The Art of Deception: An Introduction to Critical Thinking

The Art of Deception: An Introduction to Critical Thinking

by Nicholas Capaldi, Miles Smit


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This classic work on critical thinking uses a novel approach to teach the basics of informal logic. On the assumption that "it takes one to know one," the authors have written the book from the point of view of someone who wishes to deceive, mislead, or manipulate others. Having mastered the art of deception, readers will then be able to detect the misuse or abuse of logic when they encounter it in others-whether in a heated political debate or while trying to evaluate the claims of a persuasive sales person. Using a host of real-world examples, the authors show you how to win an argument, defend a case, recognize a fallacy, see through deception, persuade a skeptic, and turn defeat into victory. Whether you're evaluating a social media rumor or you just want to become more adept at making your points and analyzing others' arguments, The Art of Deception-now with an updated preface-will give you the intellectual tools to become a more effective thinker and speaker. Helpful exercises and discussion questions are also included.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633885981
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 09/27/2019
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 211,359
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

 Nicholas Capaldi, PhD, holds the Legendre-Soulé Distinguished Scholar Chair in Business Ethics at Loyola University of New Orleans. He is the author or editor of many books including Immigration: Debating the IssuesJohn Stuart Mill: A Biography; and Journeys Through Philosophy.

Miles Smit, PhD,
works in the private sector in advisory, risk management, and consulting, and serves as the president of Civitas Canada. He is cofounder and codirector of the Petrarch Institute, a classical education provider, and holds a PhD in philosophy from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition i

Preface 7

Introduction 11

What Is Logic? 11

What Is an Argument? 15

When Is an Argument Acceptable? 18

Summary and Exercises 21

1 Identifying Arguments 23

Arguments 23

Difficulties in Identifying Arguments 23

Grammar, Punctuation, and Reading Comprehension 24

Rules for Identifying Premises and Conclusions 27

Summary and Exercises 34

2 Formal Analysis of Arguments 37

The Ideal of Logic 37

Syllogisms 39

Rules for Valid Syllogisms 44

Soundness and Informal Logic 48

Summary and Exercises 50

3 Presenting Your Case 55

Gaining a Sympathetic Audience 58

Presenting the Facts 69

Driving Home the Conclusion 94

Nonverbal Devices 99

Advertising as a Case Study 101

Summary and Exercises 108

4 Attacking an Argument 111

Audience Reaction 111

Anatomy of Refutation 117

Attacking the Conclusion 142

Face-to-Face Debate 151

Summary and Exercises 155

5 Defending Your Case 159

Counterattack 163

Winning the Argument 180

Going for a Tie 186

Summary and Exercises 188

6 Cause-and-Effect Reasoning 191

History of the Concept of "Causation" 191

Hume's Definition of Cause and Effect 194

Causal Reasoning as Practical 196

Mill's Methods 199

Fallacies of Causal Reasoning 203

Problems with the Concept of "Causation" 210

Summary and Exercises 215

Appendix 219

Critical Reading Skills 219

Review Exercises 257

Some Suggestions for Further Reading 263

Index 265

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The Art of Deception: An Introduction to Critical Thinking 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was going to be more of a lie-detector type book, but it wasn't. It clearly de-bunks some tactics that people use to persuade and confuse. I think we all know on an intuitive level some of the things that Capaldi points out, but now we can know it on an intellectual level as well. I plan on listening to the tape again whenever I know that I have to talk to my ex-husband.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking for something that would provide greater insight into the world of critical thinking. The first few pages appeared to be promising. After I read the sample that was provided, the only thing I learned from this book was the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions. I expected more.