If you took a course in philosophy or critical thinking at college or university, you paid an average of $70 for your textbook. I think that's too much, especially for students who have to choose between food and the rent, two or three times a year, like a lot of my students. Yet the cost of these books never goes down, because students are a captive market.
So, I gathered a team of writers, editors, and designers, and together we created our own textbook, so that my students don't have to buy one. The production process was was funded by the more than 700 backers who pleged a little bit of money each through Kickstarter, an online crowd-sourcing fundraising platform. We raised almost $17,000 to pay for the contributors, as well as designers, editors, and publicists. (And I'm still receiving private donations too, via PayPal). And now I've made it available to the whole world, for free.
- Download the PDF for home printing version here, for free.
- Download the accompanying PowerPoint slides (as .zip archive) here, also for free.
- VIew an online version on Issuu.com here. This version is also free, and can be embedded in your social networks, to help spread the word.
- Download the Kindle edition here for $0.99.
- Purchase a softcover print edition from CreateSpace here for $7.99 USD. 120 pages, 8.5"x11". ISBN: 0992005906.
Clear and Present Thinking is published under my own imprint, Northwest Passage Books. But as promised, the book's copyright is set under a Creative Commons open culture license. This means anyone can use it, share it, and do almost anything with it. Systematic critical reason is the open-source OS of the mind; and so it makes sense to me to give this book to the world, electronically for free, and in print for the lowest possible price. For editions which I cannot set to $0.00, I will commit all royalties to future free or nearly-free textbook projects.
The team and I would like to thank everyone for their generous support for their project, and for helping make knowledge a little bit more free.
Project Director: Brendan Myers (CEGEP Heritage College)
Authors: Brendan Myers, Charlene Elsby (Queen’s University), Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray (University of Waterloo), Nola Semczyszyn (Franklin & Marshall College)
Editor / Proofreader: Natalie Evans (University of Guelph - Humber).
Layout and Design: Nathaniel Hebert, Lana Winter-Hebert. www.winterhebert.com
1. Questions, Problems, and World Views
2. Good and Bad Thinking Habits
3. Basics of Argumentation
5. Reasonable Doubt
6. Moral Reasoning
An expanded edition is now in the planning stages, and announcements will be made in all the usual places when the time comes. Meanwhile, I am open to suggestions from readers about how the text could be improved, and what could go into the expanded edition.
So far, the text has been used by my own college, as well as by teachers at several Canadian colleges and universities. It was featured on The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as on CBC Radio Ottawa Morning 6th July, and on CBC Radio Ontario Morning 9th July.
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