Introduction to critical thinking

Another golden principle of critical thinking we will study is that there are usually very good reasons on all sides of an issue. A scriptural mandate here is from first Thessalonians 5: After you complete this section on formal logic, you may want to turn back here to see how these examples have gone wrong.

As we will be seeing soon, one of the golden principles of critical thinking is to realize that almost all discourse is directive, that it all has a goal, a conclusion behind it.

But many times arguments are set up consciously or unconsciously in a three-part form called a syllogism. A recent news report began with the thesis that auto deaths were up Introduction to critical thinking the 55 limit had been increased to 65 on certain roads.

The question of truth, then, in a proof or argument or premise or reason might be broken down as follows: Whether you are evaluating record albums, people, cars, political parties, recipes, controversial issues, books, vacation spots, whatever, there is a range of arguments stretching from good to bad about each thing, and sometimes the net result of the evaluation will be that the thing is good and worthy, right and true.

Often we can detect unacceptable reasoning either because we recognize the arguments as false, or because, while the arguments may be true, we realize they are being improperly applied to the situation. It might be said that to synthesize is to Introduction to critical thinking meaning.

Did I just say, "only Trident is sugar free" or just "Trident is sugar free"? There is a company called Advertising in Movies, which "secures product placements in feature films.

A part of developing an independent judgment is the ability to ungeneralize. If people prefer to pay more for the cigarette or any other product because they think that the price must make it better, then the manufacturers will oblige them. It is a combination sweeping generalization and false dilemma there may be many people who are neither lazy nor hard-working.

And yet these people are shaping the culture and values which many people in American society imitate, believing that the behavior and values they see on television and in movies are "normal. Often people have a position opposite or different from yours not because they are stupid or evil but because they have found more persuasive reasons on that side.

For example, look at the following: Sometimes the main form of an argument is simply one of question and answer "Is the acquisition of sex appeal my main consideration in buying toothpaste? Another way of defining critical thinking might be as a habit of cautious evaluation, an analytic mindset aimed at discovering the component parts of ideas and philosophies, eager to weigh the merits of arguments and reasons in order to become a good judge of them.

It means learning to analyze and examine ideas, learning how the manipulators work, learning to be cautious and sympathetic and open to a range of possibilities. Critical thinking might be defined as an approach to ideas from the standpoint of deliberate consideration. In fact, far from being an expert at fault finding, a critical thinker will be even more open to opposing arguments and ideas, carefully considering the merit and weight of each one, recognizing that he or she, the critical thinker, can always learn something from others, and might even be wrong in a current position.

There is something wrong with the facts, words, appeals, or relationships, which prevents the conclusion from being true. Unfortunately, our experience is usually limited and we often overgeneralize. Only the preposition is different. Some claims are quite a bit more ambiguous than they appear.

But how big a sample are these conclusions based upon? This system we call logic. We live in an information culture now. This is an important truth to struggle with, for we are all slaves to external appearance to one degree or another. All birds are worm eaters. Critical thinking should be a constructive force and attitude, for examining all ideas and arguments, including your own dearly held ones, and for separating the ideas from their vehicles, to divide true from false, accurate from distorted, complete from incomplete, and so on.

Consider, for example, the implications of the following statement: The industrial revolution has given way to the information revolution. In a word, pay attention to the claims around you.

Thinkers take claims apart and see what is going on. That is, one fact can be presented quite truthfully in several different ways, each way creating a different impression or meaning.

The other half of the people were given a placebo and no diet.

And the claims, "great taste of chocolate" and "great chocolatey taste" are radically different, too, though unless you are paying attention, they might seem to be the same.

Analysis is the ability to break arguments or claims down into parts and to discover the relationship between the parts.Introduction to Critical Thinking, Part 1 Problem It is important to determine whether an argument is intended to be deductive or ampliative, because this tells us whether the truth of the premises must guarantee the truth of the conclusion.

An Introduction to Critical Thinking and Creativity is an excellent book for courses on critical thinking and logic at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The book also serves as a self-contained study guide for readers interested in the topics of critical thinking and creativity as a unified whole/5(5).

The concept of critical thinking has been defined in many complex ways, but for young students new to the concept, it can best be summed up as thinking and judging for yourself.

When you develop critical thinking skills, you will learn to evaluate information that you hear and process information. An Introduction to Critical Thinking Page 3 of 13 8/2/ internalizing, and practicing scientific and critical thinking is discouraged.

Critical Thinking Standards Critical Thinking is the general term given to a wide range of cognitive and intellectual skills needed to: Effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments; Discover and overcome personal prejudices and biases; Formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and Make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do.

Is the word a noun or a verb? (Notice that creativity and a good imagination—a willingness to play with data and sort it in many ways—is an important part of critical thinking.) In other words, critical thinking is a recognition of the complexity of intellectual life and ideas.

Introduction to critical thinking
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