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Homework 4: Read Pages 784-793 PDF(Mass Incarceration: The Silence of the Judges) Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing 1-8. Read pages 794-799,PDF(Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie) Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing 1-6.

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Current Issues and
Enduring Questions
A Guide to Critical Thinking and
Argument, with Readings
Professor of English, Late of Tufts University
Professor of Philosophy, Late of Tufts University
Associate Professor of Critical Thinking,
Reading, and Writing, Stockton University
For Bedford/St. Martin’s
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Editorial Director, English: Karen S. Henry
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Text Design: Laura Shaw Feit
Cover Design: John Callahan
Cover Photo: Martin Hardman/Getty Images
Composition: Jouve
Printing and Binding: LSC Communications
Copyright © 2017, 2014, 2011, 2008 by Bedford/St. Martin’s.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, except as may be
expressly permitted by the applicable copyright statutes or in writing by the
Manufactured in the United States of America.
1 0 9 8 7 6
f e d c b a
For information, write: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 75 Arlington Street, Boston,
MA 02116
ISBN 978-1-319-07587-3
Text acknowledgments and copyrights appear at the back of the book on page
758, which constitutes an extension of the copyright page. Art
acknowledgments and copyrights appear on the same page as the art
selections they cover.
This book is a text — a book about reading other people’s arguments and
writing your own arguments — and it is also an anthology — a collection of
more than a hundred selections, ranging from Plato to the present, with a
strong emphasis on contemporary arguments and, in this edition, the first in
full color, new modes of argument. Before we describe these selections
further, we’d like to describe our chief assumptions about the aims of a course
that might use Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical
Thinking and Argument, with Readings.
Probably most students and instructors would agree that, as critical
readers, students should be able to
summarize accurately an argument they have read;
locate the thesis (the claim) of an argument;
locate the assumptions, stated and unstated, of an argument;
analyze and evaluate the strength of the evidence and the soundness of
the reasoning offered in support of the thesis; and
analyze, evaluate, and account for discrepancies among various
readings on a topic (for example, explain why certain facts are used,
why probable consequences of a proposed action are examined or are
ignored, or why two sources might interpret the same facts
Probably, too, students and instructors would agree that, as thoughtful writers,
students should be able to
imagine an audience and write effectively for it (for instance, by using
the appropriate tone and providing the appropriate amount of detail);
present information in an orderly and coherent way;
be aware of their own assumptions;
locate sources and incorporate them into their own writing, not simply
by quoting extensively or by paraphrasing but also by having digested
material so that they can present it in their own words;
properly document all borrowings — not merely quotations and
paraphrases but also borrowed ideas; and
do all these things in the course of developing a thoughtful argument
of their own.
In the first edition of this book we quoted Edmund Burke and John Stuart
Mill. Burke said,
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill.
Our antagonist is our helper.
Mill said,
He who knows only his own side of the cause knows little.
These two quotations continue to reflect the view of argument that underlies
this text: In writing an essay one is engaging in a serious effort to know what
one’s own ideas are and, having found them, to contribute to a multisided
conversation. One is not setting out to trounce an opponent, and that is partly
why such expressions as “marshaling evidence,” “attacking an opponent,” and
“defending a thesis” are misleading. True, on television talk shows we see
right-wingers and left-wingers who have made up their minds and who are
concerned only with pushing their own views and brushing aside all others.
But in an academic community, and indeed in our daily lives, we learn by
listening to others and also by listening to ourselves.
We draft a response to something we have read, and in the very act of
drafting we may find — if we think critically about the words we are putting
down on paper — we are changing (perhaps slightly, perhaps radically) our
own position. In short, one reason that we write is so that we can improve our
ideas. And even if we do not drastically change our views, we and our readers
at least come to a better understanding of why we hold the views we do.
Part One: Critical Thinking and Reading (Chapters 1–4) and Part Two:
Critical Writing (Chapters 5–7) together offer a short course in methods of
thinking about and writing arguments. By “thinking,” we mean serious
analytic thought, including analysis of one’s own assumptions (Chapter 1); by
“writing” we mean the use of effective, respectable techniques, not gimmicks
(such as the notorious note a politician scribbled in the margin of the text of
his speech: “Argument weak; shout here”). For a delightfully wry account of
the use of gimmicks, we recommend that you consult “The Art of
Controversy” in The Will to Live by the nineteenth-century German
philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer reminds readers that a
Greek or Latin quotation (however irrelevant) can be impressive to the
uninformed and that one can knock down almost any proposition by loftily
saying, “That’s all very well in theory, but it won’t do in practice.”
We offer lots of advice about how to set forth an argument, but we do not
offer instruction in one-upmanship. Rather, we discuss responsible ways of
arguing persuasively. We know, however, that before one can write a
persuasive argument, one must clarify one’s own ideas — a process that
includes arguing with oneself — to find out what one really thinks about a
problem. Therefore, we devote Chapter 1 to critical thinking; Chapters 2, 3,
and 4 to critical reading (Chapter 4 is about reading images); and Chapters 5,
6, and 7 to critical writing.
Parts One and Two together contain thirty readings (seven are student
papers) for analysis and discussion. Some of these essays originated as op-ed
newspaper pieces, and we reprint some of the letters to the editor that they
generated, so students can easily see several sides to a given issue. In this way
students can, in their own responses, join the conversation, so to speak. (We
have found, by the way, that using the format of a letter helps students to
frame their ideas, and therefore in later chapters we occasionally suggest
writing assignments in the form of a letter to the editor.)
All of the essays in the book are accompanied by a list of Topics for
Critical Thinking and Writing.1 This is not surprising, given the emphasis we
place on asking questions in order to come up with ideas for writing. Among
the chief questions that writers should ask, we suggest, are “What is X?” and
“What is the value of X?” (pp. 226–27). By asking such questions — for
instance (to look only at these two types of questions), “Is the fetus a person?”
or “Is Arthur Miller a better playwright than Tennessee Williams?” — a
writer probably will find ideas coming, at least after a few moments of head
scratching. The device of developing an argument by identifying issues is, of
course, nothing new. Indeed, it goes back to an ancient method of argument
used by classical rhetoricians, who identified a stasis (an issue) and then
asked questions about it: Did X do such and such? If so, was the action bad? If
bad, how bad? (Finding an issue or stasis — a position where one stands —
by asking questions is discussed in Chapter 6.)
In keeping with our emphasis on writing as well as reading, we raise
issues not only of what can roughly be called the “content” of the essays but
also of what can (equally roughly) be called the “style” — that is, the ways in
which the arguments are set forth. Content and style, of course, cannot finally
be kept apart. As Cardinal Newman said, “Thought and meaning are
inseparable from each other… . Style is thinking out into language.” In our
Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing, we sometimes ask the student
to evaluate the effectiveness of an essay’s opening paragraph,
to explain a shift in tone from one paragraph to the next, or
to characterize the persona of the author as revealed in the whole
In short, the book is not designed as an introduction to some powerful ideas
(though in fact it is that, too); it is designed as an aid to writing thoughtful,
effective arguments on important political, social, scientific, ethical, legal, and
religious issues.
The essays reprinted in this book also illustrate different styles of
argument that arise, at least in part, from the different disciplinary
backgrounds of the various authors. Essays by journalists, lawyers, judges,
social scientists, policy analysts, philosophers, critics, activists, and other
writers — including first-year undergraduates — will be found in these pages.
The authors develop and present their views in arguments that have
distinctive features reflecting their special training and concerns. The
differences in argumentative styles found in these essays foreshadow the
differences students will encounter in the readings assigned in many of their
other courses.
Parts One and Two, then, offer a preliminary (but we hope substantial)
discussion of such topics as
identifying assumptions;
getting ideas by means of invention strategies;
finding, evaluating, and citing printed and electronic sources;
interpreting visual sources;
evaluating kinds of evidence; and
organizing material as well as an introduction to some ways of
Part Three: Further Views on Argument consists of Chapters 8 through 12.
Chapter 8, A Philosopher’s View: The Toulmin Model, is a summary
of the philosopher Stephen Toulmin’s method for analyzing
arguments, covering claims, grounds, warrants, backing, modal
qualifiers, and rebuttals. This summary will assist those who wish to
apply Toulmin’s methods to the readings in our book.
Chapter 9, A Logician’s View: Deduction, Induction, Fallacies, offers
a more rigorous analysis of these topics than is usually found in
composition courses and reexamines from a logician’s point of view
material already treated briefly in Chapter 3.
Chapter 10, A Psychologist’s View: Rogerian Argument, with an essay
by psychotherapist Carl R. Rogers and an essay by a student,
complements the discussion of audience, organization, and tone in
Chapter 6.
Chapter 11, A Literary Critic’s View: Arguing about Literature, should
help students to see the things literary critics argue about and how they
argue. Students can apply what they learn not only to the literary
readings that appear in the chapter (poems by Robert Frost and
Andrew Marvell and a story by Kate Chopin) but also to the readings
that appear in Part Six, Enduring Questions: Essays, a Story, Poems,
and a Play. Finally, Part Three concludes with
Chapter 12, A Debater’s View: Individual Oral Presentations and
Debate, which introduces students to standard presentation strategies
and debate format.
Part Four: Current Issues: Occasions for Debate (Chapters 13–18) begins with
some comments on binary, or pro-con, thinking. It then gives a Checklist for
Analyzing a Debate and reprints five pairs of arguments — on student loan
debt (should it be forgiven?), using technology in the classroom (is it a boon
or a distraction?), the local food movement (is it a better way to eat?),
childhood and parenting (what’s best for kids?), genetic modification of
human beings, and mandatory military service (should it be required?). Here,
as elsewhere in the book, many of the selections (drawn from popular journals
and newspapers) are short — scarcely longer than the 500-word essays that
students are often asked to write. Thus, students can easily study the methods
the writers use, as well as the issues themselves.
Part Five: Current Issues: Casebooks (Chapters 19–25) presents seven
chapters on issues discussed by several writers. For example, the first
casebook concerns the nature and purpose of a college education: Should
students focus their studies in STEM fields in the hopes of securing a more
stable future and contributing to the economy, or should college be a place
where students learn empathy, citizenship, and critical thinking — attributes
often instilled by the humanities?
Part Six: Enduring Questions: Essays, a Story, Poems, and a Play
(Chapters 26–28) extends the arguments to three topics: Chapter 26, What Is
the Ideal Society? (the voices here range from Thomas More, Thomas
Jefferson, and Martin Luther King Jr. to literary figures W. H. Auden, Walt
Whitman, and Ursula K. Le Guin); Chapter 27, How Free Is the Will of the
Individual within Society? (authors in this chapter include Plato, Susan
Glaspell, and George Orwell); and Chapter 28, What Is Happiness? (among
the nine selections in this chapter are writings by Epictetus, C. S. Lewis, and
the Dalai Lama).
What’s New in the Eleventh Edition
This eleventh edition brings highly significant changes. The authors of the
previous ten editions established a firm foundation for the book: Hugo Bedau,
professor of philosophy, brought analytical rigor to the instruction in
argumentation. and Sylvan Barnet, professor of English, contributed expertise
in writing instruction. They have now turned the project over to John O’Hara,
professor of critical thinking, to contribute a third dimension, augmenting and
enriching the material on critical thinking throughout, especially in the early
chapters. Other changes have been made to ensure practical instruction and
current topics.
Fresh and timely new readings. Thirty-seven of the essays (about onethird of the total) are new, as are topics such as genetically engineered foods,
protection of religious rights in prison, marijuana regulation, technology’s
place in classrooms, social media’s effect on “real life,” over- and underparenting, American exceptionalism, police violence against minorities, and
the widespread jailing of U.S. citizens.
New debates and casebook topics. New debates include Technology in
the Classroom: Useful or Distracting?, The Current State of Childhood: Is
“Helicopter Parenting” or “Free-Range Childhood” Better for Kids?, and
Mandatory Military Service: Should It Be Required? New casebooks —
which were developed based on feedback from users of the text — include
Race and Police Violence: How Do We Solve the Problem?, Online Versus
IRL: How Has Social Networking Changed How We Relate to One Another?,
The Carceral State: Why Are So Many Americans in Jail?, and American
Exceptionalism: How Should the United States Teach about Its Past?
A vibrant new design. A new full-color layout makes the book more
engaging and easier for students to navigate, and an expanded trim size allows
more space for students to annotate and take notes. Over fifty new visuals,
including ads, cartoons, photographs, and Web pages, provide occasions for
critical inquiry.
Expanded coverage of critical thinking in Part One. Part One has been
heavily revised to help better show students how effective reading, analysis,
and writing all begin with critical thinking. Enhancements include an
expanded vocabulary for critical thinking, instruction on writing critical
summaries, guidance on confronting unfamiliar issues in reading and writing,
new strategies for generating essay topics, and extended critical reading
New “Thinking Critically” activities. Throughout the text, new
interactive exercises test students’ ability to apply critical thinking, reading,
and writing concepts. Students can also complete these exercises online in
Expanded discussion of developing thesis statements in Chapter 6.
This updated section helps better illustrate for students what the difference is
between taking a truly critical position versus resting on their laurels in
argumentative essays.
Updated coverage of visual rhetoric in Chapter 4. The “Visual
Rhetoric” chapter has been expanded to include discussion of how to analyze
images rhetorically, including how to recognize and resist the meanings of
images, how to identify visual emotional appeals, and what the difference is
exactly between seeing passively and truly looking critically.
LaunchPad for Current Issues and Enduring Questions. This edition of
Current Issues includes access to LaunchPad — an interactive platform that
brings together the resources students need to prepare for class, working with
the textbook. Features include interactive questions and exercises and quizzes
on all of the readings and instructional content, allowing instructors to quickly
get a sense of what students understand and what they need help with. You
and your students can access LaunchPad at Students receive access
automatically with the purchase of a new book. Students can purchase
standalone access at To get
instructor access, register as an instructor at this site.
Finally, the authors would like to thank those who have strengthened this
book by their comments and advice on the eleventh edition: Heidi Ajrami,
Victoria College; Rick Alley, Tidewater Community College; Kristen
Bennett, Wentworth Institute of Technology; David Bordelon, Ocean County
College; Linda Borla, Cypress College; Chris Brincefield, Forsyth Technical
Community College; Erin Carroll, Ocean County College; Tamy Chapman,
Saddleback College; Donald Carreira Ching, Leeward Community College;
Jeanne Cosmos, Mass Bay Community College; Marlene Cousens, Yakima
Community College; Christie Diep, Cypress College; Sarah Fedirka,
University of Findlay; Mary Ellen Gleason, Paul D. Camp Community
College; Michael Guista, Allan Hancock College; Anthony Halderman, Allan
Hancock College; Tony Howard, Collin College; Tariq Jawhar, Tidewater
Community College; Patrick Johnson, Northwest Iowa Community College;
Amy Jurrens, Northwest Iowa Community College; Fay Lee, Lone Star
College CyFair; James McFadden, Buena Vista University; Patricia Mensch,
Bellevue College; Cornelia Moore, Victor Valley College; Sylvia Newman,
Weber State University; Robert Piluso, Chaffey College; Jenni Runte,
Metropolitan State University; Anne Spollen, Ocean County College;
Rosanna Walker, College of the Desert; Ronald Tulley, University of Findlay;
Steve Yarborough, Bellevue College; and our anonymous reviewers from San
Joaquin Delta College, University of South Alabama, and Worcester State
University. We would also like to thank Kalina Ingham, Elaine Kosta, Martha
Friedman, Angela Boehler, and Jen Simmons, who adeptly managed art
research and text permissions.
We are also deeply indebted to the people at Bedford/St. Martin’s,
especially to our editor, Alicia Young, who is wise, patient, supportive, and
unfailingly helpful. Steve Scipione, Maura Shea, J …
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