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  Reason in the Balance: An Inquiry Approach to Critical Thinking (S. Bailin and M. Battersby)

Reason in the Balance: An Inquiry Approach to Critical Thinking (Sharon Bailin and Mark Battersby)

There are many general-purpose critical thinking textbooks on the market. One of the more recent additions that I like is Sharon Bailin and Mark Battersby's Reason in the Balance: An Inquiry Approach to Critical Thinking.

The text is distinctive in the emphasis it places not only on tools of critical inquiry (principles of logic and argumentation, etc.) but also the values and mindset that are required for the proper exercise of these tools, values like open-mindedness and fair-mindedness and critical scrutiny of assumptions.

My own view is that critical thinking involves the simultaneous application of a number of different cognitive skills and attitudes in the service of improving the quality of our beliefs and judgments, and this text shares this multidimensional view of the components of critical thinking.

This text understands that logic and argumentation are very different things, and the result is a more nuanced discussion of the relationships between logic, argumentation and critical inquiry than one normally sees in a critical thinking text.