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The Critical Thinking Toolkit
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Acknowledgments xv Introduction The Very Idea of Critical Thinking 1 Critical thinking in the formal and empirical sciences 2 Critical thinking, critical theory, and critical politics 4 Critical thinking, finitude, and self-understanding 5 Using this book 5 Basic Tools for Critical Thinking about Arguments 1.1 Claims 7 Beliefs and opinions 8 Simple and complex claims 9 Truth functionality 10 1.2 Arguments 11 Logic vs. eristics 12 Arguments vs. explanations 12 1.3 Premises 13 Enthymemes 14 Identifying premises 14 1.4 Conclusions 16 Argument structure 16 Simple and complex arguments 16 Identifying conclusions 17 More Tools for Critical Thinking about Arguments 2.1 Deductive and Inductive Arguments 19 Deduction 20 Induction 21 2.2 Conditional Claims 22 Necessary and sufficient conditions 23 Biconditional claims 25 2.3 Classifying and Comparing Claims 26 Comparing claims 26 Classifying single claims 28 2.4 Claims and Definitions 29 Lexical, stipulative, ostensive, and negative definition 30 Extension and intension 30 Generic similarities and specific differences 31 Definiens and definiendum 31 2.5 The Critical Thinker's "Two Step": Validity and Soundness/Cogency and Strength 32 Structure before truth 33 2.6 Showing Invalidity by Counterexample 35 Tools for Deductive Reasoning with Categories 3.1 Thinking Categorically 39 Types and tokens 39 3.2 Categorical Logic 40 Quality, quantity, and standard form 40 Venn diagrams and the meaning of categorical claims 42 Distribution and its implications 44 Existential import 45 3.3 Translating English Claims to Standard Form 46 Implicit quantifiers 46 Individuals 47 Getting the verb right 47 Adverbials 48 Trust your instincts 50 A caveat 50 3.4 Formal Deduction with Categories: Immediate Inferences 50 Equivalences 51 Conversion 52 Contraposition 53 Obversion 56 The Aristotelian and Boolean Squares of Opposition 58 3.5 Formal Deduction with Categories: Syllogisms 63 Categorical syllogisms 64 Major and minor terms 64 Mood and figure 65 The Venn diagram test for validity 66 Five easy rules for evaluating categorical syllogisms 69 Gensler star test 70 Tools for Deductive Reasoning with Claims 4.1 Propositional vs. Categorical Logics 72 Translating claims into propositional logic 73 Truth tables for claims 76 Testing for validity and invalidity with truth tables 78 Indirect truth tables 79 Strange validity 82 4.2 Common Deductively Valid Forms 83 Modus ponens 83 Modus tollens 84 Hypothetical syllogism 86 Disjunctive syllogism 86 Constructive and destructive dilemmas 87 4.3 Equivalences 90 Double negation 90 Tautology 91 Commutativity 91 Associativity 92 Transposition 92 Material implication 93 Material equivalence 93 Exportation 94 Distribution 95 DeMorgan's Law 95 4.4 Formal Deduction with Forms and Equivalences 96 Three simple rules 97 4.5 Common Formal Fallacies 101 Affirming the consequent 101 Denying the antecedent 103 Affirming a disjunct 104 Tools for Detecting Informal Fallacies 5.1 Critical Thinking, Critical Deceiving, and the "Two Step" 107 5.2 Subjectivist Fallacy 109 5.3 Genetic Fallacies 112 5.4 Ad Hominem Fallacies: Direct, Circumstantial, and Tu Quoque 113 Direct 114 Circumstantial 115 Tu quoque 118 5.5 Appeal to Emotions or Appeal to the Heart (argumentum ad passiones) 120 Appeal to pity (argumentum ad misericordiam) 120 Appeal to fear (argumentum ad metum) 122 Appeal to guilt 122 5.6 Appeal to Force (argumentum ad baculum) 124 5.7 Appeal to Ignorance (argumentum ad ignorantiam) 125 Negative evidence and no evidence 126 5.8 Appeal to Novelty (argumentum ad novitatem) 127 5.9 Appeal to the People (argumentum ad populum) 128 Bandwagon 128 Appeal to snobbery 129 Appeal to vanity 129 5.10 Appeal to Unqualified Authority (argumentum ad verecundiam) 132 5.11 Fallacy of Accident 135 5.12 False Dilemma 137 5.13 Semantic and Syntactic Fallacies 138 Ambiguity, two types: lexical and syntactic 138 Vagueness vs. ambiguity 139 Vagueness, two types: degree and context 139 Equivocation and fallacious amphiboly 140 5.14 Begging the Question (petitio principii) 143 5.15 Question-Begging Sentences 144 5.16 Missing the Point (ignoratio elenchi) 145 5.17 Fallacy of Composition 146 5.18 Fallacy of Division 148 5.19 Is-Ought Fallacy 149 5.20 Appeal to Tradition 152 5.21 Quoting Out of Context 153 5.22 Red Herring 158 5.23 Straw Man and Fidelity 159 5.24 Hasty Fallacization 161 5.25 A Brief Argument Clinic 162 Context 162 Charity 162 Productivity 163 Tools for Critical Thinking about Induction 6.1 Inductive vs. Deductive Arguments Again 166 6.2 Analogies and Arguments from Analogy 167 Criticizing analogies 168 6.3 Fallacies about Causation 170 Post hoc ergo propter hoc 170 Correlation is not always causation 171 Cum hoc ergo propter hoc 172 Neglecting a common cause 172 Oversimplified and contributing causes 174 Proximate, remote, and intervening causes 175 6.4 Inductive Statistical Reasoning 177 Sampling: random and biased 177 Stratification 178 The gambler's fallacy 179 Averages: mean, median, and mode 179 Distributions 180 6.5 Base Rate Fallacy 182 6.6 Slippery Slope and Reductio ad Absurdum 184 6.7 Hasty Generalization 188 6.8 Mill's Five Methods 189 1. Method of Concomitant Variation 189 2. Method of Agreement 190 3. Method of Difference 191 4. Joint Method of Agreement and Difference 191 5. Method of Residues 192 Tools for Critical Thinking about Experience and Error 7.1 Error Theory 195 7.2 Cognitive Errors 197 Perceptual error 197 Memory 199 Stress and trauma 201 Projection 202 Transference 203 Confirmation bias 203 Denial 204 A little bit of knowledge ... 204 The fallacy of false consensus 205 Naive realism 205 7.3 Environment and Error 206 Obstruction and distraction 206 Duration 207 Motion 207 Distance 207 Context and comparison 208 Availability error 208 7.4 Background and Ignorance 209 7.5 Misleading Language 210 Suspect the negative 210 Implications and connotations 210 Damning by silence or understatement 211 7.6 Standpoint and Disagreement 211 The mosaic of truth 213 Incommensurability and deep disagreement 213 Tools for Critical Thinking about Justification 8.1 Knowledge: The Basics 215 Ordinary belief and hinge propositions 216 Plato's definition of knowledge 216 Chisholm and belief 217 8.2 Feelings as Evidence 219 Some important features of all types of feelings 220 The importance of distinguishing sense experience from emotion 222 8.3 Skepticism and Sensory Experience 223 The weaknesses of sense experience as evidence 224 The strengths of sense experience as evidence 227 8.4 Emotions and Evidence 229 The weaknesses of emotional experience as evidence 229 The strengths of emotional experience as evidence 232 Tips for eliminating the negative effects of emotions 235 8.5 Justifying Values 237 The role of moral values in arguments 238 Four common views of value judgment 239 Tools for reasoning about moral values 241 8.6 Justification: The Basics 242 Justification and the problem of access 243 No reasons not to believe 244 Beyond a reasonable doubt 244 Obligation and permission to believe 245 8.7 Truth and Responsible Belief 246 Why is responsibility relevant to belief? 247 Responsibility without truth 247 8.8 How Does Justification Work? 248 Claims as evidence 248 Experience as evidence 249 8.9 A Problem for Responsible Belief 251 Gettier cases 252 Processes and probabilities as justification 253 Varieties of externalism 254 8.10 Evidence: Weak and Strong 256 Direct and indirect evidence 256 Testimony as evidence 258 Strong enough evidence? 259 Suppressed evidence fallacy 260 Four tips for recognizing "good" evidence 261 8.11 Justification: Conclusions 266 Tools for Critical Thinking about Science 9.1 Science and the Value of Scientific Reasoning 271 Useful, durable, and pleasant goods 271 An agreement engine 272 A path to knowledge 272 9.2 The Purview of Science 273 The limits of empiricism 274 What is and what ought to be 274 Different kinds of science 275 Critiques of science 279 9.3 Varieties of Possibility and Impossibility 280 Logical possibility 281 Physical possibility 281 Other types of possibility 282 9.4 Scientific Method 283 Causal explanation 283 Observation 284 Verification and falsification 285 Paradigms: normal and revolutionary science 288 9.5 Unfalsifiability and Falsification Resistance 289 Ad hoc hypotheses and the fallacy of unfalsifiability 290 Falsification and holism: hypothesis vs. theory 291 The "no true Scotsman" fallacy 291 9.6 Experiments and Other Tests 293 Controls and variables 293 Epidemiological studies 294 Personal experience and case studies 295 Blinding and double blinding 296 In vitro studies 297 Non-human animal studies 297 9.7 Six Criteria for Abduction 298 1. Predictive power 299 2. Scope 299 3. Coherence with established fact 300 4. Repeatability 300 5. Simplicity 300 6. Fruitfulness 301 9.8 Bad Science 302 Junk science 302 Pseudo-science 302 Fringe science 303 Ideological science 303 Tools from Rhetoric, Critical Theory, and Politics 10.1 Meta-Narratives 305 Stories that govern stories plus a whole lot more 305 Governing, varying, and disintegrating narratives 306 10.2 Governing Tropes 308 Simile, analogy, metaphor, and allegory 308 Metonymy and synecdoche 309 10.3 The Medium Is the Message 311 10.4 Voice 313 10.5 Semiotics: Critically Reading Signs 316 Peirce and Saussure 316 Of virgins, ghosts, and cuckolds 316 The semiological problem 317 10.6 Deconstruction 319 Critique of presence 320 Undermining binaries 320 The politics of deconstruction 321 10.7 Foucault's Critique of Power 322 Archeological method 323 Genealogical method 323 Microphysics of power and biopower 324 Normalization 324 10.8 The Frankfurt School: Culture Critique 326 Lipstick is ideology 326 Makers who are made 327 The Dialectic of Enlightenment 327 10.9 Class Critiques 328 Classical Marxism: superstructure and substructure 328 It's the class hierarchy, stupid 329 Exploitation, alienation, and class struggle 329 False consciousness 330 Criticizing class critique 330 10.10 Feminist and Gender Critiques 332 Politics and gender 333 Feminist critique 335 Text and gender 336 10.11 Critiques of Race and Racism 338 Scientific critique of race 338 Liberal critique of race 338 Marxist critique of race 339 Critical race theory 340 10.12 Traditionalist and Historicist Critiques 341 A history of thinking about history 342 Views from nowhere 342 The harm in forgetting 343 The importance of careful listening 343 10.13 Ecological Critiques 345 Consumption and pollution 345 Ecological justice 346 Non-human life 347 Appendix: Recommended Web Sites 349 Index 351

About the Author

Galen Foresman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, USA. His research interests include ethics, philosophy of punishment, philosophy of religion, and philosophy as it applies to pop culture. He is the author of several book chapters and the editor of Supernatural and Philosophy (Wiley Blackwell, 2013). Peter S. Fosl is Professor and Chair of Philosophy and Chair of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Transylvania University, USA. A David Hume Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, his research interests include skepticism and the history of philosophy, as well as topics in politics and religion. He is author or editor of many books, including The Big Lebowski and Philosophy (Wiley Blackwell, 2012), The Philosopher's Toolkit, 2nd ed. (Wiley Blackwell, 2010), and The Ethics Toolkit (Wiley Blackwell, 2007). He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Open Access academic journal Cogent OA: Arts & Humanities. Jamie Carlin Watson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Broward College, USA. His primary research is in the social epistemology of epistemic advantage and expertise, especially as they influence testimony in practical fields such as medicine and business. He has published articles in journals such as Episteme and Journal of Applied Philosophy, and is the co-author of Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Reasoning Well, 2nd ed. (2015), What's Good on TV? Understanding Ethics through Television (Wiley Blackwell, 2011), and Philosophy Demystified (2011).

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