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Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking

Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking

This is an introductory textbook in logic and critical thinking. The goal of the textbook is to provide the reader with a set of tools and skills that will enable them to identify and evaluate arguments. The book is intended for an introductory course that covers both formal and informal logic. As such, it is not a formal logic textbook, but is closer to what one would find marketed as a “critical thinking textbook.”...

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Lina Villegas
Lina Villegas (Faculty)
4 years ago
Review of Introduction to logic and critical thinking (Version 1.3) Author: Matthew J. van Cleave Lansing Community College This is an open (access) textbook about logic. The purpose of the book is to offer skills and tools to examine and evaluate arguments. It leads the reader to analyze arguments using different set of methods and potentially to build strong arguments. The content of the book is clear, straightforward, and easy to follow. The author starts with basic ideas about arguments and as the chapters progress so do their complexity, but if the reader follows the book chapter by chapter and does the multiples exercise given, the learning goals can be achieved. One can also choose to work on a particular method of analyzing arguments and it will work as well. The author sums up ideas constantly ensuring that the reader is following, I appreciate this permanent connection to what has been said before. A different reader might feel that there are a lot of reiterations. I found especially useful the examples and exercises the author included in each chapter. I started doing the exercises wishing to know if I was doing them right, when I was almost done with the first chapter I found out that at the end of the book there is a section with answer keys. This textbook can be used in-class, individual, and self-paced. I teach criminology and sociology. This is the first textbook I read about logic and critical thinking. I look for this book as I am very interested in helping my students differentiate between opinions, explanation and arguments and this book has helped me create exercises and use clear examples to illustrate these differences. I which I could assign this book for all my classes but since time is limited, I will use some of the exercises hoping to help students make sure they correctly develop their arguments when writing papers. Since this is the first book I read about critical thinking and logic I cannot compare it with similar books. My review focuses on the strengths the book has for someone who is not an expert in the area of logic or philosophy. Strengths 1. It’s an open access text and can be downloaded as a pdf. 2. The formal and informal methods of argument analysis are introduced and clearly explained with plenty of examples. 3. It promotes critical thinking by teaching tools of argument analysis. 4. The content of the book can be easily integrated into curriculum assignments. 5. Each chapter has exercises for concept reinforcement. 6. Concepts are clearly defined. 7. The material is enjoyable and engaging