Arguments in Context is a comprehensive introduction to critical thinking that covers all the basics in student-friendly language. Intended for use in a semester-long course, the text features classroom-tested examples and exercises that have been chosen to emphasize the relevance and applicability of the subject to everyday life. Three themes are developed as the text proceeds from argument identification and analysis, to the standards and techniques of evaluation: (i) the importance of asking the right questions, (ii) the influence of biases, cognitive illusions, and other psychological factors, and (iii) the ways that social situations and structures can enhance and impoverish our thinking. On this last point, the text includes sustained discussion of disagreement, cooperative dialogue, testimony, trust, and social media. Overall, the text aims to equip readers with a set of tools for working through important decisions and disagreements, and to help them become more careful and active thinkers.
The origin of this book is in conversations I had over the years with several colleagues in the field of Sinology (the study of history, literature and culture of traditional China). The course title did not only attract the attention of the students, but also of people who would like to teach this material, and asked me for the syllabus and even suggested I write a textbook. What meets the eye at first is a set of chapters written by the students who took the course in Spring 2019. The students are not experts at China, they do not know Chinese and thus had to rely on English-language materials available to them through our library and my personal collection. Many are at the start of their journey of learning to write for their college-level peers.
Welcome to Spunti: italiano intermedio – a unique program, authored by the Italian faculty of Muhlenberg College, that takes the place of a traditional language textbook. Spunti is a fully designed course that a college instructor of Italian can use and adapt.