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CRITICAL THINKING: THE ART OF ARGUMENT, 2nd Edition, is an accessible yet rigorous introduction to critical thinking. The text emphasizes immediate application of critical thinking in everyday life and helps students apply the skills they are studying. The relevance of these skills is shown throughout the text by highlighting the advantages of basing one's decisions on a thoughtful understanding of arguments and presenting the overarching commonalities across arguments. With its conversational writing style and carefully selected examples, the book employs a consistent and unified treatment of logical form and an innovative semiformal method of standardizing arguments that illustrates the concept of logical form while maintaining a visible connection to ordinary speech. Without sacrificing accuracy or detail, the authors clearly present the material, with appropriate study tools and exercises that emphasize application rather than memorization.
- The semiformal method, unique to this text, is reinforced by making more visible the connection between the application of the method and how the reasoning skills derived from it actually help students in other classes, at work, and in their daily lives. A Key Form margin note points to each use of the semiformal method, and a new section, Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter, emphasizes the importance of form.
- Coverage of fallacies has been increased by 40%. The nine additional fallacies presented are Composition, Division, Amphiboly, Red Herring, False Precision, Accent, Common Cause, Appeal to Force, and Appeal to Pity.
- The discussion of unstated premises is completely revised in light of testing with students. The revised discussion simplifies the use of unstated premises.
- The format for standardizing and diagramming arguments has been reworked to make standardizations and diagrams clearer and easier to understand.
- The discussion of causal arguments has been streamlined to help students identify the underlying form of causal arguments.
- The learning outcomes, which open each chapter of this book, are visually tied to the textual explanations and to exercise sets that pertain to each. This interconnection of the learning outcomes to the text and practice provides a tool for instructors and students to measure progress: it helps demonstrate improved outcomes and facilitates students' review and preparation for exams.
- This edition emphasizes the relevance of the content to students' lives and goals and helps connect it to the real world. Examples and exercises have been revised to rely on more real-world references from diverse areas such as social media, current events, popular arts (music, video, film).
- In response to reviewer comments, the marginal Key Concepts feature has been modified to help users identify more clearly why each of these is highlighted. These at-a-glance aids now identify three different types of material: Key Terms highlight important terms presented in the text and include their definition; Key Concepts point to fundamental concepts that students need to know to succeed in college; and Key Forms identify argument forms that students need to master. These forms are all in the semiformal format. In addition, the Technical Terms pedagogical tools have been revised to best help students grasp the content and include exclusively those terms likely to be used in further academic coursework.
- A dedication to accuracy and rigor yields clarity and conciseness, particularly the presentation of Analogical, Statistical, and Causal Arguments in chapters seven, eight, and nine.
- A direct and conversational style makes the material accessible for students at all skill levels.
- Extensive exercises in the text and in online supplements ensure that students get the practice that they need. Exercises always emphasize application over memorization. Many of the exercises are drawn from real-life examples.
- Unique study tools and features such as Key Concept, Key Term, Key Form, and Technical Term boxes help student comprehension and review.
- This text has been class-tested over the course of three years with more than 10,000 students and more than 50 instructors.
Introduction: How to Use This Book.
1. Critical Thinking and Arguments. What Is Critical Thinking? What Is an Argument? Why Think Critically? Identifying Arguments. Things That Are Not Arguments. Putting Arguments into Standard Form. Diagramming Arguments. Chapter Summary. Guide: Identifying and Standardizing Arguments.
2. What Makes a Good Argument? The Two Characteristics of a Good Argument. True Premises. Proper Form. Relevance. Arguing about Arguments. Some Improper Forms: Fallacies of Relevance. Chapter Summary. Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter. Guide: Identifying, Standardizing, and Evaluating Arguments.
3. Premises and Conclusions. Empirical Premises. Definitional Premises. Premises and Experts. Conclusions. Chapter Summary.
4. Language. Identifying Definitions. Evaluating Definitions. Language and Clarity. Language and Emotion. Chapter Summary. Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter.
5. Propositional Arguments. Identifying Propositional Statements. Evaluating Propositional Arguments. Chapter Summary. Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter. Guide: Identifying, Standardizing, and Evaluating Propositional Arguments.
6. Categorical Arguments. Identifying Categorical Statements. Evaluating Categorical Arguments with One Premise. Evaluating Categorical Arguments with Two Premises. Chapter Summary. Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter. Guide: Identifying, Standardizing, and Evaluating Categorical Arguments.
7. Analogical Arguments. Identifying Analogical Arguments. Evaluating Analogical Arguments. Chapter Summary. Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter. Guide: Identifying, Standardizing, and Evaluating Analogical Arguments.
8. Statistical Arguments. Descriptive Statistics. Identifying Statistical Arguments. Evaluating Statistical Arguments. Statistical Fallacies. Chapter Summary. Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter. Guide: Identifying, Standardizing, and Evaluating Statistical Arguments.
9. Causal Arguments. The Many Meanings of "Cause." Identifying Causal Arguments. Evaluating Causal Arguments. The Scientific Method. Chapter Summary. Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter. Guide: Identifying, Standardizing, and Evaluating Causal Arguments.
10. Moral Arguments. Identifying Moral Arguments. The Nature of Moral Arguments. Evaluating Moral Arguments. Moral Conflict. A Final Thought. Chapter Summary. Argument Forms Studied in the Chapter. Guide: Identifying, Standardizing, and Evaluating Moral Arguments.
"For those looking for a critical thinking -- or natural language logic -- textbook, it would be hard to find a superior product than Rainbolt/Dwyer's "The Art of Argument". It covers all the material a course like this would cover, and does so clearly, accurately, and logically. Further, the resources available on Aplia, which monitors student performance and automatically generates extra help for students based on their weaknesses, are tremendously helpful."
"The book is cutting edge in its integration of an online software package where students may complete all assignments for immediate assessment."
"It is a well-rounded text which does an excellent job of avoiding the sacrifice of either accuracy or comprehensiveness while maintaining accessibility for beginners."
Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.
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