 195
Faulty Analogy 196
Summary 197
Field Problems 202
Self-Assessment Quiz 202
Integrative Exercises 204
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise 206
Writing Assignments 210
Notes 211
PART THREE Arguments 213
6 Deductive Reasoning: Categorical Logic 214
Statements and Classes 216
Translations and Standard Form 219
Terms 220
Quantifiers 223
Diagramming Categorical Statements 227
Assessing Categorical Syllogisms 232
Summary 242
Field Problems 244
Self-Assessment Quiz 245
Integrative Exercises 246
Writing Assignments 247
7 Deductive Reasoning: Propositional Logic 248
Connectives and Truth Values 250
Conjunction 251
Disjunction 253
Negation 256
Conditional 257
Checking for Validity 263
Simple Arguments 263
Tricky Arguments 267
Streamlined Evaluation 270
Summary 276
Field Problems 279
Self-Assessment Quiz 279
Integrative Exercises 281
Writing Assignments 283
Note 283
8 Inductive Reasoning 284
Enumerative Induction 286
Sample Size 288
Representativeness 289
Opinion Polls 291
Statistical Syllogisms 300
Evaluating Statistical Syllogisms 302
Analogical Induction 304
Relevant Similarities 307
Relevant Dissimilarities 308
The Number of Instances Compared 309
Diversity among Cases 309
Causal Arguments 313
Testing for Causes 314
Causal Confusions 320
Confusing Cause with Temporal Order 323
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions 326
Mixed Arguments 333
Summary 335
Field Problems 336
Self-Assessment Quiz 336
Integrative Exercises 339
Writing Assignments 341
Notes 342
PART FOUR Explanations 343
9 Inference to the Best Explanation 344
Explanations and Inference 346
Abductive Reasoning 357
Theories and Consistency 358
Theories and Criteria 360
Testability 362
Fruitfulness 363
Scope 365
Simplicity 367
Conservatism 369
Telling Good Theories from Bad 374
A Doomed Flight 377
Summary 384
Field Problems 384
Self-Assessment Quiz 385
Integrative Exercises 386
Writing Assignments 388
Notes 389
10 Judging Scientific Theories 390
Science and Not Science 391
The Scientific Method 393
Testing Scientific Theories 396
Judging Scientific Theories 398
Copernicus versus Ptolemy 400
Evolution versus Creationism 402
Science and Weird Theories 412
Making Weird Mistakes 414
Leaping to the Weirdest Theory 414
Mixing What Seems with What Is 415
Misunderstanding the Possibilities 416
Judging Weird Theories 417
Talking with the Dead 418
Summary 423
Field Problems 426
Self-Assessment Quiz 426
Integrative Exercises 428
Writing Assignments 430
Notes 431
11 Contexts of Application: Thinking Critically
about Health, Law, and Ethics 432
Thinking Critically about Health and Health Care 433
Key Skills 433
Evaluating Health Claims in the News 435
Finding and Evaluating Expert Advice 436
Stumbling Blocks 438
Thinking Critically about the Law 440
Key Skills 442
Stumbling Blocks 444
Thinking Critically about Ethics 446
Key Skills 446
Stumbling Blocks 453
Summary 455
Field Problems 457
Self-Assessment Quiz 458
Writing Assignments 459
Notes 459
Appendix A Essays for Evaluation 460
Appendix B Answers to Select Exercises 483
Glossary 512
Index 516

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