Thinking Critically,
12th Edition

John Chaffee

ISBN-13: 9781337558501
Copyright 2019 | Published
List Price: USD $187.95

Become a more sophisticated thinker with THINKING CRITICALLY, which teaches you a surefire process for developing the thinking abilities you need for academic and career success. First, you'll build your confidence by learning and practicing basic skills related to your personal experiences. Next, you'll progress to the types of reasoning skills required for abstract contexts -- such as your academic courses. Activities and writing assignments invite your active participation and prompt you and your peers to critically examine each other's thinking. Thought-provoking and current readings from a wide variety of thinkers engage you in thinking about complex issues from different perspectives. Along the way, monitor your own progress as a critical thinker with self-assessment activities.


1. Thinking.
2. Thinking Critically.
3. Solving Problems.
4. Perceiving and Believing.
5. Constructing Knowledge.
6. Language and Thought.
7. Forming and Applying Concepts.
8. Relating and Organizing.
9. Thinking Critically about Moral Issues.
10. Constructing Arguments.
11. Reasoning Critically.
12. Thinking Critically, Living Creatively.

  • John Chaffee

    John Chaffee, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at The City University of New York, where he has developed a Philosophy and Critical Thinking program that annually involves 25 faculty and 3,000 students. He is a nationally recognized figure in the area of critical thinking, having authored leading textbooks and many professional articles. He also has conducted numerous conference presentations and workshops throughout the country. In developing programs to teach people to think more effectively in all academic subjects and areas of life, Dr. Chaffee has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He was selected as New York Educator of the Year and received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Diversity in Teaching in Higher Education.

  • Updated readings reflect the most current subjects and issues relevant to students. For example, four new readings in Chapter 10, "Constructing Arguments," discuss the impact of viral outrage.

  • New and revised "Thinking Critically About…" features support updated subjects and visuals. For example, "Thinking Critically About Visuals: Where Do You Get Your Inspiration From?" asks students to consider how Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired to create the smash hip-hop musical "Hamilton" after reading a biography.

  • This edition expands its emphasis on new media and the need to think critically about the credibility of information found on the Internet. For example, the new feature "Thinking Critically About New Media: Evaluating Online Information" gives students practical tips on identifying fake news.

  • THINKING CRITICALLY has many distinctive characteristics that instructors can use to support or build their curriculum. It teaches the fundamental thinking, reasoning, and language abilities that students need for academic success.

  • The text begins with basic abilities and carefully progresses to more sophisticated thinking and reasoning skills. Cognitive maps open each chapter to help students understand the thinking process, as well as the interrelationship of ideas within that chapter.

  • Thinking activities, thematic boxes, readings, and writing assignments encourage active participation, stimulating students to examine their own and others' critical thinking and to sharpen and improve their abilities. The many diverse readings provide in-depth perspectives on significant social issues.

  • The development of thinking abilities is integrated with the four language skills crucial to success in college and careers: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The abundant writing assignments (short answer, paragraph, and essay), challenging readings, and discussion exercises improve students' language skills.

  • "Images, Decision-Making, and Thinking About Visual Information," a section in Chapter 1, discusses and models the ways in which the media shapes the message, and introduces concepts for critical evaluation of visual information. Each chapter also includes a feature, "Thinking Critically About Visuals," that engages students in comparing and evaluating images drawn from current events and popular culture.

  • Chapters 1 and 12 begin and end the book by linking critical thinking to creative thinking. Chapter 1 analyzes the creative process and develops creative thinking abilities, creating a template for approaching issues and problems both critically and creatively throughout the text. Chapter 12, "Thinking Critically, Living Creatively," reinforces these connections and encourages students to create a life philosophy through moral choices.

  • Chapter 9, "Thinking Critically About Moral Issues," addresses the suggestion of reviewers who noted the deep engagement many students have with the moral and ethical choices that our complex and interconnected society requires them to make.

  • Chapter 10, "Constructing Arguments," includes a section on "Constructing Extended Arguments" that presents a clear model for researching and writing argumentative essays.

  • A critical-thinking test, "Tom Randall's Halloween Party," is included in the Instructor's Resource Manual and in interactive form in MindTap English. It provides a comprehensive evaluation of student thinking and language abilities. Using a court case format arising from a fatal student drinking incident, the test challenges students to gather and weigh evidence, ask relevant questions, construct informed beliefs, evaluate expert testimony and summation arguments, reach a verdict, and then view the entire case from a problem-solving perspective.

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.