This book should be in any and all collections on Critical Thinking.
It's recommended by the Open University, so you'll know that it's a good read, and has great depth.
The Open University said it's "Accessible, Stylish and very readable."
I agree that it's very readable, with great precision and clarity. It has a depth that few other, even A Level course books will give you.
Make no mistake, this is a highly technical book, as far as the logic of critical thinking is concerned, and it's superb when it comes to logical fallacies and informal logical evaluations, but it maintains that easy to read and comprehend, that is like striking gold.
A definite must have.
As a tip, for those new to Critical Thinking, start with Chapter 4, which deals with informal logic, fallacies of relevance, fallacies of presumption and fallacies of ambiguity (this chapter alone is worth the price of the book).
on 19 May 2014
Written by social scientists who as usual try to complicate what is a pretty simple subject in an attempt to justify their existence. It's not rocket science folks, it's critical thought. This is a concept best taught through case study, no theory necessary, it's all quite obvious.
on 16 April 2010
Though this book is described as 'a beginner's guide', it is difficult to work out what sort of beginner in Critical Thinking would find this useful. It takes a position on Critical Thinking which makes it read very unlike what one would expect from a good introduction to the subject. There is, for example, no discussion of how one might apply skills in evaluation to statistical evidence. This is something which reflects a somewhat dated approach to the subject, soemthing we might have found thirty years ago. For example, we find things like 'Cleopatra was a woman. Cleopatra was a ruler of Egypt. Therefore a woman was the ruler of Egypt.' This is OK as a way of showing the relationship between premises and inferences but any book on Critical Thinking really ought to go way beyond this and look at inferences from statistical evidence, at real (rather than invented) analogies, and at real (and topical) arguments from newspapers, TV, adverts, and so on.
So what 'beginner' is the book for? I don't know.
on 6 June 2010
This book falls somewhere between books on formal logic, such as "The Traditional Formal Logic" by W. A. Sinclair, and manuals on clear thinking such as "Thinking to Some Purpose" by L. S. Stebbing. Chapters 2 & 3 provide a gentle introduction to traditional formal logic - syllogisms and conditional statements. The use of diagrams to explain syllogisms is particularly helpful. Although I'd previously read several books on logic and reasoning, I learnt useful new techniques in Chapters 1 & 4 of this book - on the Standard Form schema for writing out an argument, and informal argument evaluation. The book is also very good on identifying, and naming, common errors and fallacies of reasoning. Overall, I can recommend this as a useful, clear introduction to logic, reasoning and valid argument.