PHI 1101: Lecture One 09/19/2011
Critical thinking: the systematic evaluation or formulation of beliefs, or statements by rational standards.
Basic Toolbox of Critical Thinking:
The word ‘argument’ doesn’t just mean debate or dispute or a contradiction.
They can serve as either premises or conclusions. They can be positive, negative, true or false.
Statement is given in support of another statement; intended to support a conclusion.
A statement that premises are used to support; a claim meant to be supported by reasons in the argument.
A group of statements in which some of them (premises) are intended to support other statements
The Environment of Critical Thinking
Problems with how we think:
Too much focus on self. ‘selfinterested thinking’ Example: ‘I am against gun control because I am a hunter’
Other people (group thinking)
Problems with how we think
part of the worldview of critical thinking, like science, is the idea that ‘the world is publicly understandable.’
critical thinking rejects ‘relativism’
Subject relativism: truth depends solely on what someone believes truth to be. truth is relative to each
social/cultural relativism : truth is relative to groups, cultures, or societies. different societies bel