Critical Thinking: Consider The Verdict. Sixth Edition

Pearson Education, Inc

Bruce N. Waller

1. Critical thinking. 2. Verdicts. 3. Logic.
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 978-0-205-15866-9 (alk. paper)
 0-205-15866-8 (alk. paper)
 2012, 2005, 2001
 by Pearson Education, Inc

Critical thinking is a valuable skill: whether you are deciding which courses to take or
career to pursue, what toothpaste to use or what stocks to buy, which candidate to vote for
or which cause to support, which reports to believe or what claims to reject, critical thinking
can be very useful. One of the most important places for careful critical thinking is the
jury room. Serving on a jury is one of the most significant and basic ways that citizens
actively participate in their government, and jury service makes strong demands on citizen-
jurors. Jurors must set aside any biases and judge the issues fairly; they must reason
carefully about what laws are involved and how those laws apply to the specific case at
hand; they must evaluate testimony and weigh both its accuracy and its relevance; and
they must give a fair hearing to both sides, distinguish sound from erroneous arguments,
and ultimately reach a just and reasonable conclusion. The courts offer fascinating cases
for examination and analysis, and the courts have long grappled with many of the key
issues in critical thinking: questions about burden of proof, legitimate analogies, distinctions
between relevant and irrelevant reasons, question-begging arguments and unfair
questions, the weighing of testimony (including expert testimony and appeals to expert
authority), the distinction between argument and testimony, the legitimate and illegitimate
use of ad hominem arguments.

The courtroom demands a high level of critical thinking skill, and it is also a fascinating
place for studying and developing the key skills of critical thinking: determining exactly
what the conclusion is, and who bears the burden of proving it; separating false claims from
reliable information; setting aside irrelevant distractions and focusing on the question at
issue; and distinguishing between erroneous and legitimate arguments. The skills that
make you an effective juror will also make you an intelligent consumer, an effective planner,
and a wise citizen.

focus for developing basic critical thinking skills, but it does not stop there. Those skills
are also applied to the various arguments and issues that arise in our daily lives as
consumers, students, planners, and citizens. While the courtroom and the jury room are
valuable laboratories for learning and testing and applying critical thinking abilities,
those abilities must also be exercised when reading editorial columns, debating social
issues, making intelligent consumer choices, working effectively at a career, and
fulfilling one’s responsibilities as a thoughtful critical citizen of a democracy. Thus, most
of the exercises and examples are drawn from advertisements, social debates, political
campaigns, editorials, and letters to the editor. Critical thinking skills are valuable in the
jury room, but they are also valuable in the classroom, the boardroom, the laboratory,
and the grocery store.

Critical thinking is often regarded as an adversarial process, where the stronger
arguments triumph over the weaker. Adversarial critical thinking is common and is often
valuable: Cases in court usually proceed through an adversarial process, and that can be
a useful way of bringing out both strong and weak points in the arguments presented. But
not all critical thinking follows the adversarial model, and the sixth edition of Critical
Thinking: Consider the Verdict gives careful attention to the contexts when cooperative critical
thinking may prove particularly useful. Several factors enhance effective cooperative
critical thinking, and several argument fallacies are especially damaging to a cooperative
critical thinking process. Both the promise and the pitfalls of cooperative critical thinking
are examined in this new edition.
The sixth edition of Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict contains a number of important
changes and additions.
• Extensive new discussion of cooperative critical thinking (as distinguished from adversarial
critical thinking), and examination of its special strengths and the contexts in which it is most effective.
• New and updated exercises and examples in every chapter.
• A new section on definitions, including examination of misleading definitions.
• Extensive new material on statistical fallacies and deceptions.
• A new section on the importance of scientific integrity and scientific cooperation.
• Additional new exercises in the special-review sections (the sections of cumulative exercises).

Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict, sixth edition, provides a solid introduction to critical
thinking; Chapters 18 and 19 offer introductory instruction in symbolic logic. Those two
chapters are self-contained, and you may do either or both at any point in the course, or
skip them altogether. The boxed exercises and examples throughout the text are not
essential to understanding the chapters, but they do present interesting material and
challenging questions. You can skip them, but you’ll miss a lot of the fun.

Support for Instructors and Students
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Instructor’s Manual with Tests (0-205-15875-7): For each chapter in the text, this valuable
resource provides a detailed outline, list of objectives, and discussion questions. In addition,
test questions in multiple-choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer formats
are available for each chapter; the answers are page referenced to the text. For easy
access, this manual is available at
PowerPoint Presentation Slides for Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict
(0-205-15877-3): These PowerPoint Slides help instructors convey critical thinking principles
in a clear and engaging way. For easy access, they are available at
MyTest Test Generator (0-205-15878-1): This computerized software allows instructors to
create their own personalized exams, edit any or all of the existing test questions, and add
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Table of Contents
Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xvii
1 Introduction 1
Critical Thinking in Everyday Life 1
Play Fair 2
Seating a Jury 2
Jury Research: Eliminating or Selecting Bias? 3
Impartial Critical Thinking 4
Adversarial Critical Thinking 5
Cooperative Critical Thinking 7
Internet Resources 12
Additional Reading 12
2 A Few Important Terms 14
Arguments 14
Statements 14
Premises and Conclusions 16
Deductive and Inductive Arguments 19
Deduction, Validity, and Soundness 21
Induction, Strong Arguments, and Cogent Arguments 23
Review Questions 27
Internet Resources 27
Additional Reading 27
3 Ad Hominem Arguments 28
The Ad Hominem Fallacy 28
Nonfallacious Ad Hominem Arguments 29
Ad Hominem and Testimony 31
Distinguishing Argument from Testimony 33
Tricky Types of Ad Hominem 41
Bias Ad Hominem 41
Inconsistency and Ad Hominem 44
Psychological Ad Hominem 47
Inverse Ad Hominem 48
Attacking Arguments 49
Review Questions 54
Internet Resources 55
Additional Reading 54
4 The Second Deadly Fallacy: The Strawman Fallacy 56
Straw Man 57
The Principle of Charity 58
The Strawman Fallacy 58
Special Strawman Varieties 63
Limits on Critical Thinking 63
Review Questions 65
Internet Resources 66
Additional Reading 65
5 What’s the Question? 67
Determine the Conclusion 67
What Is the Exact Conclusion? 68
Review Question 74
6 Relevant and Irrelevant Reasons 76
Premises Are Relevant or Irrelevant Relative
to the Conclusion 77
Irrelevant Reason Fallacy 81
The Red Herring Fallacy 81
Review Questions 90
Internet Resources 91
Additional Reading 91
7 Analyzing Arguments 92
Argument Structure 92
Convergent Arguments 92
Linked Arguments 95
Subarguments 96
Assumptions: Their Use and Abuse 109
Legitimate Assumptions 109
Enthymemes 111
Illegitimate Assumptions 111
Review Questions 113
Internet Resources 114
Additional Reading 114
8 The Burden of Proof 115
Who Bears the Burden of Proof? 115
Appeal to Ignorance 117
The Burden of Proof in the Courtroom 117
Presumption of Innocence 118
When the Defendant Does Not Testify 119
Juries and the Burden of Proof 120
Unappealing Ignorance 123
Review Questions 127
Internet Resources 128
Additional Reading 128
9 Language and Its Pitfalls 129
Definitions 129
Stipulative Definitions 130
Controversial Definitions 131
Deceptive Language 131
The Fallacy of Ambiguity 132
Amphiboly 136
Review Questions 139
Internet Resources 139
Additional Reading 139
10 Appeal to Authority 140
Authorities as Testifiers 141
Conditions for Legitimate Appeal to Authority 141
Popularity and Tradition 148
Review Questions 154
Internet Resources 154
Additional Reading 154
Cumulative Exercises One 156
(Chapters 1 through 10)
11 Arguments by Analogy 164
Figurative Analogy 164
Deductive Argument by Analogy 165
The Fallacy of Faulty Analogy 170
Analyzing a Deductive Argument by Analogy 175
Deductive Arguments by Analogy and Cooperative Critical Thinking 179
The Fallacy of Analogical Literalism 180
Caution! Watch for Analogies That Look Like Slippery Slopes! 182
Inductive Arguments by Analogy 184
Review Questions 201
Internet Resources 202
Additional Reading 202
12 Some Distinctive Arguments and Potential
Pitfalls: Slippery Slope, Dilemma, and Golden
Mean Arguments 204
Slippery Slope 204
Separating Slippery Slopes from Straw Men 205
The Slippery Slope Fallacy 206
Genuine Slippery Slopes 206
Dilemmas, False and True 211
Genuine Dilemmas 212
False Dilemmas 212
False Dilemma Combined with Straw Man 216
Consider the Possibilities 216
Golden Mean 220
The Golden Mean Fallacy 220
Constructing Golden Mean Fallacies 220
Review Questions 224
Internet Resources 225
Additional Reading 225
13 Begging the Question 226
The Problem with Question-Begging
Arguments 226
A New and Confusing Use of “Begs the Question” 227
Subtle Forms of Question Begging 227
Synonymous Begging the Question 227
Generalization Begging the Question 228
Circular Begging the Question 229
False Charges of Begging the Question 231
Self-Sealing Arguments 231
Complex Questions 233
Review Questions 238
Internet Resources 238
Additional Reading 238
Cumulative Exercises Two 239
(Chapters 1 through 13)
14 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions 253
Necessary Conditions 253
Distinguishing Necessary from Sufficient Conditions 255
Sufficient Conditions 256
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions in Ordinary Language 256
Conditional Statements 258
Alternative Ways of Stating Necessary and Sufficient Conditions 259
Both Necessary and Sufficient 261
Valid Inferences from Necessary and Sufficient Conditions 267
Modus Ponens 267
Modus Tollens 269
Fallacies Based on Confusion between Necessary and Sufficient
Conditions 269
The Fallacy of Denying the Antecedent 269
The Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent 270
Detecting Argument Forms 271
Review Questions 277
Internet Resources 277
Additional Reading 277
15 Scientific and Causal Reasoning 278
Distinguishing Causation from Correlation 279
The Questionable Cause Fallacy 283
The Method of Science 286
Randomized Studies and Prospective Studies 287
Making Predictions 288
When Predictions Go Wrong 289
Faulty “Scientific” Claims 291
Confirmation Bias 293
Scientific Integrity, Scientific Cooperation, and Research
Manipulation 294
Review Questions 297
Internet Resources 298
Additional Reading 298
16 The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth 299
Eyewitness Testimony 300
Potential Sources of Eyewitness Error 300
Judging the Honesty of a Witness 307
The Whole Truth 309
Are the Premises True? 312
Digging for Truth 312
Consider the Source 313
Review Questions 314
Internet Resources 315
Additional Reading 316
Cumulative Exercises Three 318
(Chapters 1 through 16)
17 Thinking Critically about Statistics 343
All Children Are Above Average 343
Empty Statistics 345
Finding the Appropriate Context 345
Caught Off Base 346
Statistical Apples and Oranges 346
Statistical Half-Truths 348
Sample Size and “Statistical Significance” 348
How to Make Your Study Yield the Results You Want 349
Surveys 352
Review Questions 356
Internet Resources 356
Additional Reading 357
18 Symbolic Sentential Logic 358
Truth-Functional Definitions 358
Negation 358
Disjunction 359
Conjunction 360
Conditional 360
Material Implication 361
Testing for Validity and Invalidity 363
Punctuation 366
The Truth-Table Method of Testing for Validity 370
The Short-Cut Method for Determining Validity or Invalidity 374
Review Questions 387
19 Arguments about Classes 388
Types of Categorical Propositions 389
Relations among Categorical Propositions 390
Venn Diagrams 391
Diagramming Statements 391
Diagramming Arguments 396
Translating Ordinary-Language Statements into Standard-Form
Categorical Propositions 407
Reducing the Number of Terms 409
Review Questions 410
Additional Reading 410
Consider Your Verdict 411
Comprehensive Critical Thinking in the Jury Room
State v. Ransom 411
Judge Schwebel’s Summation and Charge to the Jury 424
Internet Resources 425
Additional Reading 425
Key Terms 427
Answers to Selected Exercises 433
Index 445

Critical Thinking_Consider The Verdict__6th edition
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