Making Up Your Mind – Revised Edition
A Textbook in Critical Thinking
  • Publication Date: January 24, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781554812233 / 1554812232
  • 192 pages; 6" x 9"

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Making Up Your Mind – Revised Edition

A Textbook in Critical Thinking

  • Publication Date: January 24, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781554812233 / 1554812232
  • 192 pages; 6" x 9"

Making Up Your Mind is oriented toward the writing of arguments. It gives students techniques that they can use to better understand, organize, and present their own thoughts. The book provides an exceptionally clear statement of what critical thinking adds to the study of logic, along with complete and systematic coverage of all crucial logical operators and major logical relations. It also offers exceptionally clear and informative discussions of the definition of argument, the distinction between induction and deduction, and the role of emotion in argument.

The second half of the book presents an argument outline which students can use to organize virtually any ethical argument. This outline is also used to illustrate the most important informal fallacies and how they can be avoided. In its closing chapters, the book discusses the nature of good evidence and good sources of evidence and their role in argument. Included are discussions of scientific method, the logical form of arguments about causal theories, and arguments from analogy.



Section 1: Thinking
Section 2: Assertions
Section 3: Critical Thinking and Logic
Section 4: Facts versus Opinions
Section 5: A Brief Introduction to Argument

Chapter One: Assertions

Section 1: Types of Sentences
Section 2: Ambiguity
Section 3: The Logical Form of an Assertion

Chapter Two: Implication

Section 1: Implication between Assertions
Section 2: Implication within a Conditional

Chapter Three: Contradiction

Section 1: Subject-Predicate Assertions
Section 2: Conjunctions and Disjunctions
Section 3: Goals and Alternatives

Chapter Four: Conditionals and Universal Assertions

Section 1: Conditionals
Section 2: What Makes a Conditional True
Section 3: Universal Assertions
Section 4: Contradicting a Universal Assertion
Section 5: Contraries to a Universal Assertion
Section 6: Counter-examples
Section 7: Quantified Assertions with Complex Predicates

Chapter Five: Prescriptive Assertions

Section 1: Prescriptive Terms
Section 2: Types of Values
Section 3: Quantified Prescriptive Assertions

Chapter Six: Explanations

Section 1: Explanation Indicators
Section 2: The Logical Form of a Syllogism
Section 3: Causal Explanations

Chapter Seven: Arguments

Section 1: Argument Indicators
Section 2: The Argument Outline

Chapter Eight: Validity, Deduction, and Induction

Section 1: Validity
Section 2: Checking Syllogisms for Validity
Section 3: Validity and Soundness
Section 4: Deduction
Section 5: Induction
Section 6: Validity and Logical Conflict

Chapter Nine: Unstated Premises

Section 1: Implicit Premises
Section 2: General, Unstated Premises
Section 3: Argument Reconstruction

Chapter Ten: Relevance

Section 1: Direct Relevance
Section 2: Indirect Relevance
Section 3: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions

Chapter Eleven: Basic Fallacies of Relevance

Section 1: Begging the Question
Section 2: The Straw Man Fallacy
Section 3: Ad Hominem Fallacies
Section 4: Shifting the Burden of Proof

Chapter Twelve: Fallacies of Emotional Appeal

Section 1: Basic Types of Emotion
Section 2: The Relevance of Emotion in Thinking
Section 3: The Relevance of Emotion in Argument
Section 4: The Irrelevance of Emotion in Argument
Section 5: Fallacious Appeals to Anger
Section 6: Fallacious Appeals to Gratitude
Section 7: Fallacious Appeals to Fear
Section 8: Fallacious Appeals to Hope

Chapter Thirteen: Sources of Evidence

Section 1: Primary Sources of Evidence
Section 2: Conditions of Observation
Section 3: Qualifications and Expertise
Section 4: Bias
Section 5: Consensus of Opinion

Chapter Fourteen: Causal Arguments

Section 1: The Form of a Causal Argument
Section 2: Post Hoc Fallacies
Section 3: Correlation-to-Cause Fallacies
Section 4: Scientific Causal Arguments

Chapter Fifteen: Arguments from Analogy

Section 1: Inductive Generalization Arguments
Section 2: Basic Inductive Analogies

Answer Key


Robert Mutti teaches in the Department of Philosophy at San Francisco State University.