Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

1. CRITICAL THINKING: WHAT AND WHY

  1. What’s in a Name?
  2. Critical Thinking and the Search for Good Reasons
  3. Who’s to Say What a Good Reason Is?
  4. Good Reasons, Better Arguments and Rationality
  5. Rational Discourse: Giving Reasons
  6. Communicatively Rational Speech Acts, or Good Reasons for Better Arguments
  7. Communicative Norms: Expectations and Obligations
    1. Comprehensibility
    2. Sincerity
  8. Transparent Persuasion: The Goal of Better Arguments
  9. A Brief Overview of this Book
    Exercises

2. ARGUMENTS

  1. Critical Thinking Skills, Phase 1: Argument Structure and Construction
  2. The Argument: Form and Function
  3. Arguments and Non-arguments
    1. Arguments and Opinions
    2. Arguments, Explanations and Definitions
  4. Units of Meaning
  5. Standard Form for Simple Arguments
  6. Enthymemes and the Principle of Charity
  7. Standard Form for Complex Arguments
  8. Expressing Yourself in Argument Form
    Exercises

3. LANGUAGE

  1. Language as Context
  2. Definitions: Explaining Meaning
  3. Definitions: Arguing Meaning
    1. Paradigm Case/Counter-example
    2. Genus/Differentia
  4. Understanding Conditionals and the Relationship of Implication
  5. Language and the Gap between Intention and Communication
    1. Ambiguity
    2. Vagueness
    3. Euphemism and Hyperbole
    4. Jargon and Obfuscation
    5. Disempowering Language
  6. Linguistic Considerations in the Construction of Your Own Arguments
    Exercises

4. GOOD ARGUMENTS

  1. Phase 2: Evaluating Arguments
  2. Arguments, Arguers and Conclusions: Where to Start Your Evaluation
  3. Facts, Values and Opinions: Are They All Open to Evaluation?
  4. The Normativity of Argument Evaluation
  5. What Are Good Enough Arguments Good Enough For?
  6. General Criteria of Argument Evaluation
  7. Acceptability
  8. Relevance
  9. Sufficiency
  10. Cogency: The Overall Judgement
  11. A Few More Words on Expressing Yourself in Argument Form
    Exercises

5. BAD ARGUMENTS

  1. Fallacy-Spotting and Building a Better Argument
  2. Dubious Premises
    1. Premises that Mean Too Much, or Not Enough
    2. Premises Bearing Illicitly Imported Assumptions
  3. Irrelevance
    1. Irrelevant Attacks on the Source of Opinion
    2. Illegitimate Manipulation of Emotion
    3. Changing the Subject
    4. Improper Appeals to Authority
  4. Hasty Conclusions and Suppressed Evidence
  5. Building a Better Argument
    Exercises

6. DEDUCTION

  1. Three Modes of Argumentation
  2. Aspects of Deductive Reasoning
  3. Validity
  4. Categorical Logic
    1. Translation
  5. Venn Diagrams
  6. Immediate Inferences
  7. Syllogisms
    1. Fallacies of Distribution and Other Violations of the Rules for Syllogisms
  8. Propositional Logic
  9. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Deduction
    Exercises

7. INDUCTION

  1. Induction and Reasoning from Observation
  2. Enumerative Induction
  3. Representative Sampling and Justified Confidence in Induction
  4. Reasoning about Causation
    1. Types of Causes
  5. Inductive Justification and Scientific Methods
    Exercises

8. PRACTICAL REASONING

  1. The Scope of Practical Reasoning
  2. Intersubjectivity, Open-endedness and Criterial Reasoning
  3. Conductive Reasoning
  4. Reasoning from Analogy
  5. Communicative Rationality: The Sufficiency Criterion in Practical Reasoning
    Exercises

Answers to Selected Exercises

Appendix A: Procedure for Standardizing Complex Arguments
Appendix B: Procedure for Expressing Yourself in Argument Form

Index

Posted on November 2, 2015