•  Relevance to everyday reasoning situations and political discourse in a democratic society
  •  Instructors may learn something (given the recent flourishing of argumentation scholarship) which may contribute to their own scholarship
  •  Instructors may have to master new material (given the recent flourishing of argumentation scholarship)
  •  Other skills may be important for everyday reasoning, e.g. interpreting statistics and tables for citizenship, or formal logic for philosophy majors.  Other forms of critical thinking include problem-solving and specific disciplinary methodologies.
  • Some texts still neglect presumptive argumentation schemes (e.g., analogical reasoning and causal reasoning) and fall back on the inadequate categories of inductive and deductive inference.
  •  If you want to teach fallacies, consider a textbook that focuses on them.  I advise against the common strategy of a separate few days or weeks covered in separate chapters; either integrate fallacies or don’t teach them at all. To include fallacies in a larger context, look for a text that treats fallacies alongside inference/argumentation schemes, e.g. Epstein; Boss; Woods, Irvine and Walton.

Ralph H. Johnson and J. Anthony Blair. Logical Self-defense; US edition again in print from IDEA.  A fallacies-based approach that also provides one of the best accounts of argument diagramming.


black and white image of critical thinking textbooks packed tightly on a shelf