An Appeal to Reason
By Peg Tittle
Routledge – 2011 – 442 pages
In Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason, Peg Tittle empowers students with a solid grounding in the lifelong skills of considered analysis and argumentation that should underpin every student’s education. Starting with the building blocks of a good argument, this comprehensive new textbook offers a full course in critical thinking. It includes chapters on the nature and structure of argument, the role of relevance, truth and generalizations, and the subtleties of verbal and visual language.
Special features include:
• an emphasis on the constructive aspect of critical thinking—strengthening the arguments of others and constructing sound arguments of your own—rather than an exclusive focus on spotting faulty arguments
• actual questions from standardized reasoning tests like the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, and GRE
• graduated end-of-chapter exercises, asking students to think critically about what they see, hear, read, write, and discuss
• numerous sample arguments from books, magazines, television, and the Internet for students to analyze
• many images for critical analysis
• analyzed arguments that help students to read critically and actively
• an extensive companion website for instructors and students
A companion website features:
• for instructors: an extensive instructor’s manual; a test bank; and PowerPoint slides
• for students: extended answers, explanations, and analyses for the exercises and arguments in the book; supplementary chapters on logic and ethics; downloadable MP3 study guides; interactive flash cards; and thinking critically audio exercises.
"Peg Tittle’s Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason is the ideal book for any class, philosophy and otherwise, in which evaluating arguments is central. Few texts are as thorough, and none are as accessible, clear, and pleasurable. Critical Thinking is chock-full of examples of arguments and fallacies from Tittle’s fecund imagination, as well as an astonishing breadth of sources from classic to contemporary—enough to capture any student’s attention. Add to this some wonderfully lucid diagrams, and you have a book that is unmatched by any in its field."
-Ron Cooper, Professor of Philosophy, College of Central Florida
“Critical Thinking is appealing because it is carefully and clearly written, presents concrete and contemporary examples, and is well organized to capture the heuristic that guides students in learning to think critically. In addition, the template for the critical analysis of arguments (introduced in Chapter 1 and helpfully repeated in each chapter) is clear and effective.”
-Lauren Weis, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, American University
"Peg Tittle's Critical Thinking is a welcome addition to a crowded field. Her presentations of the material are engaging, often presented in a conversational discussion with the reader or student. The text's coverage of the material is wide-ranging. Newspaper items, snippets from The Far Side, personal anecdotes, emerging social and political debates, as well as LSAT sample questions are among the many tools Tittle employs to educate students on the elemental aspects of logic and critical thinking."
-Alexander E. Hooke, Professor of Philosophy, Stevenson University
Chapter 1: Critical Thinking 1.1 What is critical thinking? 1.2 What is critical thinking not? Chapter 2: The Nature of Argument 2.1 Recognizing an Argument 2.2 Circular Arguments 2.3 Counterarguments 2.4 The Burden of Proof 2.5 Facts and Opinions 2.6 Deductive and Inductive Argument Chapter 3: The Structure of Argument 3.1 Convergent, Single 3.2 Convergent, Multiple 3.3 Divergent Chapter 4: Relevance 4.1 Relevance 4.2 Errors of Relevance Chapter 5: Language 5.1 Clarity 5.2 Neutrality 5.3 Definition Chapter 6: Truth and Acceptability 6.1 How do we define truth? 6.2 How do we discover truth? 6.3 How do we evaluate claims of truth? Chapter 7: Generalizations, Analogies, and General Principles 7.1 Sufficiency 7.2 Generalizations 7.3 Analogies 7.4 General Principles Chapter 8: Inductive Argument – Causal Reasoning 8.1 Causation 8.2 Explanations 8.3 Predictions, Plans, and Policies 8.4 Errors in Causal Reasoning
Supplemental Chapters on the Companion Website: 1. Categorical Logic 2. Propositional Logic 3. Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues
Peg Tittle has taught critical thinking and applied ethics at both the university and high school levels. She is the author of What If…Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy and the editor of Should Parents be Licensed? and Ethical Issues in Business: Enquiries, Cases, and Readings.