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Jan 04, 2016
Week 5: Class 1Critical Reasoning
Chapter 1: Introduction to Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking StandardsBarriers to Critical ThinkingCharacteristics of Critical Thinkers
Chapter 2: Recognizing Arguments
Argument: A claim (conclusion) defended with reasons (premises). Identifying Premises and ConclusionWhat is Not an Argument
Chapter 3: Basic Logical Concepts
In evaluating any argument, one should always ask two key questions: (1) Are the premises true? and (2) Do the premises provide good reasons to accept the conclusion? (Bassham 53)DeductionInduction
Chapter 3 continued. . .
How to Tell whether an Argument is Deductive or InductiveDeductive arguments try to prove that their conclusions are true given the premises. Inductive arguments try to show that their conclusions are likely given the premises.
Chapter 3 continued
Common Patterns of Deductive Reasoning. Common Patterns of Inductive Reasoning
Chapter 4: LanguageMany philosophers mark language as what sets us apart from the animals.
If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.(Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, p.223)
Chapter 4: Language
In this chapter we focus on the skills of choosing the right word, defining words, and identifying the emotive and slanted messages some words carry (Bassham 86)
Word Choice Matters!Where is this from?
On Paper WritingBassham is pretty harsh on students! He asks, whose fault is it that your professor didnt get your paper? His answer: yours!It is not up to your professor (or boss, or client, etc.) to get you. It is very important to be as clear as possible! Practice this in your HW for this weekDONT LEAVE IT TO ME TO GUESS WHETHER YOU UNDERSTAND THE TEXT!
Imprecise Language: VaguenessA word (or group of words) is vague when its meaning is fuzzy and inexact.
Again, words are vague if they have fuzzy or inexact boundaries and hence give rise to unclear borderline cases. The mother of the young mountain climber wants him to give it up.Give what up? Mountain climbing? Heroin? Who is him?American Dad is inappropriate.What does inappropriate signify?
Imprecise Language: Overgenerality
Words are overgeneral if the information they provide is too broad and unspecific in a given context.When are you going to study for the midterm? Later. Whens later? after the partyThis is overgeneral because it is actually an answer, just not at all meaningful or helpful!
Imprecise Language: AmbiguityAmbiguity refers to a doubtful sense of a word or phrase. Many words have more than one meaning.A word or expression is ambiguous if it has two or more distinct meanings and the context does not make clear which meaning is intended. Ambiguity is what makes puns and many jokes funny, but used unintentionally it can destroy the effectiveness of an argument.
An ambiguous word is imprecise because it is unclear which of two or more distinct meanings (each of which may be quite precise) is the one intended by the author.
Ambiguities, continuedAmbiguities that result from uncertainty about the meaning of an individual word or phrase are called semantic ambiguities.
Ambiguities that result from faulty grammar or word order are called syntactical ambiguities.
Ambiguities, continuedWhat is a verbal dispute?A dispute that occurs when people appear to disagree on an issue but in actuality have simply not resolved the ambiguity of a key term. What is a factual dispute?A dispute that occurs when opponents disagree not over the meanings of words but over the relevant facts.