We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $116.99

Format:
Paperback
536 pp.
60 figures; 24 tables; 55 photos, 8" x 10"

ISBN-13:
9780190163860

Copyright Year:
2024

Imprint: OUP Canada


The Power of Critical Thinking 6CE

Sixth Edition

Chris MacDonald and Lewis Vaughn

The Power of Critical Thinking, 6Ce is a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the essential components of critical thinking. Using clear, reader-friendly language and a wealth of examples drawn from contemporary culture, politics, and media, the text equips students with the skills through which they can become active, engaged critical thinkers.

In Part One, the text introduces students to what critical thinking is and why it is important, the context in which it occurs, and the basics of assessing arguments. Part Two discusses reasons to believe or doubt claims and explains common patterns of faulty reasoning. In Part Three, the text delves into specific methods of deductive and inductive reasoning. Finally, Part Four introduces the method of inference to the best explanation and applies the skills of critical thinking to the fields of science, health, law, and ethics.

Each chapter includes an extensive box program encouraging students to delve deeper into interesting topics and apply their critical thinking skills. The sixth edition includes the new Critical Thinking and the Media box type, which help students become more critical consumers of media by applying critical thinking to advertising, news, and other forms of media. In addition, hundreds of exercises throughout the text, many of which are updated or new to this edition, draw from real-life situations to provide students with abundant opportunities to practice their skills.

Readership : This is a core text for courses on critical thinking, reasoning, and logic, offered at the first- and second-year level out of philosophy departments at both colleges and universities.

Boxes
From the Publisher
Preface
Part One: Basics
1. The Power of Critical Thinking
Chapter Objectives
1.1 Why It Matters
1.2 How It Works
1.2.1 Claims and Reasons
1.2.2 Reasons and Arguments
1.2.3 Arguments in the Rough
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise
Writing Assignments
2. The "Environment" of Critical Thinking
Chapter Objectives
2.1 Category 1: How We Think
2.1.1 Am I Really Special?
2.1.1.1 Watch out When Things Get Personal
2.1.1.2 Be Alert to Ways That Critical Thinking Can Be Undermined
2.1.1.3 Ensure That Nothing Has Been Left Out
2.1.2 The Power of the Group
2.2 Category 2: What We Think
2.2.1 Subjective Relativism
2.2.2 Social Relativism
2.2.3 Skepticism
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise
Writing Assignments
Notes
3. Making Sense of Arguments
Chapter Objectives
3.1 Argument Basics
3.1.1 Deductive Arguments
3.1.2 Inductive Arguments
3.1.3 Good Arguments
3.2 Judging Arguments
3.3 Finding Missing Parts
3.4 Argument Patterns
3.4.1 Affirming the Antecedent
3.4.2 Denying the Consequent
3.4.3 Hypothetical Syllogisms
3.4.4 Denying the Antecedent
3.4.5 Affirming the Consequent
3.4.6 Disjunctive Syllogism
3.5 Diagramming Arguments
3.6 Assessing Long Arguments
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise
Writing Assignments
Notes
Bart Two: Reasons
4. Reasons for Belief and Doubt
Chapter Objectives
4.1 When Claims Conflict
4.2 Experts and Evidence
4.3 Personal Experience
4.3.1 Impairment
4.3.2 Expectation
4.3.3 Innumeracy
4.4 Fooling Ourselves
4.4.1 Resisting Contrary Evidence
4.4.2 Looking for Confirming Evidence
4.4.3 Preferring Available Evidence
4.5 Claims in the News
4.5.1 Inside the News
4.5.2 Sorting out the News
4.5.2.1 Consider Whether the Report Conflicts with What You Have Good Reason to Believe
4.5.2.2 Look for Reporter Slanting
4.5.2.3 Consider the Source
4.5.2.4 Check for Missing Information
4.5.2.5 Look for False Emphasis
4.5.2.6 Check Alternative News Sources
4.6 Advertising and Persuasion
4.6.1 Identification
4.6.2 Slogans
4.6.3 Misleading Comparisons
4.6.4 Weasel Words
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise
Writing Assignments
Notes
5. Faulty Reasoning
Chapter Objectives
5.1 Irrelevant Premises
5.1.1 Genetic Fallacy
5.1.2 Appeal to the Person
5.1.3 Composition
5.1.4 Division
5.1.5 Equivocation
5.1.6 Appeal to Popularity
5.1.7 Appeal to Tradition
5.1.8 Appeal to Ignorance
5.1.9 Appeal to Emotion
5.1.10 Red Herring
5.1.11 Straw Man
5.2 Unacceptable Premises
5.2.1 Begging the Question
5.2.2 False Dilemma
5.2.3 Slippery Slope
5.2.4 Hasty Generalization
5.2.5 Faulty Analogy
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise
Writing Assignments
Notes
Part Three: Arguments
6. Deductive Reasoning: Categorical Logic
Chapter Objectives
6.1 Statements and Classes
6.2 Translations and Standard Form
6.2.1 Terms
6.2.2 Quantifiers
6.3 Diagramming Categorical Statements
6.4 Assessing Categorical Syllogisms
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Writing Assignments
7. Deductive Reasoning: Propositional Logic
Chapter Objectives
7.1 Connectives and Truth Values
7.1.1 Conjunction
7.1.2 Disjunction
7.1.3 Negation
7.1.4 Conditional
7.2 Checking for Validity
7.2.1 Simple Arguments
7.2.2 Tricky Arguments
7.2.3 Streamlined Evaluation
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Writing Assignments
8. Inductive Reasoning
Chapter Objectives
8.1 Enumerative Induction
8.1.1 Sample Size
8.1.2 Representativeness
8.1.3 Opinion Polls
8.2 Statistical Syllogisms
8.2.1 Evaluating Statistical Syllogisms
8.2.1.1 Acceptable Premises
8.2.1.2 Statistical Strength
8.2.1.3 Typical or Randomly Selected
8.3 Analogical Induction
8.3.1 Relevant Similarities
8.3.2 Relevant Dissimilarities
8.3.3 The Number of Instances Compared
8.3.4 Diversity among Cases
8.4 Causal Arguments
8.4.1 Testing for Causes
8.4.1.1 Agreement or Difference
8.4.1.2 Both Agreement and Difference
8.4.1.3 Correlation
8.4.2 Causal Confusions
8.4.2.1 Misidentifying Relevant Factors
8.4.2.2 Mishandling Multiple Factors
8.4.2.3 Being Misled by Coincidence
8.4.2.4 Confusing Cause with Temporal Order
8.4.2.5 Ignoring the Common Causal Factor
8.4.2.6 Confusing Cause and Effect
8.4.3 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
8.5 Mixed Arguments
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Writing Assignments
Notes
Part Four: Explanations
9. Inference to the Best Explanation
Chapter Objectives
9.1 Explanations and Inference
9.1.1 Abductive Reasoning
9.2 Theories and Consistency
9.3 Theories and Criteria
9.3.1 Testability
9.3.2 Fruitfulness
9.3.3 Scope
9.3.4 Simplicity
9.3.5 Conservatism
9.4 Telling Good Theories from Bad
9.4.1 A Doomed Flight
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Writing Assignments
Notes
10. Judging Scientific Theories
Chapter Objectives
10.1 Science and Not Science
10.2 The Scientific Method
10.3 Testing Scientific Theories
10.4 Judging Scientific Theories
10.4.1 Copernicus versus Ptolemy
10.4.2 Evolution versus Creationism
10.5 Science and Weird Theories
10.6 Making Weird Mistakes
10.6.1 Leaping to the Weirdest Theory
10.6.2 Mixing What Seems with What Is
10.6.3 Misunderstanding the Possibilities
10.7 Judging Weird Theories
10.7.1 Talking with the Dead
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Integrative Exercises
Writing Assignments
Notes
11. Contexts of Application: Thinking Critically about Health, Law, and Ethics
Chapter Objectives
11.1 Thinking Critically About Health and Health Care
11.1.1 Key Skills
11.1.2 Evaluating Health Claims in the News
11.1.3 Finding and Evaluating Expert Advice
11.1.4 Stumbling Blocks
11.2 Thinking Critically About the Law
11.2.1 Key Skills
11.2.2 Stumbling Blocks
11.3 Thinking Critically About Ethics
11.3.1 Key Skills
11.3.2 Stumbling Blocks
Summary
Field Problems
Self-Assessment Quiz
Writing Assignments
Notes
Appendix A: Essays for Evaluation
Appendix B: Answers to Exercises
Glossary
Index

Instructor's Manual
Student Study Guide
PowerPoint Slides
Test Bank
Image Bank
Enhanced eBook
Self Quizzes
Videos to help Enhance Concepts
Flashcards
Suggested Resources for Selected Field Problem Activities

Chris MacDonald is an associate professor and director of the Law and Business Department at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University.

Lewis Vaughn is an independent scholar and author of several textbooks on philosophy, ethics, and critical thinking.

Writing Philosophy - Lewis Vaughn and Jillian Scott McIntosh

Special Features

  • · A comprehensive, engaging, and step-by-step introduction to critical thinking, the text provides students with the tools they need to apply critical thinking skills to the real world.
  • · The student-friendly, at times humorous tone makes the text an enjoyable read, even while it tackles complex ideas.
  • · Extensively updated Food for Thought and Everyday Problems and Decisions boxes help students see the relevance of the material by relating it to interesting and important contemporary topics, including fake news, COVID-19 vaccines and conspiracy theories, racism, epistemic injustice, and residential schools.
  • · NEW Critical Thinking and the Media boxes apply the critical thinking skills discussed in each chapter to the topics of media, advertising, and news, helping students become more critical consumers of media.
  • · Hundreds of exercises, at least 20 per cent of which are updated or new to this edition, provide students with ample opportunities to practice the skills they have learned.
  • · Writing modules at the end of the first five chapters introduce students to the basics of argumentative essay writing.