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Critical Thinking
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Table of Contents

What is critical thinking (and why does it matter?)? PART ONE: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF BEING REASONABLE Chapter 1: Understanding the reasons behind things Chapter 2: Spelling out arguments and assumptions Chapter 3: Reasoning with logic and certainty Chapter 4: Reasoning with observation and uncertainty Chapter 5: Developing explanations and theories Chapter 6: Assessing evidence and planning your reading strategy PART TWO: BEING REASONABLE IN AN UNREASONABLE WORLD Chapter 7: Getting to grips with rhetoric Chapter 8: Seeing through faulty reasoning Chapter 9: Understanding cognitive bias Chapter 10: Overcoming bias in yourself and others Chapter 11: Thinking critically about technology Chapter 12: Putting it all together: critical thinking in study, work and life

About the Author

Dr. Tom Chatfield is a British writer, broadcaster, and tech philosopher. The author of six books exploring digital culture - most recently Live This Book! (Penguin), How to Thrive in the Digital Age (Pan Macmillan), and Netymology (Quercus) - his work has appeared in over two dozen territories and languages. Tom is interested in improving our understanding of digital technology and its uses in policy, education, and engagement. He is currently technology and media advisor at Agathos LLP; non-executive director at the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society; a faculty member at London's School of Life; a Master's committee member at the Economics Research Council; a past guest faculty member at the Said Business School, Oxford; and a senior expert at the Global Governance Institute. Past collaborators include Google, the BBC, Channel 4 Education, Mind Candy, Shift, Flamingo London, Six to Start, Preloaded, Firefish, Future Lab, Sense Worldwide, Sugru, and Allianz. Tom speaks and broadcasts around the world on technology, the arts, and media. Appearances include TED Global and the Cannes Lions Festival; authors@Google; the World Congress on Information Technology; Science Foo Camp; Intelligence Squared; the Houses of Parliament; Aspen Seminars for Leaders; and venues ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Googleplex. A launch columnist for the BBC's worldwide technology site, BBC Future, Tom writes and commentates widely in the international media, as well as guest lectures at universities in the UK and Europe. He is a regular on BBC radio and television, and broadcasts around the world.

Reviews

This primer on critical thinking expertly introduces reasoning, argumentation, rhetoric, and bias, and how understanding those concepts can make us better readers, researchers, and writers. Chatfield chooses just the right combination of formal writing and casual address, creating the feeling that readers are learning from a trusted, witty friend. -- Michelle Glatt
Tom Chatfield's Critical Thinking contains sensible, grounded examples, and illustrations...serving as a useful primer to the subject. This is a book happy to be written on, queried and argued with. The exercises sprinkled throughout are well judged and encourage a deep reading. The consistency of tone and design make it an impressive achievement, bringing light and clarity to an area which can present as murky and vague. I recommend it strongly. It will certainly be a useful addition to the teaching materials my school already uses, but its appeal goes well beyond classroom walls due to its breadth, depth and the clarity of its outlook...I would be very happy to see students and colleagues alike walking around campus with dog-eared, annotated and bookmarked copies of Critical Thinking. -- Tim Jones

I can't stress enough what an excellent addition this is to a rather - what I thought, anyway - saturated market. Well done to all involved! It's a very comprehensive text, and one which I'd happily recommend to staff and students alike. I'll certainly be drawing inspiration from it when building class resources in future.

-- Sunny Dhillon
Some people are naturally gifted critical thinkers (and, if you're a researcher, it's pretty hard to advance without some skill in that area) but for those who need to rethink their thinking or want a crash course in how to develop and hone their analysis skills, Tom Chatfield's new book is well worth picking up... The engaging workbook-style layout helps keep the information being imparted consistently interesting and fun to absorb. -- Joseph Rydholm
I was pleasantly surprised to discover how accessible and engaging this book is. Some other texts on the topic can be daunting and challenging to read, with concepts not always being easy to grasp. However, the subject is presented in a user friendly way. -- Andrew Southgate
Tom Chatfield's Critical Thinking is probably the most essential book I've ever read. Not because it offers groundbreaking insights, but because it makes you stop and think, in a world whose pace is ever-increasing. If you're new to academia, the book prepares you for the challenges of evaluating established theories and forming cohesive, convincing and sound arguments of your own. -- Ludwig, 1st Year International Management
The book provides you with hands-on skills that are directly applicable. Not only are they put forth through real-life example arguments, but they are strongly reinforced by academic arguments and grounding. [Chatfield] deconstructs complicated concepts to its simplest form and renders it accessible to anyone that wishes to delve into their own mind and practices. -- Luca, 2nd Year Management
Critical thinking is a greatly valued skill for employability and Chatfield emphasises the importance of being skeptical. Information presented to us should be questioned and evaluated, especially in a world where vast amounts of information are available at our fingertips. The book successfully achieves its aim of helping one be able to think critically for themselves in order to both benefit your own work and challenge the works of others. -- Marina, 1st Year Management

Tom Chatfield has excelled at the way to interact with the independent learner in this book by explaining not just the skill of critical thinking, but the reasons behind its need in the day-to-day life. `Critical Thinking' will leave one with a universal skill which is crucial to any millennial in the modern world. A perfect guide to better learning and beyond.

-- Yan, 1st Year Computer and Management Sciences

This is a very comprehensive, well elaborated and clearly structured book. It provides readers with systematically organized concepts and skills to improve their critical thinking in an easily accessible way, laying a vital foundation for their future academic study, professional work and life. It is especially helpful for the first-year college students who are about to embark on their academic life.

-- Shuo Zhao, CAES, Surrey International Institute (SII), Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (DUFE), Dalian, China
`Critical thinking' is easy to read with an engaging format. As a researcher, I think it will be useful for thinking about written and verbal arguments: helping readers make and recognise an argument, and understand when a valid argument isn't being made. -- Imogen Birch, senior researcher, Citizens Advice

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