Asking the Right Questions : United States Edition
Used in a variety of courses in various disciplines, Asking the Right Questions helps bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information, and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis. Specifically, this concise text teaches how to think critically by exploring the components of arguments--issues, conclusions, reasons, evidence, assumptions, language--and on how to spot fallacies and manipulations and obstacles to critical thinking.
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- Paperback | 192 pages
- 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.33g
- 02 Mar 2009
- Pearson Education (US)
- United States
- 9th edition
Back cover copy
Used in a variety of courses in various disciplines, "Asking the Right Questions "helps bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information, and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis. Specifically, this concise text teaches how to think critically by exploring the components of arguments--issues, conclusions, reasons, evidence, assumptions, language--and on how to spot fallacies and manipulations and obstacles to critical thinking.
Table of contents
ContentsPreface Chapter 1: The Benefit of Asking the Right Questions Introduction Critical Thinking to the Rescue The Sponge and Panning for Gold: Alternative Thinking Styles An Example of the Panning-for-Gold Approach Panning for Gold: Asking Critical Questions The Myth of the "Right Answer" The Usefulness of Asking the Question, "Who Cares?" Weak-Sense and Strong-Sense Critical Thinking The Satisfaction of Using the Panning-for-Gold Approach Effective Communication and Critical Thinking The Importance of Practice The Right Questions Chapter 2: Critical Thinking Is a Social Activity Values and Other People The Primary Values of a Critical Thinker Thinking and Feelings Keeping the Conversation Going Avoiding the Dangers of Groupthink Chapter 3: What Are the Issue and the Conclusion? Kinds of Issues Searching for the Issue Searching for the Author's or Speaker's Conclusion Clues to Discovery: How to Find the Conclusion Critical Thinking and Your Own Writing and Speaking Practice Exercises Chapter 4: What Are the Reasons? Reasons + Conclusion = Argument Initiating the Questioning Process Words That Identify Reasons Kinds of Reasons Keeping the Reasons and Conclusions Straight Critical Thinking and Your Own Writing and Speaking Practice Exercises Chapter 5: What Words or Phrases Are Ambiguous? The Confusing Flexibility of Words Locating Key Terms and Phrases Checking for Ambiguity Determining Ambiguity Context and Ambiguity Ambiguity, Definitions, and the Dictionary Ambiguity and Loaded Language Limits of Your Responsibility to Clarify Ambiguity Ambiguity and Your Own Writing and Speaking Summary Practice Exercises Chapter 6: What Are the Value and Descriptive Assumptions? General Guide for Identifying Assumptions Value Conflicts and Assumptions Discovering Values From Values to Value Assumptions Typical Value Conflicts The Communicator's Background as a Clue to Value Assumptions Consequences as Clues to Value Assumptions More Hints for Finding Value Assumptions Avoiding a Typical Difficulty When Identifying Value Assumptions Finding Value Assumptions on Your Own Values and Relativism Identifying and Evaluating Descriptive Assumptions Illustrating Descriptive Assumptions Using this Critical Question Clues for Locating Assumptions Avoiding Analysis of Trivial Assumptions Assumptions and Your Own Writing and Speaking Summary Practice Exercises Chapter 7: Are There Any Fallacies in the Reasoning? A Questioning Approach to Finding Reasoning Fallacies Evaluating Assumptions as a Starting Point Discovering Other Common Reasoning Fallacies Looking for Diversions Sleight of Hand: Begging the Question Summary of Reasoning Errors Expanding Your Knowledge of Fallacies Fallacies and Your Own Writing and Speaking Practice Exercises Chapter 8: How Good Is the Evidence: Intuition, Personal Experience, Testimonials, and Appeals to Authority? The Need for Evidence Locating Factual Claims Sources of Evidence Intuition as Evidence Dangers of Appealing to Personal Experience as Evidence Personal Testimonials as Evidence Appeals to Authority as Evidence Summary Practice Exercises Chapter 9: How Good Is the Evidence: Personal Observation, Research Studies, Case Examples, and Analogies? Personal Observation Research Studies as Evidence Generalizing from the Research Sample Biased Surveys and Questionnaires Critical Evaluation of a Research-Based Argument Case Examples as Evidence Analogies as Evidence Summary Chapter 10 Are There Rival Causes? When to Look for Rival Causes The Pervasiveness of Rival Causes Detecting Rival Causes The Cause or A Cause Rival Causes and Scientific Research Rival Causes for Differences Between Groups Confusing Causation with Association Confusing "After this" with "Because of this" Explaining Individual Events or Acts Evaluating Rival Causes Evidence and Your Own Writing and Speaking Summary Practice Exercises Chapter 11: Are the Statistics Deceptive? Unknowable and Biased Statistics Confusing Averages Concluding One Thing, Proving Another Deceiving by Omitting Information Risk Statistics and Omitted Information Summary Practice Exercises Chapter 12: What Significant Information Is Omitted? The Benefits of Detecting Omitted Information The Certainty of Incomplete Reasoning Questions that Identify Omitted Information The Importance of the Negative View Omitted Information That Remains Missing Missing Information and Your Own Writing and Speaking Practice Exercises Chapter 13: What Reasonable Conclusions Are Possible? Assumptions and Multiple Conclusions Dichotomous Thinking: Impediment to Considering Multiple Conclusions Two Sides or Many? Searching for Multiple Conclusions Productivity of If-Clauses Alternative Solutions as Conclusions The Liberating Effect of Recognizing Alternative Conclusions All Conclusions Are Not Created Equal Summary Practice Exercises Chapter 14: Overcoming Obstacles to Critical thinkingOvercoming Obstacles to Critical Thinking Reviewing Famnilair Obstacles%RR Reviewing Familiar Obstacles Mental habits that Betray Us The Seductive Quality of Personal Experience Belief in a Just World Stereotypes The Urge to Simplify Belief Perseverance Availability Heuristic Wishful Thinking Final WordIndex