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Asking the right questions : a guide to critical thinking / M. Neil Browne, Stuart M. Keeley

By: Browne, M. Neil, 1944-
Contributor(s): Keeley, Stuart M, 1941-
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson Prentice Hall, c2007Edition: 8th edDescription: xii, 212 p. ; 23 cmISBN: 0132203049; 9780132203043Subject(s): Criticism | Critical thinkingDDC classification: 808 LOC classification: PN83 | .B785 2007PN83 | .B785 2007Online resources: Table of contents only
Contents:
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" -- Thinking and feeling -- The purpose of asking the question, "who cares?" -- Weak-sense and strong-sense critical thinking -- The satisfaction of using the panning-for-gold approach -- Trying out new answers -- Effective communication and critical thinking -- The importance of practice -- The right questions -- 2. 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 -- 3. What are the reasons? -- Reasons + conclusion = argument -- Initiating the questioning process -- Words that identify reasons -- Kinds of reasons -- Keeping the reasons and conclusions straight -- Reasons first, then conclusions -- "Fresh" reasons and your growth -- Critical thinking and your own writing and speaking -- Practice exercises -- 4. 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 -- 5. What are the value conflicts and 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 -- Summary -- Practice exercises
6. What are the descriptive assumptions? -- Illustrating descriptive assumptions -- Clues for locating assumptions -- Applying the clues -- Avoiding analysis of trivial assumptions -- Assumptions and your own writing and speaking -- Summary -- Practice exercises -- 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 -- 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 -- 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 -- Practice exercises -- 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
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 -- 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 -- 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 -- 14. Practice and review -- Question checklist for critical thinking -- Asking the right questions : a comprehensive example -- What are the issue and conclusion? -- What are the reasons? -- What words or phrases are ambiguous? -- What are the value conflicts and assumptions? -- What are the descriptive assumptions? -- Are there any fallacies in the reasoning? -- How good is the evidence? -- Are there rival causes? -- Are the statistics deceptive? -- What significant information is omitted? -- What reasonable conclusions are possible? -- Final word -- The tone of your critical thinking -- Strategies for effective critical thinking -- Index
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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" -- Thinking and feeling -- The purpose of asking the question, "who cares?" -- Weak-sense and strong-sense critical thinking -- The satisfaction of using the panning-for-gold approach -- Trying out new answers -- Effective communication and critical thinking -- The importance of practice -- The right questions -- 2. 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 -- 3. What are the reasons? -- Reasons + conclusion = argument -- Initiating the questioning process -- Words that identify reasons -- Kinds of reasons -- Keeping the reasons and conclusions straight -- Reasons first, then conclusions -- "Fresh" reasons and your growth -- Critical thinking and your own writing and speaking -- Practice exercises -- 4. 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 -- 5. What are the value conflicts and 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 -- Summary -- Practice exercises

6. What are the descriptive assumptions? -- Illustrating descriptive assumptions -- Clues for locating assumptions -- Applying the clues -- Avoiding analysis of trivial assumptions -- Assumptions and your own writing and speaking -- Summary -- Practice exercises -- 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 -- 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 -- 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 -- Practice exercises -- 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

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 -- 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 -- 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 -- 14. Practice and review -- Question checklist for critical thinking -- Asking the right questions : a comprehensive example -- What are the issue and conclusion? -- What are the reasons? -- What words or phrases are ambiguous? -- What are the value conflicts and assumptions? -- What are the descriptive assumptions? -- Are there any fallacies in the reasoning? -- How good is the evidence? -- Are there rival causes? -- Are the statistics deceptive? -- What significant information is omitted? -- What reasonable conclusions are possible? -- Final word -- The tone of your critical thinking -- Strategies for effective critical thinking -- Index

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