Reason Better: An Interdisciplinary Guide to Critical Thinking

Toronto, ON, Canada: Tophat Monocle (2019)
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Abstract

This book is the result of rethinking the standard playbook for critical thinking courses, to include only the most useful skills from the toolkits of philosophy, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics. The text focuses on: - a mindset that avoids systematic error, more than the ability to persuade others - the logic of probability and decisions, more than than the logic of deductive arguments - a unified treatment of evidence, covering statistical, causal, and best-explanation inferences The unified account of evidence I offer is a broadly Bayesian one, but there aren’t any daunting theorems. (Without knowing it, students are taught to use a gentle form of the Bayes factor to measure the strength of evidence and to update.) It’s also shown how this framework illuminates aspects of the scientific method, such as the proper design of experiments. The link above allows Anonymous Guest Access without an account.

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David Manley
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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