Critical Reasoning in Contemporary Culture

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Here we have, for the first time in a single volume, diverse perspectives on the meaning, conditions, and goals of critical reasoning in contemporary culture. Part One emphasizes critical reasoning and education, engaging the debate over the connection between critical reasoning skills and the learning of the content.

Part Two offers analyses of the theoretical, methodological, and historical debates concerning critical reasoning abilities. The authors represent a variety of disciplines and theoretical approaches which lend the book valuable intellectual pluralism.

The book evaluates other aspects of critical thinking such as creativity, insight, questioning, learning, practical thought, interpretation, intellectual prejudice, and the historical and temporary aspects of thought.
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About the author

Richard A. Talaska is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
422
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ISBN
9781438421766
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is the eBook of the printed book and may not include any media, website access codes, or print supplements that may come packaged with the bound book.

Critical Thinking Skills in Everyday Context — The Socrates Model

Thinking Socratically is a treatment of critical thinking, rather than an informal logic textbook. It emphasizes a philosophical reflection on real issues from everyday life, in order to teach students the skills of critical thinking in a commonplace context that is easy to understand and certain to be remembered.

Teaching and Learning Experience

Personalize Learning - MySearchLabdelivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.

Improve Critical Thinking - Thinking Socratically contextualizes the presentation of critical thinking topics through easy-to-understand information, and shows, rather than just tells, students how to be critical thinkers by encouraging them to follow Socrates as a model.

Engage Students — Thinking Socratically exposes students to a variety of readings listed after expository material, Venn diagrams, chapter-end summaries, etc. — in order to outline important concepts and learning tools needed for useful reasoning.

Support Instructors - Teaching your course just got easier! You can create a Customized Text or use our Instructor’s Manual, or PowerPoint Presentation Slides. Plus, Thinking Socratically is organized around topics for ease of assignments, and uses standard terminology to eliminate student confusion.

Note: MySearchLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySearchLab, please visit www.MySearchLab.com or you can purchase a valuepack of the text + MySearchLab (VP ISBN-10: 0205179312, VP ISBN-13: 9780205179312).

Why is it so hard to learn critical thinking skills?

Traditional textbooks focus almost exclusively on logic and fallacious reasoning, ignoring two crucial problems. As psychologists have demonstrated recently, many of our mistakes are not caused by formal reasoning gone awry, but by our bypassing it completely. We instead favor more comfortable, but often unreliable, intuitive methods. Second, the evaluation of premises is of fundamental importance, especially in this era of fake news and politicized science.

This highly innovative text is psychologically informed, both in its diagnosis of inferential errors, and in teaching students how to watch out for and work around their natural intellectual blind spots. It also incorporates insights from epistemology and philosophy of science that are indispensable for learning how to evaluate premises. The result is a hands-on primer for real world critical thinking. The authors bring over four combined decades of classroom experience and a fresh approach to the traditional challenges of a critical thinking course: effectively explaining the nature of validity, assessing deductive arguments, reconstructing, identifying and diagramming arguments, and causal and probabilistic inference. Additionally, they discuss in detail, important, frequently neglected topics, including testimony, the nature and credibility of science, rhetoric, and dialectical argumentation.

Key Features and Benefits:

Uses contemporary psychological explanations of, and remedies for, pervasive errors in belief formation. There is no other critical thinking text that generally applies this psychological approach.

Assesses premises, notably premises based on the testimony of others, and evaluation of news and other information sources. No other critical thinking textbook gives detailed treatment of this crucial topic. Typically, they only provide a few remarks about when to accept expert opinion / argument from authority.

Carefully explains the concept of validity, paying particular attention in distinguishing logical possibility from other species of possibility, and demonstrates how we may mistakenly judge invalid arguments as valid because of belief bias.

Instead of assessing an argument’s validity using formal/mathematical methods (i.e., truth tables for propositional logic and Venn diagrams for categorical logic), provides one technique that is generally applicable: explicitly showing that it is impossible to make the conclusion false and the premises true together. For instructors who like the more formal approach, the text also includes standard treatments using truth tables and Venn diagrams.

Uses frequency trees and the frequency approach to probability more generally, a simple method for understanding and evaluating quite complex probabilistic information

Uses arguments maps, which have been shown to significantly improve students’ reasoning and argument evaluation

An entertaining introduction to logic and reasoning, packed with puzzles and thought experiments for the reader to try

"Peter Cave takes us on an edifying tour through the world of paradoxes, and there is much to be learned, as well as much enjoyment to be had, in the process." -Adrian W. Moore, University of Oxford, UK
"'This sentence is false' is a sentence printed on the cover of this book. A sentence is not a name. So what is the name of the book? This book (whatever its name) is full of intriguing philosophical puzzles ... Paradoxes may seem trivial at first glance, but further thought reveals them to be challenges to some of our most fundamental beliefs and preconceptions. Peter Cave entertainingly escorts the reader through a great variety of these fascinating puzzles, shining light that is fresh and bright." -Laurence Goldstein, University of Kent, UK


"This is a truly wonderful book. The topic is tough, but Peter Cave brings it to life. He manages to give new insights on old topics, which is itself remarkable, and he also brings in plenty of less familiar topics ... All in all, it is a joy to see such cleverness and clarity of thought coexisting with such an easy (and light and amusing) writing style." -Professor Imre Leader, Cambridge University, UK


Put your neurons through their paces with this lively and engaging introduction to paradoxes. From "Buridan's Ass" and the "Surprise Examination" to "The Liar" and "Sleeping Beauty," This Sentence is False introduces all the key philosophical paradoxes. This fascinating guide to logic and reasoning is packed with puzzles and thought experiments to actively engage the reader in critical thinking. As well as paradoxes that occur in our everyday lives, topics also include God, ethics, political philosophy, space, and time. This Sentence is False will put your mind to the test, challenge what you think you know, and lead you on a fascinating journey through logical reasoning.
For two decades, colleges and universities have regularly offered, and in some cases required, courses in thinking skills. Such courses generally have focused on training students in the basics of informal and formal logic, the assumption being that good thinking is logical thinking, and that instruction in critical or “good” thinking consequently should emphasize logical procedures. This “logistic” assumption is clearly reflected in both critical thinking textbooks as well as in the professional literature.

Recently, however, the epistemic and pedagogical identification of critical thinking and logical thinking has been questioned by educators from a wide diversity of disciplines. Many of these critics argue that a richer, more comprehensive model of thinking itself is needed, one that acknowledges the importance of traditionally downplayed faculties such as empathy, imagination, and insight. Others contend that thinking skills theory and pedagogy must take into consideration the contextual and sometimes political influences upon not just content but also styles of thinking. finally still other critics of the conventional model of critical thinking argue that recent research in feminist studies sheds a great deal of light upon the directions in which critical thinking instruction should go.

The fourteen essays in this anthology all illustrate this new way of thinking about critical thinking. Each of them is critical of the received model, and each of them argues for one that goes beyond the conventional reduction of thinking skills to logical expertise. But each approaches the issue from a different angle, thereby providing the reader with a diversity of perspectives and accents.

Re-Thinking Reason is an invaluable resource tool, research guide, and supplemental textbook, for educators across the disciplines who are concerned with incorporating thinking skills instruction in their classes.
A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach.

With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age.

This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.
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