Thinking Socratically, 3rd edition

  • Sharon Schwarze
  • Harvey Lape

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Critical Thinking Skills in Everyday Context – The Socrates Model


Thinking Socratically is a treatment of critical thinking, rather than an informal logic textbook. It emphasizes a philosophical reflection on real issues from everyday life, in order to teach students the skills of critical thinking in a commonplace context that is easy to understand and certain to be remembered.


Teaching and Learning Experience


Improve Critical Thinking - Thinking Socratically contextualizes the presentation of critical thinking topics through easy-to-understand information, and shows, rather than just tells, students how to be critical thinkers by encouraging them to follow Socrates as a model.


Engage StudentsThinking Socratically exposes students to a variety of readings listed after expository material, Venn diagrams, chapter-end summaries, etc. – in order to outline important concepts and learning tools needed for useful reasoning.


Support Instructors - Teaching your course just got easier!  You can create a Customized Text or use our Instructor’s Manual, or PowerPoint Presentation Slides.  Plus, Thinking Socratically is organized around topics for ease of assignments, and uses standard terminology to eliminate student confusion.



Table of contents

Found in this Section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents






Part I Connections

Chapter 1 Why be a Critical Thinker?

Chapter 2 Language

Chapter 3 Knowledge and Certainty

Chapter 4 Arguments and Explanations


Part II Deductive Reasoning

Chapter 5 Deductive Links

Chapter 6 Deductive Argument Forms


Part III Inductive Reasoning

Chapter 7 Supporting Our Claims 

Chapter 8 Standards of Inductive Reasoning 

Chapter 9 Fallacies

Chapter 10 Scientific Reasoning

Chapter 11 Pseudoscience


Part IV Reasoning About Values 

Chapter 12 The Nature of Morality

Chapter 13 Reasoning about Good and Bad 

Chapter 14 Moral Dialogue

Chapter 15 Reason and Commitment









Part I Connections

Chapter 1: Why be a Critical Thinker?

Critical Thinking and the Importance of Open Dialogue

What Is Critical Thinking?



Study Questions

Reason and Culture

Why the Geese Shrieked

Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Shaman and the Dying Scientist: A Brazilian Tale

Alan Riding

Study Questions

The Limits of Reason




Chapter 2: Language

The Priority of Language

Language and the World

The Corner of the Eye

Lewis Thomas

Eight Little Piggies

Stephen Jay Gould

Study Questions

Words, Statements, and Beliefs

Warranted Statements

Making of Americans

Gertrude Stein

Study Questions

Factual Statements

Web of Belief

9/11 Rumors That Harden into Conventional Wisdom

Michael Slackman


Douglas Adams

Study Questions




Chapter 3: Knowledge and Certainty

Belief and Knowledge

Knowledge and Certainty

Meditations on First Philosophy in Which the Existence of God and the Distinction of the Soul from the Body Are Demonstrated  

René Descartes

A Brief History of Time

Stephen Hawking

Study Questions 

Consensus and the Web of Belief

Ideas & Trends; For Air Crash Detectives, Seeing Isn’t Believing  

Matthew L. Wald

President Tom’s Cabin

Jill Lepore

Study Questions




Chapter 4: Arguments and Explanations

Arguments: Premises and Conclusions

Implicit Premises and Conclusions

Arguments: Standard Form

Logical Warranting

Deductive Reasoning

Inductive Reasoning

Factual Warranting

The Decameron: Michele Scalza

Giovanni Boccaccio

The Decameron: Melchizedek

Giovanni Boccaccio

Study Questions


The Day-Care Deaths: A Mystery

Linda Herskowitz

Study Questions




Part II Deductive Reasoning

Chapter 5: Deductive Links

Reasoning with Necessity

Dissenting Opinion in Gregg v. Georgia

Thurgood Marshall

Study Questions

Analyzing a Deductive Argument

Validity and Logical Implication




Chapter 6: Deductive Argument Forms


Some Common Valid Argument Forms

Anselm’s Ontological Argument

Norman Malcolm

Study Questions

Anselm’s Ontological Argument




Part III Inductive Reasoning

Chapter 7: Supporting Our Claims 

Evidence: Traces and Patterns

Report on Yale Murder Outlines Suspicions

James Barron And Alison Leigh Cowan

Trial By Fire: Did Texas Execute an Innocent Man?

David Grann

Study Questions

Confirmation and Proof: Webs of Belief  

The William Bradfield Case: Murder on the Main Line

Mike Mallowe

Coded Bradfield Note: ‘My Danger Conspiracy’

Emilie Lounsberry

The Jury: Convinced or Confused?

Emilie Lounsberry and Henry Goldman

Bradfield, on Stand, Denies Any Role

Emilie Lounsberry

Bradfield and Women

Henry Goldman

Study Questions

Summary Exercises


Chapter 8: Standards of Inductive Reasoning 

Three Basic Forms


The Literary Digest Predicts Victory by Landon, 1936

“Digest” Poll Machinery Speeding Up

Landon 1,293,669; Roosevelt, 972,897

What Went Wrong with the Polls?

Study Questions


Troublemakers: What Pitt Bulls Can Teach Us about Profiling

Malcolm Gladwell

Study Questions

Causal Claims

So, Smoking Causes Cancer: This Is News?

Denise Grady

Renewing Philosophy

Hilary Putnam

Study Questions




Chapter 9: Fallacies

The Nature of Fallacies

Fallacies of Irrelevance

Lost Genius

Russell Baker

Study Questions

Fallacies of Faulty Generalization

Fallacies of Emotional Manipulation

Bachmann Finds an Issue With HPV Debate

Trip Gabriel

Study Questions




Chapter 10: Scientific Reasoning

Science and Good Reasoning

Copernicus and Kepler

The Sex Life of the Whiptail Lizard

Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch

Study Questions

Hypothetical-Deductive Reasoning




Chapter 11: Pseudoscience

Distinguishing Science from Pseudoscience

Fliess, Freud, and Biorhythm

Martin Gardner

Study Questions




Part IV Reasoning About Values  

Chapter 12: The Nature of Morality

Supporting Moral Claims

Chapter I: Of the Principle of Utility

Jeremy Bentham

Study Questions

Objectivism and Subjectivism

The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Study Questions 

Morality and Reasoning




Chapter 13: Reasoning about Good and Bad 

Making Moral Decisions

Reasonable Objectivism and Reasonable Subjectivism

Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals

Immanuel Kant

Existentialism is a Humanism

Jean-Paul Sartre

Study Questions






Chapter 14: Moral Dialogue

Dogmatism and Relativism

Euthyphro as Dogmatist


Classroom Scene

Study Questions

Moderation as Key




Chapter 15: Reason and Commitment

Open Rational Dialogue

Keynote Speech May 18 at Simpson College’s 1996 Commencement

Jane Smiley

Study Questions






Published by Pearson (November 11th 2011) - Copyright © 2012