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MODR 1770-CH1 Notes.docx

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York University
Modes Of Reasoning
MODR 1770
Glen Hoffman

MODR 1770 Sept 24/12 CH 1 – The Power of Critical Thinking Lecture + Notes Critical Thinking  Systematic evaluation or formulation of beliefs or statements by rational standards; involves distinct procedures & methods (not just feelings)  Not about what you think but how you think  Not descriptive; normative; which beliefs are worth having (likely to be true; has good reasons to accept it) and which aren't, not what causes a belief  Grounded in evidence, justification, objectively defend/support/evaluate beliefs & how to apply this to determine if something is plausible / not. o Logical rationale behind belief o Truth is objective not relative  If critical thinking is used and reasons for and against are not strong enough then judgement on belief can be withheld. L OGIC  The study of good reasoning or inference, and the rules that govern it  Critical thinking and feelings complement one another; can help clarify our feelings and deal with them more effectively.  Our thinking guides our actions, so it should be of high quality  One way of defending against the ‘cognitive biases’ that tend to lead us to false conclusions and bad decisions  To examine your beliefs is to examine your life; Socrates: ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’  Involves determining what we’re justified in believing, being open to new perspectives & fairly assessing the views of others & ourselves Why should we thinking critically?  Who we are is largely determined by our actions and choices  Our actions and choices are in part determined by our thoughts and beliefs If we don't choose our beliefs carefully, we're giving up control   If you haven't chosen your beliefs, are they really yours? o If they're not yours, then whose are they?  To critically examine your beliefs is to critically examine your life (since your beliefs shape your life) C OMMON CONCERNS : MODR 1770 Sept 24/12 Will critical thinking make us too logical?  Can prevent our emotions from unduly influencing our judgement, but doesn't eliminate our emotions.  Helps to clarify things about which we should feel passionately, but it doesn't remove the passion. Will
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