I intend to adopt Van Cleave's textbook for a Critical Thinking class I am teaching at the Community College level.
Chapter 2 also covers a number of formal methods of evaluating arguments, such as Venn Diagrams and Propositional logic and the four basic truth functional connectives, but to my mind, it is much more thorough in its treatment of Informal Logic and Critical Thinking skills, than it is of formal logic.
I also appreciated that Van Cleave’s book includes exercises with answers and an index, but there is no glossary; which I personally do not find detracts from the book's comprehensiveness.
read more see less This is an excellent introductory (first-year) Logic and Critical Thinking textbook.
The book covers the important elementary information, clearly discussing such things as the purpose and basic structure of an argument; the difference between an argument and an explanation; validity; soundness; and the distinctions between an inductive and a deductive argument in accessible terms in the first chapter.
The PDF Table of Contents does not include links or page numbers which would be very helpful for navigation.
Other than that, the text was very easy to navigate.These topics are likely better broached in manageable snippets rather than hefty single chapters.The ideas addressed in Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking are accurate but at times notably political.The text covers all the relevant technical aspects of introductory logic and critical thinking, and covers them well.A separate glossary would be quite helpful to students.As mentioned previously, the author has an accessible style that makes the content relatively easy to read and engaging.He also does a suitable job explaining jargon/technical language that is introduced in the textbook.It also does a good job introducing and discussing informal fallacies (Chapter 4).The incorporation of opportunities to evaluate real-world arguments is also very effective.There are an abundance of examples that inspire students to look at issues from many different political viewpoints, challenging students to practice evaluating arguments, and identifying fallacies.Many of these exercises encourage students to critique issues, and recognize their own inherent reader-biases and challenge their own beliefs--hallmarks of critical thinking.