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Table of Contents
An Interactive Guide to
Critical Thinking

Interactive Guide to Critical Thinking
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Chapter One: Overview of Critical Thinking

Introduction

1

We learned it at bedtime and at the movies

3

Why study critical thinking?

6

What is Critical Thinking?
    Personal preference in critical thinking

8

Critical thinking is deciding in a logical manner what to believe from accurate and objective evidence

11

Summary

12

Critical thinking in the strong sense

12

What are arguments?

13

Why view arguments this way?

16

Sound arguments

16

Nature of truth

16

Fallacies

17

Misuse of language
    Vagueness
    Ambiguity
    Emotive association

21

Values

24

Reporting, inferring, and judging

29

Reasonable proportion

29

Evaluating extended arguments
    Constructing your own arguments

30

Cautions

31

Study Guide: Fundamentals
    General Study Guide: P.Q.R.S.T. Method
    Vocabulary in Brief
    Study Guide Questions
    Overview Crossword
    Exercise #1-9

32


Chapter Two: Problem Solving

Define the Problem
    Set goals
    Clarify
    Be Specific

55

Creating Alternatives

56

Evaluation

57

Decide

59

Review
    Study Guide Questions
    Problem solving crossword

61


Chapter Three: Creativity

Perception
    Perception is a three-step process

64

Creativity

69

Barriers to Creativity
    Perceptual barriers
    Psychological barriers
    Beliefs as barriers
    Cultural barriers

71

More strategies for creative thought
    Brainstorming
    Questioning attitude
    Fluency and flexibility
    Different languages
    Fantasy
    Checklists
    Attribute listing
    Reading

75

Steps in Creative Thought
    Define the problem
    Saturation
    Incubation
    Insight
    Evaluation
    Recommended reading
    Study guide questions
    Creativity crossword
    Exercise #10-16

76


PART I: THE TRUTH

95

Study Guide

96


Chapter Four: Empericism

Empiricism

97

Study Guide Questions

101


Chapter Five: Logic

Easy

103

Hard

103

Harder

104

Hardest

104

Deductive logic

106

Inductive logic

114

Miscellaneous principles of logic
    Are the following arguments logical?

117

Logic and language
    How logical is a language that allows for homonyms, oxymorons, and contradictions?
    Study guide questions
    Logic crossword
    Exercise #17-27

119


Chapter Six: The Scientific Method

Archimedes
    A simple experiment

147

Additional assumptions and characteristics of the scientific method
    Assumptions of Science

149

Characteristics of science: necessary features or goals
    Falsifiability
    Objectivity
    Precision
    Operationalism
    Verifiability

151

Important terms of science
    Hypothesis
    Law
    Theory

155

Science and democracy

155

Pseudoscience
    Study guide questions
    Scientific method crossword
    Exercise #28-29

156


Chapter Seven: Deceiving Ourselves

Cognitive biases
    Memory
    Heuristics

165

Psychological biases
    Perceptual biases crossword

173

Defense mechanisms

180

Characteristics of defense mechanisms
    Repression
    Suppression
    Compulsions and obsessions
    Rationalization
    Fantasy
    Denial
    Displacement
    Sublimation
    Reaction formation
    Regression
    Projection
    Identification
    Compensation
    Intellectualization
    Undoing
    Guilt
    Study Guide Questions
    Defense Mechanisms Crossword
    Exercise # 30-31

181


Chapter Eight: Propaganda

Hitler's seven propaganda principles

202

The sale of political candidates

203

Subliminal messages

207

Cults and pseudoscience revisited

208

Caution
    Study Guide Questions
    Propaganda Crossword
    Exercise # 32

210


PART II: THE WHOLE TRUTH

215

Study Guide

219


Chapter Nine: Missing Evidence

Half-truth fallacy

221

Negative proof fallacy

222

If-Only fallacy

223

Stereotyping
    Race
    Gender
    Religion
    Nationality
    Ethnic origin

224

Labels

225

Cliche fallacy

226

Faulty analogy

226

Faulty comparison

229

Invincible ignorance
    Study Guide Questions

229


Chapter Ten: Association

Introduction

231

Positive association
    New-Is-Better fallacy
    Tradition fallacy
    Popularity fallacy
    Testimonial
    Identification
    Purr Words

231

Neutral association
    Euphemism

239

Negative association
    Snarl words
    Name calling
    Guilt-by-association
    Poisoning the well

240

Conclusion
    Study Guide Questions

242


Chapter Eleven: Unwarranted Assumptions

Introduction

243

Either-or fallacy

243

Is-ought fallacy

244

Wishful thinking

245

Complex question fallacy

246

Provincialism

246

Common sense fallacy

248

Conclusion
    Study Guide Questions

242


Chapter Twelve: Causal Fallacies

Causal oversimplification

251

After-this fallacy

252

Cause-effect confusion

253

Common cause fallacy

254

Slippery Slope
    Study Guide Questions
    Fallacies of the Whole Truth Crossword
    Exercise # 33-34

254


PART III: NOTHING BUT THE LOGICAL TRUTH

261

Study Guide

262


Chapter Thirteen: Irrelevance

Introduction

263

Doesn't-follow fallacy

263

Irrelevant purpose

265

Anachronism

265

Appeal to vanity

266

Appeal to pity

266

Appeal to force

267

Truth by volume
    Study Guide Questions

272


Chapter Fourteen: Diversion

Introduction

275

Strawman

275

Red herring

276

Tokenism

277

Humor fallacy

278

Two wrongs fallacy
    Study Guide Questions

279


Chapter Fifteen: Confusion

Introduction

283

Equivocation fallacy

283

Begging-the-question fallacy

285

Doublespeak

288

Inconsistency fallacy
    Study Guide Questions
    Exercise # 35-36

289


Chapter Sixteen: Statistics

Introduction

295

Small sample

296

Unrepresentative sample

297

False precision fallacy

298

Biased questions

299

Gambler's fallacy

300

Faulty comparison

302

Causal-correlation fallacy
    Study Guide Questions
    Logical & Statistical Fallacies Crossword
    Exercise # 37-39

302


BIBLIOGRAPHY

313


BOOK EVALUATION

317


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