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fourth EDItION

Critical Thinking
A student ' s Introduction

Ba ssha m

I I rwi n I N ardon e I Wal l ac e

CRITICAL THINKING
A STUDENT’S INTRODUCTION
FOURTH EDITION

Gregory Bassham William Irwin Henry Nardone James M. Wallace
King’s College

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For Enrico, Eric, Nicole, Dylan, Catherine, Daniel, and Kate

CONTENTS

A Word to Students xi Preface xiii

CHAPTER 1

Introduction to Critical Thinking 1

What Is Critical Thinking? 1 Critical Thinking Standards 2 Clarity 2 Precision 2 Accuracy 3 Relevance 3 Consistency 4 Logical Correctness 5 Completeness 6 Fairness 6 The Benefits of Critical Thinking 7 Critical Thinking in the Classroom 7 Critical Thinking in the Workplace 9 Critical Thinking in Life 9 Barriers to Critical Thinking 10 Egocentrism 11 Sociocentrism 13 Unwarranted Assumptions and Stereotypes 16 Relativistic Thinking 19 Wishful Thinking 24 Characteristics of a Critical Thinker 25 v

vi

Contents

CHAPTER 2

Recognizing Arguments 29
33

What Is an Argument? 29 Identifying Premises and Conclusions What Is Not an Argument? 40 Reports 40 Unsupported Assertions 41 Conditional Statements 41 Illustrations 43 Explanations 43

CHAPTER 3

Basic Logical Concepts 53

Deduction and Induction 53 How Can We Tell Whether an Argument Is Deductive or Inductive? 56 The Indicator Word Test 57 The Strict Necessity Test 58 The Common Pattern Test 58 The Principle of Charity Test 59 Exceptions to the Strict Necessity Test 61 Common Patterns of Deductive Reasoning 62 Hypothetical Syllogism 62 Categorical Syllogism 65 Argument by Elimination 66 Argument Based

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