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1. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Frank Fair, From the Editors’ Desk
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2. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Bruce Waller, Judicial System Resources: More Fun and Better Understanding in the Critical Thinking Classroom
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The legal system – from the jury room to the deliberations of the Supreme Court – offers an abundance of rich resources for the study and teaching of critical thinking.The courts have (often for centuries) struggled with many of the issues central to critical thinking. The courts not only provide fascinating examples and exercises for students to examine, but in many areas – the appropriate use of ad hominem arguments, the distinction between argument and testimony, the proper placing of the burden of proof, the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions, the legitimate (and fallacious) use of appeals to authority, the nature of arguments by analogy – jurists and legal scholars have analyzed these issues carefully, and their insights are of great value to anyone concerned with rigorous critical thinking. Study of those legal resources has also had an impact on my views concerning the moral responsibility system.
3. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Lawrence A. Lengbeyer, Critical Thinking in the Intelligence Community: The Promise of Argument Mapping
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It is unfortunate that so much turns on the practices of argument construction and critique in intelligence analysis, for example, because these practices are fraught with difficulty. However, the recently developed technique of argument mapping helps reasoners conduct these practices more thoroughly and insightfully, as can be shown in an extended illustration concerning Iraqi nuclear activities circa 2002. Argument mapping offers other benefits, as well. Its ultimate value, though, will depend on how its advantages compare to those of competitor reasoning methodologies.
4. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Louise Cummings, Circles and Analogies in Public Health Reasoning
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The study of the fallacies has changed almost beyond recognition since Charles Hamblin called for a radical reappraisal of this area of logical inquiry in his 1970 book Fallacies. The “witless examples of his forbears” to which Hamblin referred have largely been replaced by more authentic cases of the fallacies in actual use. It is now not unusual for fallacy and argumentation theorists to draw on actual sources for examples of how the fallacies are used in our everyday reasoning. However, an aspect of this move towards greater authenticity in the study of the fallacies, an aspect which has been almost universally neglected, is the attempt to subject the fallacies to empirical testing of the type which is more commonly associated with psychological experiments on reasoning. This paper addresses this omission in research on the fallacies by examining how subjects use two fallacies – circular argument and analogical argument – during a reasoning task in which subjects are required to consider a number of public health scenarios. Results are discussed in relation to a view of the fallacies as cognitive heuristics that facilitate reasoning in a context of uncertainty.
5. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Scott F. Aikin, Robert B. Talisse, Why We Argue: A Sketch of an Epistemic-Democratic Program
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This essay summarizes the research program developed in our new book, Why We Argue (And How We Should): A Guide to Political Disagreement (Routledge, 2014). Humans naturally want to know and to take themselves as having reason on their side. Additionally, many people take democracy to be a uniquely proper mode of political arrangement. There is an old tension between reason and democracy, however, and it was first articulated by Plato. Plato’s concern about democracy was that it detached political decision from reason. Epistemic democrats attempt to show how the two can be re-attached. What is necessary is to couple the core democratic liberties with norms of rational exchange. Thus epistemology and argument provides a basis for democratic politics. Why We Argue (And How We Should) makes a case for the connection and develops a toolkit for maintaining it.
6. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Benjamin Hamby, Review of Diane Halpern’s Thought and Knowledge, 5th Edition
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