Book details

Critical Inquiry

The Process of Argument

By Michael Boylan

About the Book

This informative book is a necessary companion for anyone seeking to uncover the secret of successful persuasion: to organize, construct, and communicate arguments. It is at once comprehensive and accessible, an authoritative guide to logical thinking and effective communication. First, the text defines the nature and uses of argument, explaining how to read argument carefully. Such analysis then requires the student to reconstruct arguments in his or her own words. Finally, the reader is taught how to create a critical, reasoned response, thus constructing his or her own argument. To increase its accessibility and expand its range of application, Critical Inquiry uses (in addition to textual examples) advertisements from print media as “texts” for applying its principles to subjects outside the traditional mode of academic presentation. Throughout, carefully selected reading questions and exercises pace the reader and ensure that the material is securely grasped and successfully applied.

About the Author

Michael Boylan received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is professor of philosophy at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Philosophy: An Innovative Introduction (with Charles Johnson) and Critical Inquiry: The Process of Argument, both published by Westview Press.


“[An] excellent and practical introduction to critical thinking … Boylan doesn’t limit his analysis to academic writings but instead includes examples of critical inquiry to evaluate the arguments and claims in advertising, the media, and phishing emails. … Although the intended audience is students who need to write and understand argumentative essays, anyone interested in understanding and responding to claims they encounter through the media will find it highly rewarding.” - Library Journal