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Art of Argument and Critical Thinking

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I wish I had these two books in hand. Has anyone looked at both? Which did you prefer???? I looked at the samples online. The Art of Argument has many more pages to look at, and I liked what I saw. Critical Thinking only had 1 page - so it was hard to tell what it's like.


I do have the Fallacy Detective to go with either book.


Thanks for your input!


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At CBD you can see a few more sample pages of Critical Thinking:




Look closely at the Table of Contents. Is that the material you're looking for?


The sample pages show exactly how the the entire book is laid out.


Art of Argument is more of a workbook with blank lines for the student to write their answers to questions in the text. It is written directly to the student and it appears it could be completed independently or with a class.


Critical Thinking Book 1, in my opinion, needs to be discussed. You can't hand the book to a student and expect them to do it alone. My DD and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the discussion points and learned a lot from the book.


I loaned out my copy of Fallacy Detective and DD used it in a co-op class so I can't comment on how to use it. I am aware that it's Christian and includes some touchy subjects like abortion.


Critical Thinking is secular and includes no touchy subjects. Art of Argument is published by Classical Academic Press, a Christian company. In flipping through the text there are references to Christianity but it could be secularized if needed.


If you use Critical Thinking Book 1, I recommend postponing chapter 2 until the end of the book. Chapter 2 will provide an excellent introduction to formal logic, but you don't want to get hung up on it right away. Get through the rest of the book first.


(ETA: I'm commenting on the secularity for other people who may read the post.)

Edited by amtmcm
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I have Art of Argument. When we received it, my then 12 or 13 yo took it up to his room and read the whole thing in a couple of days! He thought it was fascinating and got a lot out of it, so even though it is a workbook we didn't treat it as such and wound up just being informal about it.


Before him, I used Fallacy Detective with his older siblings. I did not care for it. For one thing, even though I am a socially conservative Christian, I found it to be too heavy handed that way! For another thing, you can tell it was written by two young people. That's great for them. I admire them for it, but I realized the amateur quality/tone rankled me a bit. Also, and I can't now remember the specifics, but we found unintended fallacies in their book! That was fun to dissect with my kids (they kind of played spot the fallacy) but it eroded my trust of the authors even more. So I gave FD away. I really do not recommend it.


I think I am going to try Critical Thinking for my current 12 yo who is interested in logic. He isn't a reader like his older brother who would just hole up with a book and read intensely. I think he'll enjoy the Critical Thinking approach more.

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I have Art of Argument also. Although my 13 yo dd didn't dive in like Faithr's, it's been good for us. It's appropriately challenging without being frustrating. I've been reading it with her and then have her write the answers just to check comprehension. She isn't interested enough to do a thorough reading on her own, though she certainly would be capable if the interest were there. This way, it's enough that I'm interested, so she'll participate.

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