Arty argument

29th November 2002 at 00:00
CRITICAL THINKING A CONCISE GUIDE. By Tracy Bowell and Gary Kemp. Routledge pound;13.99 (paperback), pound;50 (hardback).

The refreshingly accessible language and examples in this book highlight the growing recognition of critical thinking. We are all persuaders and targets of persuasion to some degree and we can barely live an hour without encountering arguments from politicians, advertisers or those we meet.

Separating rhetorical or fallacious arguments from sound ones is not simply an academic skill; it's the bedrock of personal liberty.

This concise guide offers relevant, rigorous and approachable methods of attaining this. The authors focus on analysing and assessing arguments in a thoughtfully structured series of chapters, with clear definitions, a glossary, plenty of examples and some useful exercises (without answers). Old philosophy chestnuts such as "relative truth" are given concise and practical treatment, leaving readers to get on with the issues at hand.

Students at A-level and above, as well as educators, in particular teachers of RE and citizenship, dealing with subjects involving argument, will find this book a valuable resource for developing a useful understanding of methods of persuasion.

Will Ord is an education consultant specialising in thinking skills and citizenship education

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