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Lecture 2

PHI 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Critical Thinking, Book Of Ezekiel

Course Code
PHI 1101
Sardar Hosseini

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Chapter 1, Lecture 2
“Reason and Critical thinking, an introduction to logic”
Recognizing Arguments
-“Human being is a rationale animal’ -Aristotle
-“I think, therefore, I am” -Descartes
-The ability to reasoner to think is the most fundamental characteristics of human beings
-Animals may exhibit a lower capacity to think, but they capacity to reason remains a central
-They may have a lower capacity to think, or reason, BUT the capacity to reason remains as
a central feature
-Certain conscious human activity involves reason (Solving problems, making decisions,
predicting elections, making discoveries, interpreting works of arts, preparing cars, etc.)
Distinction between mere Thinking and Reasoning
-Reasoning is the active and systematic process of analyzing and evaluating, and formulating
or beliefs, or statements, by rational standards
-Reasoning is a conscious activity, but mere consciousness or mere thinking is not reasoning
-For example, watching TV, or listening to others, or taking note of what is going around us, or
experiencing feelings are conscious activities, but they are not reasoning
Critical Reasoning
-Some misconceptions about CR… it’s too logical, mechanical, abstract, linear, inhuman,
whereas it should be spontaneous, creative, free, and easy
-How can we do it better?
-As an expert: presenting your ideas in an ordered manner. As a non-expert: we can mitigate
our vulnerability as non-expert in a society increasingly ruled by experts
Tool-Box of Critical Thinking
-Statement (claim or proposition)
-Premise (Claim or statement that gives evidence or proof for conclusion)
-Argument (Premise + Conclusion = Argument)
-Statement: a claim that something is or is not the case
-Ex. The water looks polluted!”
-“Maurice smells bad”
-“Taxes are too high”
-“The earth is flat”
-“Neither of us wants ice-cream”
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