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The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning about Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims

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Enhanced by many innovative exercises, examples, and pedagogical features, The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Second Edition, explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating material on important topics that most other texts leave out. Aut Enhanced by many innovative exercises, examples, and pedagogical features, The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Second Edition, explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating material on important topics that most other texts leave out. Author Lewis Vaughn offers comprehensive treatments of core topics, including an introduction to claims and arguments, discussions of propositional and categorical logic, and full coverage of the basics of inductive reasoning. Building on this solid foundation, he also delves into areas neglected by other texts, adding extensive material on "inference to the best explanation" and on scientific reasoning; a thorough look at the evaluation of evidence and credibility; and a chapter on the psychological and social factors that can impede critical thinking. Additional notable elements are a chapter on moral reasoning, advice on how to evaluate Internet sources, and guidelines for evaluating occult, paranormal, or supernatural claims. The Power of Critical Thinking, Second Edition, integrates many pedagogical features including hundreds of diverse exercises, examples, and illustrations; progressive, stand-alone writing modules; numerous text boxes; step-by-step guidelines for evaluating claims, arguments, and explanations; a glossary of important terms; and many reminders, summaries, and review notes throughout. The text is supplemented by a companion website at www.oup.com/us/criticalthinking (offering a student study guide and more), and an Instructor's Manual with Test Questions (available both in print and on a CD). This unique text features a modular structure that allows instructors to teach the chapters in almost any order. Written in a student-friendly style and enhanced by humor where appropriate, it is ideal for courses in critical thinking, introduction to logic, informal logic, argumentative writing, and introduction to argumentation. New to the Second Edition * Full-color throughout and an expanded art program (37 more photos and illustrations) * A new writing module--an annotated sample student paper--and five additional essays for analysis * A new section on evaluating news reports and advertising * Timely discussions of intelligent design and population (nonintervention) studies * Expanded coverage of experts and authors and reasons to doubt their reliability * More "Field Problems" and exercise questions * Chapter objectives and key terms with definitions for each chapter


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Enhanced by many innovative exercises, examples, and pedagogical features, The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Second Edition, explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating material on important topics that most other texts leave out. Aut Enhanced by many innovative exercises, examples, and pedagogical features, The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Second Edition, explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating material on important topics that most other texts leave out. Author Lewis Vaughn offers comprehensive treatments of core topics, including an introduction to claims and arguments, discussions of propositional and categorical logic, and full coverage of the basics of inductive reasoning. Building on this solid foundation, he also delves into areas neglected by other texts, adding extensive material on "inference to the best explanation" and on scientific reasoning; a thorough look at the evaluation of evidence and credibility; and a chapter on the psychological and social factors that can impede critical thinking. Additional notable elements are a chapter on moral reasoning, advice on how to evaluate Internet sources, and guidelines for evaluating occult, paranormal, or supernatural claims. The Power of Critical Thinking, Second Edition, integrates many pedagogical features including hundreds of diverse exercises, examples, and illustrations; progressive, stand-alone writing modules; numerous text boxes; step-by-step guidelines for evaluating claims, arguments, and explanations; a glossary of important terms; and many reminders, summaries, and review notes throughout. The text is supplemented by a companion website at www.oup.com/us/criticalthinking (offering a student study guide and more), and an Instructor's Manual with Test Questions (available both in print and on a CD). This unique text features a modular structure that allows instructors to teach the chapters in almost any order. Written in a student-friendly style and enhanced by humor where appropriate, it is ideal for courses in critical thinking, introduction to logic, informal logic, argumentative writing, and introduction to argumentation. New to the Second Edition * Full-color throughout and an expanded art program (37 more photos and illustrations) * A new writing module--an annotated sample student paper--and five additional essays for analysis * A new section on evaluating news reports and advertising * Timely discussions of intelligent design and population (nonintervention) studies * Expanded coverage of experts and authors and reasons to doubt their reliability * More "Field Problems" and exercise questions * Chapter objectives and key terms with definitions for each chapter

30 review for The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning about Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims

  1. 5 out of 5

    William Cornwell

    I've taught critical reasoning using this fourth edition of Vaughn's book as well as the similar third edition many times, and the more I use this book, the more I'm convinced that it's time for me to find a new textbook for my course. I'm may switch to Moore and Parker's Critical Reasoning, 10th edition for future classes. Vaughn's book is poorly organized. For instance, topics in chapter 2 pop up in chapters 4 & 5 but typically with no cross-referencing within the text. For instance, on pages 3 I've taught critical reasoning using this fourth edition of Vaughn's book as well as the similar third edition many times, and the more I use this book, the more I'm convinced that it's time for me to find a new textbook for my course. I'm may switch to Moore and Parker's Critical Reasoning, 10th edition for future classes. Vaughn's book is poorly organized. For instance, topics in chapter 2 pop up in chapters 4 & 5 but typically with no cross-referencing within the text. For instance, on pages 39 & 41 of chapter 2 Vaughn briefly explains the concept of selective attention, which is using evidence and reasoning that supports preconceived conclusions and discounting or ignoring evidence and reasoning that undermines those preconceived conclusions. This topic gets discussed in much more detail in chapter 4 on pages 140-144, but here Vaughn never mentions selective attention by name and instead introduces new terminology like "confirmation bias," which he defines in almost exactly the same way as "selective attention." This sort of problem occurs at various points in the book. Another defect with the book is that the exercise sets often are poorly thought out. The progression from one problem set to the next often doesn't build reasoning skills sequentially, and a problem set's exercises don't seem to be ordered so that the problems get progressively more difficult. Another flaw is that a problem set may test for skills that don't appear in the chapter (see exercise 3.8) but fail to test skills that do appear in the chapter (see exercise 9.7, which is the only problem set focusing on the five criteria of adequacy for assessing theories but examines students in only two of those five criteria, or note how there are no exercises in chapter four that involve analyzing advertising). Finally, the exercise sets have quite a few mistakes in them. For instance, problem #7 in exercise 3.4 gives "The Taliban regime fell because it persecuted women" as an argument when it clearly is an explanation. Exercise 9.10, passage one, premises that Venus rotates slowly and then concludes that Venus must rotate fairly often--good luck explaining that one to students. The more I teach from this book, the more problems I realize are defective in a variety of ways and should not be assigned. The Instructor's Manual solutions also have many mistakes. The strengths of the book are that it offers a comprehensive menu of topics, OUP prices it lower than comparable textbooks, it is visually more attractive than many other critical reasoning or logic books and discusses "weird" theories about subjects like paranormal activity that might interest some students. Nonetheless, the book's drawbacks are too serious and numerous for me to recommend this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I liked it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  3. 5 out of 5

    Science For The People

    Featured on Science for the People show #221 on July 12, 2013, during an interview with author Chris MacDonald. http://www.scienceforthepeople.ca/epi... Featured on Science for the People show #221 on July 12, 2013, during an interview with author Chris MacDonald. http://www.scienceforthepeople.ca/epi...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    should be mandatory reading for everyone...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steve Schlutow

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Randall

  7. 4 out of 5

    Demelash Dorsiso

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ian Morrison

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Hall

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tanner

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marcos Herrera

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Montag

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisette

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily Bouthot

  16. 4 out of 5

    Austin Robinson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Harrison Wolstein

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

  20. 4 out of 5

    Steven Van Neste

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lillith Lewis

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  23. 4 out of 5

    G

  24. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shivar

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Coons

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adam Blackburn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fady Samaan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Blickman

  30. 5 out of 5

    dilfuza

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