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Synopsis

"Critical Thinking.com is bound to raise a few hackles. It takes on two major thought-clichés of today´s world: first, that critical thinking is the ultimate form of thinking and that we know what it is when we encounter it; and, second, that the Internet promises us a brave new world of virtual literacy that will not only replace traditional literacy but improve it. Partly philosophical, partly practical, partly pedagogical, Critical Thinking.com is mostly a refreshing look at the interaction of knowledge production and technology. It is smart, more than a little daring, and probably will make you think a little differently about some of the things you thought you knew ˜ -- Gerald Early (Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters. Washington University)

"Critical thinking has been oversold as a cure for ignorance and apathy. Myron Tuman exposes the shallowness of the conventional recipes and provides a good thing instead--a book of incisive distinctions, captivating material, and provocative reflections. It is bound to leave the reader a more thoughtful person." -- Albert Borgmann (Department of Philosophy. The University of Montana)


Table of Content

Prologue: “Critical Thinking for Dummies” - - - - 9

Chapter 1 Thinking Critically (about Critical Thinking) - - - - 13

  • “Critical” Questions
  • Analysis or Reflection—Which One Is Critical?
  • Analysis and Progress
  • A Cautionary Conclusion about Critical Thinking
  • Seven Elements of Critical Thinking as Reflection
  • Coda: Descartes and Questioning
Chapter 2 - - - - 39
  • Finding and Evaluating Web Content
  • The Open Web
  • The Invisible Web
  • The Gated Web
  • Libraries and Web Access
  • Facts, Commentary, and Experts
  • Hot Topics and Emily Dickinson
  • Summary: Stephen King on the Web
  • Coda: Stephen King for Free!
Chapter 3 - - - - 73
  • News and Reflection
  • The Two Sides of Thomas Jefferson
  • Internal and External Clues
  • More on Authority
  • News on the Web
  • Plato and Rushkoff
  • Coda: Cold Fusion
Chapter 4 - - - - 99
  • The End of Books and Libraries?
  • What Is a Book?
  • What Does It Mean to Read?
  • Two Models of Libraries
  • Libraries Without Walls, Libraries Without Books
  • Coda: Books, Libraries, and Marshall McLuhan
Chapter 5 - - - - 121
  • The “Free” World of the Web
  • The First Freedom: Expression
  • The Second Freedom: Information
  • The Third Freedom: Association
  • Defining Community
  • Coda: Thomas Jefferson Revisited
Chapter 6 - - - - 143
  • Grassroots and Astroturf
  • Promotion, Top-Down and Bottom-Up
  • Grassroots and Astroturf Selling with Buzz
  • Coda: Swag and Fan Empowerment
Chapter 7 - - - - 156
  • Passion, Identity, and Censorship
  • Identity Politics
  • Hate Groups, the Dark Side of Identity Politics
  • The Appeal of Censorship
  • Critical Thinking and Taboos
  • Coda: Edgar Allen Poe’s “Purloined Letter”
Chapter 8 - - - - 182
  • The Elements of Guile
  • Stories as Subversion
  • The Foolish Physics Professor
  • The Comic as Subversive
  • This American Life
  • Coda: Chief Seattle, Another Populist Tale
Epilogue Feeling the World - - - - 199

Index

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