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Art of Thinking, The: A Guide to Critical and Creative Thought, 10th Edition

By Vincent R. Ruggiero

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jun 21, 2011

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The Art of Thinking introduces students to the principles and techniques of critical thinking, taking them step-by-step through the problem-solving process. Emphasizing creative and active thought processes, the author asserts that good thinking and problem-solving is based on learnable strategies. The book's four parts, “Be Aware,” “Be Creative,” “Be Critical,” and “Communicate Your Ideas,” present students with a process for solving problems and resolving controversial issues. Discussions of how to evaluate ideas and how to question long-held assumptions or biases help students look at concepts critically. This text can be used in freshman experience courses, freshman composition courses, and a wide array of other courses where instructors want to enhance students' critical thinking skills.

Table of Contents

Every chapter concludes with Warm-Up Exercises, Applications, Issue for Extended Analysis  


To the Instructor

PART I:    Be Aware

1   Developing Your Thinking: An Overview 

What Is Thinking? 

The Importance of Thinking  

Brain and Mind at Work  

Good Thinking Is a Habit 

The Structure of This Book 

Getting the Most from Your Efforts 

Using Feelings to Advantage  

Learning to Concentrate  

Coping with Frustration  

Making Discussion Meaningful  

Preliminary Thinking Strategies  


2    Establish a Foundation  

Free Will versus Determinism

What Is Truth?  

What Is Knowing?

Ways of Knowing

The Problem of Remembering 

What Are Opinions  

Understanding Cause and Effect

Debating Moral Questions  

The Basis of Moral Judgment 

Dealing with Dilemmas 


3    Broaden Your Perspective 

Becoming an Individual 

Habits That Hinder Thinking  

Overcoming Bad Habits 


4    Be a Critical Reader, Listener, and Viewer 

Critical Evaluation Defined  

Making Important Distinctions  

A Strategy for Critical Reading

A Sample Evaluation and Judgment 

A Strategy for Critical Listening

A Strategy for Critical Viewing


PART II:    Be Creative

5    The Creative Process

Key Facts About Creativity 

Characteristics of Creative People  

Applying Creativity to Problems and Issues 

Stages in the Creative Process


6    Search for Challenges

The Importance of Curiosity 

How Curiosity Is Lost  

Regaining Your Curiosity 

Six Helpful Techniques


7    Express the Problem or Issue 

Distinguishing Problems from Issues 

Expressing Problems

Expressing Issues  

When Problems Become Issues  

Guidelines for Expressing Problems and Issues 

Benefits of Careful Expression

A Sample Problem 

A Sample Issue 


8    Investigate the Problem or Issue

What to Look For  

Using the Library 

Using the Internet  

Maintaining a Questioning Perspective

Managing an Interview 

Avoiding Plagiarism 

Conducting Your Own Research 

Keeping Creativity Alive 


9    Produce Ideas 

Stimulating Your Imagination  

Aiming for Originality  

Withholding Judgment 

Overcoming Obstacles 

How Insight Occurs 

A Sample Problem  

A Sample Issue


PART III:    Be Critical

10    The Role of Criticism  

Why Criticism Is Necessary  

Focus on Your Ideas 

Overcoming Obstacles to Critical Thinking

Applying Curiosity 

Avoiding Assumptions  

Refining Your Solutions to Problems 

A Sample Problem 

Refining Your Positions on Issues 

A Sample Issue  


11    Refine Your Solution to the Problem  

Three Steps in Refining 

Two Sample Problems  


12    Evaluate Your Argument on the Issue 

Errors Affecting Truth  

Errors Affecting Validity 

A Special Problem: The Hidden Premise 

Recognizing Complex Arguments  

Steps in Evaluating an Argument 

The Case of Parents Protesting TV

The Case of the Mentally Impaired Girls  


13    Refine Your Resolution of the Issue 

Step 1: Deciding What Action Should Be Taken  

Step 2: Recognizing and Overcoming Difficulties 

Should Children Pledge Allegiance?  

Should the Miranda Rule Be Abolished?


PART IV:    Communicate Your Ideas 

14    Persuading Others 

Understanding Why People Reject Ideas 

Knowing Your Audience 

Anticipating Your Audience’s Objections  

Presenting Your Ideas to Advantage

The Importance of Timing 


15    Writing and Speaking Effectively 

Characteristics of Effective Writing  

A Step-by-Step Approach to Composition

Developing a Readable Style 

A Sample Composition 

The Challenge of Effective Speaking 

Types of Speeches 

Organizing Your Material

Sample Outline and Speech

Practicing the Delivery 

Solutions to Sample Problems                                       </TTL>