Richard A. Talaska is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Xavier University in Cincinnati.
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).
Topics covered include:
the relationship between critical thinking, emotions and the psychology of persuasion
the role of character dispositions such as open-mindedness, courage and perseverance
argument identification and reconstruction
fallacies and argument evaluation.
With discussion questions/exercises and suggestions for further reading at the end of each main chapter, this book is an essential read for students approaching the field of critical thinking for the first time, and for the general reader wanting to improving their thinking skills and decision making abilities.
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
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