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MODULE : INTRO TO PERSPECTIVE LEARNING. CRITICAL THINKING AND COMMUNICATION THE USE OF REASON IN ARGUMENT . CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO. CHAPTER 1. ARGUMENT AND CRITICAL THINKING THOUGHT. Critical thinking is based on subject knowledge.

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slide2

CRITICAL THINKING AND COMMUNICATION

THE USE OF REASON

IN ARGUMENT

CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO

slide3

CHAPTER 1

ARGUMENTAND

CRITICAL

THINKING THOUGHT

slide4

Critical thinking is based on subject knowledge.

  • The types of knowledge can affect your thinking patterns
  • You will jump to conclusions or insist that you know best
  • Independent Study ( homework) requires critical thinking
  • Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria
  • such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth,
  • significance, and fairness.
slide5

There are 2 types of subject knowledge :

  • Uncontested Knowledge
  • What you learned in school, facts, laws principles, which can be checked and proven are taken as true unless proven otherwise
  • 2. Contested Knowledge
  • Open to question – theories, ideas, perspectives can be challenged ,disputed
  • Contested knowledge needs to be examined critically
  • The aim is not to give the answer- the aim is to show , after consideration of all sides of the issue, what the writer believes to be the convincing answer
  • You have to face a potential obstacle : YOURSELF
slide6

Critical thinking calls for the ability to:

  • Recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting
  • those problems
  • Understand the importance of prioritization and order of
  • precedence in problem solving
  • Gather and marshal pertinent (relevant) information
  • Recognize unstated assumptions and values
  • Comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity,
  • and discernment
  • Interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments
slide7

Critical thinking calls for the ability to..contd

  • Recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical
  • relationships between propositions
  • Draw warranted conclusions and generalizations
  • Put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which
  • one arrives
  • Reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of
  • wider experience
  • Render accurate judgments about specific things and
  • qualities in everyday life
slide8

CRITICAL THOUGHT

Step 1: Access

Step 2: Explore

Process

of

Critical

Thought

Step 4: Integrate

Step 3 ; Evaluate

slide9

Critical Thinking Checklist

  • These critical thinking skills include
    • separating relevant fromirrelevant information,
    • distinguishing between verifiable facts and value claims,
    • determining the credibilityof a source,
    • recognizing inconsistencies in a line of reasoning, and
    • determining the strength of an argument or a claim.

(1)

slide10

Rules

for Critical Thinkers

1. Because you are not God, it is inevitable some of the beliefs and viewpoints you firmly hold are completely wrong.

2. You must understand the viewpoints of those who disagree with you before you are fully able to understand your own viewpoints.

3. Until you can summarize another viewpoint so well those who hold it agree with your summary, you do not understand that viewpoint.

(2)

slide11

Rules

for Critical Thinkers

4. You should always assume those who disagree with your viewpoint are as intelligent and as noble-minded as you are.

5. You must be willing to seriously consider alternative viewpoints and to change your mind in order to be a critical thinker.

6. A retreat into relativism is a retreat away from critical thinking. Not all viewpoints are equally valid.

(2)

slide12

The Elements of Critical Thinking

  • 1. All reasoning has a purpose.
  • 2. All reasoning is an attempt to figure something out, to settle some question, to solve some problem.
  • 3. All reasoning is based on assumptions.
  • 4. All reasoning is done from some point of view.
  • 5. All reasoning is based on data, information, and evidence.
slide13

The Elements of Critical Thinking . ..contd…

  • 6. All reasoning is expressed through, and shaped by, concepts and ideas.
  • 7. All reasoning contains inferences by which we draw conclusions and give meaning to data.
  • 8. All reasoning leads somewhere, has implications and consequences.
slide15

Argumentation: What is it?

It is a reasoned, logical way of asserting the soundness of a position, belief, or conclusion.

It takes a stand—supported by evidence—and urges people to share the writer’s perspective and insights.

slide16

Overview of an Argument

  • Awareness of Point of View
  • Awareness of Purpose and Audience
  • Statement of Central Question or Issue
  • Understanding Key Concepts
  • Internal Elements of an Argument
  • Deduction: Awareness of Inferences and
  • Assumptions
  • Induction: Analysis of Information and Evidence
slide17

Elements of an Argument

  • Definition
  • Assumptions
  • Premises and Syllogisms
  • Deduction
  • Sound Arguments (validity)
  • Induction
  • Evidence
  • Examples
  • Testimony
  • Statistics
slide18

Definition

  • Helps answer the question “What is it?”
  • Provides clarity for a topic
  • Three methods of defining:
  • Synonyms
  • Examples
  • Stipulations
slide19

Assumptions

  • Arguments are defended through reasons,
  • examples, data, information, etc.
  • Arguments are also founded on assumptions
  • (the beliefs of the writer and/or reader)
  • Assumptions can be expressed or can be
  • unexamined and unstated
  • Premises, Syllogisms, and Deduction
  • Premises: stated assumptions used in an
  • Argument
  • Syllogism: joining of two premises to produce
  • a conclusion
  • Deduction: mental process of moving from one
  • statement through another to a conclusion
slide20

Sound Arguments

  • Depend upon two criteria:
  • All premises must be true
  • The syllogism must be valid
  • Truth: depends on whether or not the assertion
  • corresponds to reality
  • Validity: depends on whether or not the
  • conclusion follows from the premises
  • Invalid Syllogism: the premises may be true
  • but may not lead to the conclusion
slide21

When people think of an argument, they usually think of a fight between two people (‘they’re having an argument’).

Actually, an argument is a piece of reasoning for the truth of a certain claim.

Thus, one person can give an argument for or against something.

slide22

Premises and Conclusion

  • An argument has any number of supporting claims, and 1 supported claim.
  • The supporting claims are the premisesof the argument.
  • The supported claim is the conclusion.
  • Example: ‘We shouldn’t get pepperoni on the pizza, because pepperoni makes me sick.’
    • 1 premise: ‘Pepperoni makes me sick’
    • Conclusion: ‘We shouldn’t get pepperoni on the pizza’
slide23

Attacking Arguments

  • A good argument needs to satisfy 2 criteria:
    • The conclusion should follow from the premises; the truth of the premises should make the conclusion (likely to be) true
    • 2. The premises should be acceptable; the
    • premises should (likely to be) true
slide24

An argument is validif it satisfies the first criterion. Otherwise, it is invalid.

An argument is soundif it satisfies both criteria. Otherwise, it is unsound.

slide25

You attack arguments by showing that it does not satisfy one (or both) of the criteria of a good argument. Either you show that the premises are unacceptable, or you show that it is unreasonable to draw the conclusion as stated, even if the premises would be true.

You do not attack an argument by showing that its conclusion is false!

slide26

Fallacies

Bad arguments are called fallacies.

There are many fallacies of which many people think that they are good arguments.

Fallacies usually follow certain patterns, so there are several categories of common fallacies.

slide27

Appeal to Authority

  • Inappropriate Authority:
    • According to my dad …
    • Einstein said … [something about evolution]
  • Unidentified Authority:
    • Studies show …
    • Experts agree …
    • Scientifically proven!
  • Appeal to the Masses:
    • Everybody knows …
slide28

Appeal to Emotions (Fear, Pity, Vanity, etc)

  • Fear:
    • If you don’t believe in God, God sure won’t be happy about that!
  • Pity:
    • I deserve an A in the class because my mom was really sick and so I couldn’t concentrate
  • Vanity:
    • Intelligent people like yourself deserve a big car
slide29

Appeal to Ignorance

  • An appeal to ignorance is made when one argues that something is the case since no one has shown that it is not the case:
    • Smoking is ok, since no one has proven that it is bad
    • for your health.
    • Our factory output shouldn’t be restricted for
    • environmental reasons, since no one has shown that
    • the green house effect really exists.
slide30

Perfectionist Fallacy

  • The perfectionist fallacy presents us with a kind of ‘all or nothing’ false dilemma:
    • We shouldn’t give aid to countries where people are
    • starving, because we can’t eradicate hunger completely.
    • Since no one has proven with absolute certainty that God
    • exists, it is just as rational to believe that God does not
    • exist as it is to believe that God does exist.
slide31

Slippery Slope

  • A slippery slope fallacy makes a dubious assumption that one thing will lead to another
    • If the “experts” decide today that we should have fluorides in our tea, coffee, frozen orange juice, lemonade, and every cell of our bodies, what’s next?
    • Tranquilizers to avoid civil disorders?
    • What about birth-control chemicals to be routed to the water in certain ethnic neighborhoods?
slide32

Begging the Question

  • Circular reasoning:
    • God exists because the bible says so. …
    • What, why we can trust what the Bible says?
    • - Easy, the Bible is the word of God.
    • Of course my salary is higher than yours, because my work is
    • more important. …
    • You’re asking me why it is more important? Well, my salary is
    • higher, isn’t it?
  • The “True Scotsman” Fallacy:
    • All Germans like beer. … Oh, your brother-in-law is German and
    • he doesn’t like beer?
    • Well, he is not a true German then, is he?
slide35

TIPS TO FOLLOW

  • Do’s
  • Assume your thinking is inaccurate and illogical
  • Know your weaknesses and work on them ( sitting on the fence
  • or jumping to conclusions.
  • Even if you only agree 51%, it shows that you’ve weighed the
  • evidence and used it to come to a conclusion.
  • Don’t’s
  • Assume that “criticise” is negative
  • It’s about pointing out strengths as much as weaknesses
  • Waste time questioning uncontested knowledge ( is over 70% of
  • the Earth’s surface really covered by oceans ?)
  • Get upset or annoyed if an opinion is different from yours.
  • Work on distancing yourself from these emotions.
slide36

EXERCISE FOR STUDENTS

Look at the statement below and decide whether you agree or disagree.

“ Using Facebook extensively can diminish a person’s intellectual ability”

Possible Responses :

Why argue with something as ridiculous as this?

It’s definitely true / definitely false

It’s true ! A friend of mine spent all day on facebook and ended up dropping out of college.

Who Cares?

I don’t know

I’d say it’s 50% true and 50% false.

I agree/disagree for a number of reasons but I’d need more information before I give a definite answer.

Note : Choose one of the responses above. We will discuss this in

class .