In my view, courses in “Critical Thinking” are difficult to teach well, and this text is my effort to make this task a little easier. In developing this text I’ve tried to build on what I take to be the best books out there, and I want to start by acknowledging three works in particular: Trudy Govier’s A Practical Study of Argument, Richard Feldman’s Reason and Argument, and Merrilee Salmon’s Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking. More importantly, many individuals have helped me along the way. In particular, I would like to extend my thanks to several of my colleagues at Muhlenberg: to Dan Doviak for many informal conversations about pedagogy in critical thinking, to Steve Coutinho for helping me recognize the subtle importance of names for inclusive pedagogy, and to Cathy Ouelette for reading drafts of Chapter 2. In addition, I’d like to thank Kevin Sharpe (St. Cloud State) in particular who used an early version of this text in his course. The book has changed significantly since then, due in part, to Kevin’s helpful feedback. I also owe a special thanks to Andrew Leahy (Muhlenberg Class of ’21) who worked with me on a full overhaul of the text during the summer of 2019, and to Hallie Hoffman (Muhlenberg Class of ’22) who worked with me to develop the discussion in Chapter 16 of testimony, the web, and social media. My decision to create an OER using Pressbooks was guided and informed by a series of seminars developed by Trexler Library and Muhlenberg’s Digital Learning team, and I would like to thank Tim Clarke in particular for his help and encouragement putting together this project. Many thanks are owed to my wife, Katie Robinson, for her support, and for being a patient sounding board during the development of this text. Finally, I am grateful to the many students whose questions and comments helped me to improve and refine the text along the way.
Thaddeus “Tad” Robinson
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Muhlenberg College