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Critical Thinking.docx

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Communication Studies
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Mark Hayward

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September 24, 2013 Critical Thinking  Argument: are the means by which we enter into intellectual exchange and create new logic o The way to identify and articular gaps and oversights in research and knowledge o Must not be broad o Specificity is important o Specificity means defining your terms and pointing to clear verifiable evidence  Claim: a basic proposition from which you might begin to argue  Evidence: corroborating reasons and facts that can be verified beyond the immediate scope of the argument  Premise: the reasons for accepting an argument and its conclusion o Provides support to an arguments conclusion o An argument may have one or more premises  Soundness: an argument is sound if it can be logically born out to a conclusion supposed by evidence  Sound vs. unsound: an argument that is logical can be either sound (valid) or unsound  Inference: is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true without actually witnessing or having first hand knowledge of certain events  Fallacy: an argument that uses poor reasoning o An error in reasoning that impedes the elaboration of a logically sound argument o These arguments lead to an apparently sound conclusion according to faulty logic  The Slippery Slope: attempts to discredit a proposition by arguing that its acceptance will undoubtedly lead to a sequence of events, one or more of which are undesirable  No True Scotsman: a general claim may sometimes be made about a category of things o When faced with evidence challenging that claim, rather than accepting or rejecting the evidence, such an argument counters the challenge by arbitrarily redefining the criteria for membership into that categor
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