- Argument Mapping Tutorials.
Six online tutorials in argument mapping, a core requirement for advanced
Skeptic's Dictionary - over 400 definitions and essays.
The Fallacy Files by Gary Curtis. Best website on fallacies.
- Butterflies and Wheels.
Excellent reading - news, articles, and much more.
Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts by Peter Facione. Good
overview of the nature of critical thinking. (pdf file)
Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion by John Stuart Mill. Classic
chapter, densely packed with wisdom about thinking.
Chance - best resource for helping students think critically about
issues involving probability and statistics
Intelligence Analysis, by Richards Heuer. A good overview of how to
improve thinking in the light of insights from cognitive psychology.
A Handbook on Writing Argumentative and Interpretative Essays by Ian
Baloney Detection Part 1 and
Part 2 - by Michael Shermer. 10 step guide.
What is critical thinking?
Nobody said it better than
Francis Bacon, back in 1605:
For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the
study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the
resemblances of things … and at the same time steady enough to fix and
distinguish their subtler differences; as being gifted by nature with desire
to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert,
readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being
a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that
hates every kind of imposture.
A shorter version is the art of being right.
Or, more prosaically: critical thinking is the skillful application of
a repertoire of validated general techniques for deciding the level of
confidence you should have in a proposition in the light of the available
Software for Critical Thinking
Software for better decision making
The Idea Emporium
Zany. Fun. Spirited critical thinking.
“Sure, you use the Internet all the time, but you need to wise up to the web
when you use it for your university or college work.”
New Zealand-based online store selling thinking skills resources of various
kinds. See also the proprietor's
blog for reflections on teaching thinking skills.
in Teaching - Resource Sites
Critical Thinking Consortium
"...a non-profit association of institutional partners, school districts,
faculties of education, teaching professionals, associations and other
educational organizations. Our aim is to promote critical thinking from
primary to post-secondary education through professional development,
publications and research." [Mar 07]
in Teaching - Resource Sites
Reasoning Network - Tibi Cogitate
A resource site for teachers of philosophy and critical thinking,
particularly in the secondary school context. By teachers, for teachers.
[13 Feb 07]
"Critical verbiage from Tim van Gelder". My new blog.
in Email Lists and Newsletters
A Google group for discussion of issues relating to the Rationale argument
The Argument Mapping
Tutorials (see #1 in Top Ten) have been updated with new graphics and
made available totally free of charge. What an excellent proposition
A classic book in the better thinking/better writing genre is Barbara Minto's The Pyramid Principle. It would be the closest thing to a how-to-think Bible in business and management consulting circles. Unfortunately it seems there are precious few online resources on the Minto approach; if you want the good oil, you have to buy the book (or pay dearly to attend a Minto seminar). However I did come across
a couple of very succinct overviews,
and here. [17
5 Oct 06
in Podcasts (new page)
skepticality - truth in
podcasting - The official podcast of Skeptic magazine
"People will believe anything. Why is that? Our podcast is here to bring you
relevant, under reported current events, as well as in-depth discussions from a
scientific, critical, skeptical, and humorous point of view. In our travels we
will tackle the beasts of pseudoscience; the paranormal, supernatural, ufo /
alien encounters, mis-understood history, astronomy, space, and overwrought
legends - urban or otherwise."
The Skeptics' Guide To The Universe
"The Skeptics Guide to the Universe is a weekly Podcast talkshow produced by the
New England Skeptical Society (NESS) in association with the James Randi
Educational Foundation (JREF) : discussing the latest news and topics from the
world of the paranormal, fringe science, and controversial claims from a
scientific point of view."
in Statistics and Probability - Essays
of Mythical Numbers by Max Singer
Classic essay about how exaggerated numbers get "made up" and then
circulated, and how people fail to ask what they evidence is for them, or
whether they are reasonable. [20 Aug 06]
in Argument Mapping - Software
29 Mar 06
"Speaking Validity to Power: A Logical Analysis of Political Media".
Regular doses of logical dissection of political rhetoric. By two philosophy
professors. [29 Mar 06]
Best Practices for Understanding Quantitative Data by Jonathan G. Koomey
Adapted from Koomey's excellent book
Turning Numbers into
Knowledge. "When dealing with quantitative data, business analysts must
be skeptical, think critically, and assume nothing." [28 Feb 06]
in Fallacies, and Blogs
"Humbug! Online - a blog for
Wicked stuff. "Regular postings based on fallacies covered in our book
Humbug! ... Using a seamless combination of both passion and restraint, we
expose erroneous thinking with irony, whimsy, sarcasm, satire, caricature, "distortature"
and occasional breathtaking hypocrisy. Humbug! the book is a considered and
carefully written commentary on fallacies. Humbug! the blog is less
considered, more spontaneous and at times more outrageous. No poppy is too
short to be lopped." [16 Feb 06]