Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking : Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life

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Critical Thinking is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of your life: in your career, and as a consumer, citizen, friend, parent, and lover. Discover the core skills of effective thinking; then analyze your own thought processes, identify weaknesses, and overcome them. Learn how to translate more effective thinking into better decisions, less frustration, more wealth N and above all, greater confidence to pursue and achieve your most important goals in life.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 185.4 x 226.1 x 20.3mm | 748.44g
  • Pearson
  • United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 0131149628
  • 9780131149625
  • 1,010,813

Back cover copy

""Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life"," Second Edition, approaches critical thinking as a process for taking charge of and responsibility for one's thinking. Based in theory developed over the last 25 years, the book focuses on an integrated, universal concept of critical thinking that is both substansive and practical; it fosters the development of basic intellectual skills students need to think through content in any class, subject, or discipline, as well as through any problem or issue they face. Simply stated, this text offers students the intellectual tools they need for a lifelong learning and rational, conscientious living. Written by two of the leading experts in critical thinking, this second edition has all the strengths of the original edition plus two new chapters: one focusing on fallacies in thinking, and the other dealing with the problem of propaganda and bias in the mainstream news media. Content highlights include: "Think For Yourself "activitiesA concrete yet substantive approach to multidisciplinary learningPractical ways to analyze and evaluate reasoningEmphasis on fair-minded critical thinking and ethical reasoningEgocentric and sociocentric thought as primary barriers to critical thinkingKeys to lifelong learning, decision making, and problem solvingA global approach to developing the mind-its thought, desires, and emotionsUsing information critically and ethicallyThinking strategically through problems and issues in everyday lifeThe authors' website provides students with valuable resources to enhance their development as thinkers. Find this at
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Table of contents

Introduction A Start-up Definition of Critical ThinkingHow Skilled Are You as a Thinker? Good Thinking Requires Hard Work The Concept of Critical ThinkingBecome a Critic of Your Thinking Establish New Habits of Thought Develop Confidence in Your Ability to Reason and Figure Things Out 1. Becoming a Fair-minded Thinker.Weak vs. Strong Critical Thinking What Does Fair-Mindedness Require? Intellectual Humility: Strive to Discover the Extent of Their Ignorance Intellectual Courage: Develop the Courage to Challenge Popular Beliefs Intellectual Empathy: Learn to Empathically Enter Opposing Views Intellectual Integrity: Hold Yourself to the Same Standards to Which They Hold Others Intellectual Perseverance: Refuse to Give Up Easily, Work Your Way through Complexities and Frustration Confidence in Reason: Respect Evidence and Reasoning and Value Them as Tools for Discovering the Truth Intellectual Autonomy: Value Independence of ThoughtRecognize the Interdependence of Intellectual VirtuesConclusion 2. The First Four Stages of Development: At What Level Would You Place Yourself?Stage One: The Unreflective Thinker Stage Two: The Challenged Thinker Stage Three: The Beginning Thinker Stage Four: The Practicing Thinker 3. Self-Understanding. Monitor the Egocentrism in Your Thought and Life Make a Commitment to Fair-Mindedness Recognize the Mind's Three Distinctive Functions Understand That You Have a Special Relationship to Your Mind Connect Academic Subjects to Your Life and Problems Learn Both Intellectually and Emotionally 4. The Parts of Thinking. Reasoning Is Everywhere in Human Life Reasoning Has Parts A First Look at the Elements of Thought An Everyday Example: Jack and Jill Analysis of the ExampleHow the Parts of Thinking Fit TogetherThe Relationship between the ElementsThe Best Thinkers Think to Some Purpose The Best Thinkers Take Command of Concepts The Best Thinkers Assess Information Inert Information Activated Ignorance Activated Knowledge The Best Thinkers Distinguish Between Inferences and Assumptions The Best Thinkers Think through Implications The Best Thinkers Think across Points of View The Point of View of the Critical Thinker Conclusion 5. The Standards for Thinking. Taking a Deeper Look at Intellectual Standards Clarity * Accuracy * Precision * Relevance * Depth * Breadth * Logicalness * Significance * FairnessBringing Together the Elements of Reasoning and the Intellectual Standards Purpose, Goal, or End in View * Question at Issue or Problem to Be Solved * Point of View or Frame of Reference * Information, Data, Experiences * Concepts, Theories, Ideas * Assumptions * Implications and Consequences * InferencesBrief Guidelines for Using Intellectual Standards 6. Asking Questions That Lead to Good Thinking. The Importance of Questioning Dead Questions Reflect Inert Minds Three Categories of Questions Become a Socratic Questioner Focus Your Thinking on the Type of Question Being Asked * Focus Your Questions on Universal Intellectual Standards for Thought * Focus Your Questions on the Elements of Thought * Focus Your Questions on Prior Questions * Focus Your Questions on Domains of ThinkingConclusion 7. Master the Thinking, Master the Content. Go Beyond Superficial Memorization to Deep Learning The Relation of Content to Thinking Understand Content through Thinking and Thinking through Content All Content is Organized by Concepts All Content is Logically Interdependent Think Through Your Classes Using Your Knowledge of Thinking A Caution 8. Discover How the Best Thinkers Learn. 18 Ideas for Improving Your StudiesThe Logic of a Typical College Class Becoming a Skilled Thinker The Design of a Typical College Class and the Typical College Student Figure Out the Underlying Concept of Your Courses Figure Out the Form of Thinking Essential to Courses or Subjects Think Within the Logic of the Subject A Case: The Logic of Biochemistry Make the Design of the Course Work for You Sample Course: American History, 1600-1800 Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Thinking Figure Out the Logic of an Article or Essay Figure Out the Logic of a Textbook Criteria for Evaluating an Author's Reasoning A Test to Repeat in Every Class & Subject 9. Redefining Grades as Levels of Thinking and Learning. Develop Strategies for Assessing Your Learning Use Student Profiles to Assess Your Performance Exemplary Students (Grade of A)High Performing Students (Grade of B)Mixed-Quality Students (Grade of C)Low-Performing Students (Grade of D or F)Apply Student Profiles to Assess Your Performance Within Specific Disciplines Exemplary Thinking as a Student of Psychology(Grade of A) High-Performing Thinking as a Student of Psychology(Grade of B) Mixed-Quality Thinking as a Student of Psychology(Grade of C) Low-Performing Thinking as a Student of Psychology(Grade of D or F)Conclusion 10. Making Decisions and Solving Problems. PART I: MAKING DECISIONS Evaluating Patterns in Decision-Making "Big" Decisions The Logic of Decision-Making Recognizing the Need for an Important Decision * Accurately Recognizing the Alternatives * Putting More Time into Your Decision-Making * Being Systematic * Dealing with One Major Decision at a Time * Developing Knowledge of Your IgnoranceDimensions of Decision-Making The Early Decisions (2-11 Years of Age) Adolescent Decisions (12-17 Years of Age) Conclusion PART II: SOLVING PROBLEMS Becoming an Activist Problem-Solver Evaluating Patterns in Your Problem-Solving Dissolving Pseudo-Problems False Needs and Irrational Ends "Big" Problems Dimensions of Problem-Solving Avoiding the Pitfalls of Problem-Solving Analyze Problems Using the Elements of Thought The Art of Problem-Solving 11 Deal With Your Irrational Mind. PART I: TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR EGOCENTRIC NATURE. Understand Egocentric Thinking Understand Egocentrism as a Mind within the Mind Successful Egocentric Thinking Unsuccessful Egocentric Thinking Rational Thinking Two Egocentric Functions Egocentric Domination Egocentric SubmissionPathological Tendencies of the Human Mind Challenge the Pathological Tendencies of Your Minds The Challenge of Rationality PART II: TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR SOCIOCENTRIC THINKING. The Nature of Sociocentrism Social Stratification Sociocentric Thinking Is Unconscious and Potentially Dangerous Sociocentric Uses of Language Disclose Sociocentric Thinking through Conceptual Analysis Reveal Ideology at Work through Conceptual Analysis Conclusion: Work to Free Yourself from Egocentric and Sociocentric Thought 12. How to Detect Media Bias and Propaganda in National and World News.Democracy and the News Media Myths That Obscure the Logic of the News Media Objectivity in the News Media Point of View Forms of Objectivity The Perception of Bias in the Mainstream Propaganda and News Story Writing Protecting the Home Audience from Guilt Feelings Fostering Sociocentric Thinking Slanting Stories to Favor Privileged Views How to Obtain Useful Information from Propaganda and Standard News Stories Steps in Becoming a Critical Consumer of the "News" Media Awareness of Media Bias Sensitivity to Advertisers Sensitivity to Government Sensitivity to Powerful Interests Sensitivity to Their Competitors The Bias toward "Novelty" and "Sensationalism" Critical Consumers of the News Questions for the News Media Is It Possible for the News Media to Reform? Is the Emergence of a "Critical Society" Possible? Finding Alternative Sources of Information Becoming an Independent Thinker Buried, Ignored, or Underreported Stories Using the Internet Additional Alternative News Sources Conclusion An Abbreviated Glossary13. Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery & Manipulation. Truth & Deception in the Human MindThree Types of Thinkers Uncritical Persons (intellectually unskilled thinkers) Skilled Manipulators (weak-sense critical thinkers) Fair-minded Critical Persons (strong-sense critical thinkers) The Concept of Fallacies of Thought Naming Fallacies Mistakes Versus Fallacies There is No Exhaustive List of FallaciesFaulty GeneralizationsAnalyzing Generalizations Post Hoc Generalizations Analogies and Metaphors 44 Foul Waysto Win an Argument Accuse Your Opponent of Doing What He is Accusing You of or worseAccuse Him of Sliding down A Slippery Slope (that leads to disaster) Appeal to AuthorityAppeal to ExperienceAppeal to FearAppeal to Pity (or sympathy)Appeal to Popular PassionsAppeal to Tradition or Faith ("the tried and true")Assume a Posture of RighteousnessAttack the person (and not the argument)Beg the QuestionCall for Perfection (Demand impossible conditions)Create a False Dilemma (the Great Either/Or)Devise Analogies (and Metaphors) That Support Your View (even if they are misleading or "false"). Question Your Opponent's ConclusionsCreate Misgivings: Where There's Smoke, There's FireCreate A Straw ManDeny or Defend Your InconsistenciesDemonize His Side Sanitize Yours Evade Questions, GracefullyFlatter Your Audience Hedge What You SayIgnore the Evidence Ignore the Main PointAttack Evidence (That Undermines Your Case)Insist Loudly on a Minor Point Use the Hard-Cruel-World Argument (to justify doing what is usually considered unethical). Make (Sweeping) Glittering Generalizations Make Much of Any Inconsistencies in Your Opponent's Position Make Your Opponent Look Ridiculous ("Lost in the Laugh")Oversimplify the Issue Raise Nothing But ObjectionsRewrite History (Have It Your Way)Seek Your Vested InterestsShift the Ground.Shift the Burden of ProofSpin, Spin, SpinTalk in Vague Generalities. Talk Double Talk Tell Big Lies Treat Abstract Words and Symbols As If They Were Real Things Throw In A Red Herring (or two)Throw in Some StatisticsUse Double Standards (whenever you can)Fallacy Detection: Analyzing a Speech from the Past Fallacy Detection: Analyzing a Current Presidential Speech Fallacy Detection: Analyzing a Speech from a Presidential CandidateAvoid Two Extremes: 1) Finding Fallacies Only in the Thinking of Others (None in Yourself), and 2) Finding an Equal Number of Fallacies in Everything you Read. Conclusion: Fallacies in an Ideal (And in a Real) World 14. Developing as an Ethical Reasoner. Why People Are Confused About Ethics The Fundamentals of Ethical Reasoning Ethical Concepts and Principles * The Universal Nature of Ethical Principles * Distinguishing Ethics from Other Domains of Thinking * Ethics and Religion * Ethics and Social Conventions * Ethics and the Law * Ethics and Sexual Taboos * Understanding Our Native SelfishnessConclusion15. Learning & Using Information Critically & Ethically, Part One: A Critique of DisciplinesThe Ideal of Knowledge Acquisition True Loyalty to a Discipline The Gap between Fact and Ideal The Ideal Compared to the Real The Ideal of Mathematics: Abstract Quantification The Ideal of Science: Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Biology The Ideal of Science: History, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Psychology The Ideal of the Arts and Humanities: Music, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Dance, Literature, Philosophy Conclusion 16. Learning & Using Information Critically & Ethically, Part Two: The Method & a Model CaseRealistic Understanding Be a Critic, Not a Cynic Recognize the Mental Nature of Knowledge Develop Awareness of the Harm from Misuse of Information Question Academic and "Expert" Information Question the Status of Knowledge in a Field A Model Case: Questioning Psychology and the Mental Health Professions The Milligram Experiment Scientific Studies in the Psychology A Dark Side of the Mental Health Professions Legitimizing Deeply Held Social Beliefs Questioning "Psychotherapy" Learning from Suspect Claims of Psychology and the Mental Health Professions Thinking Psychologically: A Postscript 17. Strategic Thinking, Part One. Understanding and Using Strategic Thinking Components of Strategic Thinking The Beginnings of Strategic Thinking Key Idea 1 Thoughts, Feelings, and Desires are Interdependent Key Idea 2 There Is a Logic to This, and You Can Figure It Out Key Idea 3 For Thinking to Be of High Quality, We Must Routinely Assess It 18. Strategic Thinking, Part Two. Key Idea 4 Understanding Our Native Egocentrism as a Default Mechanism Key Idea 5 We Must Become Sensitive to the Egocentrism of Those around Us Key Idea 6 The Mind Tends to Generalize Beyond the Original Experience Key Idea 7 Egocentric Thinking Appears to the Mind as Rational Key Idea 8 The Egocentric Mind Is Automatic in Nature Key Idea 9 We Often Pursue Power Through Dominating or Submissive Behavior Key Idea 10 Humans Are Naturally Sociocentric Animals Key Idea 11 Developing Rationality Requires Work Conclusion 19. Becoming an Advanced Thinker. Practicing Skilled Thinking Stage Five: Reaching the Advanced Stage of Development Stage Six: Becoming a Master Thinker Qualities of Mind of a Master Thinker The Ideal Thinker APPENDICESA. Critical Questions About Critical Thinking B. Sample Analyses of "The Logic of . . ." C Article: "Iraq Is a Pediatrician's Hell: No Way to Stop the Dying" Glossary References Index
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Review quote

"What sets this book apart from the others are the examples and exercises that force students to personally understand the relevance of the topic under discussion. That the reader must learn to 'know thyself.'" -- Brian J. Shelley, York Technical Institute "Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life provides a fresh insight regarding this seemingly ominous subject of Critical Thinking. The subject was so intriguing that, at times, I found the text much like a long awaited novel, hard to put down." -- Jill Simons, Arkansas State University "The material is written to arouse a student's curiousity by posing controversial and provocative 'think for yourself' questions..." -- Becky Goodman, University of Hawaii "This text is unique in that certain core values and capabilities ('virtues') are requisite..." -- Michael Craven, Clark College "Critical superior to the usual 'shortcut/toolkit' type texts..." -- Gary Greer, University of Houston, Downtown
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About Linda Elder

DR. RICHARD W. PAUL is Director of Research and Professional Development at the Center for Critical Thinking and the Chair of the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking. He has authored eight books and more than 200 articles on critical thinking. In over 35 years of teaching experience, he has won numerous awards and honors, including Distinguished Perry Lecturer for the year 2000.DR. LINDA ELDER is an educational psychologist, President for the Foundation for Critical Thinking, and Executive Director of the Center for Critical Thinking. She is highly published and has done original research into the relation of thought and emotion. She is a regular keynoter at the International Conference on Critical Thinking and is a recognized leader in the field.
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Rating details

90 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 32% (29)
4 31% (28)
3 19% (17)
2 11% (10)
1 7% (6)
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