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MODR 1770-CH2 Notes.docx

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Department
Modes Of Reasoning
Course
MODR 1770
Professor
Glen Hoffman
Semester
Fall

Description
MODR 1770 Oct 1/12 CH 2 – The ‘Environment’ of Critical Thinking Lecture + Notes  Crit. thinking happens in an ‘environment’ that is often hostile to it  If process fails to be systematic, or isn’t a true evaluation/formulation or ignores rational standards, then crit. thinking can’t happen Ways to avoid this:  Ways to detect errors in our thinking  Restrain the attitudes and feelings that can distort out reasoning  Achieve a level of objectivity that makes crit. thinking possible Requires:  Awareness of what is involved in good crit. thinking & what can result from slopping thinking  Practice avoiding pitfalls & using crit. thinking skills & techniques  Motivation to make the extra effort Common Impediments of Crit. Thinking C ATEGORY 1:  Hindrances as a result of how we think  Usu. because of psychological factors {fears, attitudes, motivations, desires}  {Conform to opinions of peers} C ATEGORY 2:  As a result of what we think  Arise from certain philosophical ideas we have {our beliefs about beliefs}  {Belief that objective thinking is impossible/don’t know anything/don’t know what we think we know} SELF -INTERESTED THINKING – CATEGORY 1  Accepting a claim solely because it advances/coincides with our interests {to save face} o Won’t/can’t consider rational reasons; too emotional  Consequences: self destructive {decrease changes of success, hamper personal growth, maturity & self awareness} MODR 1770 Oct 1/12  Leave you open to manipulation & propaganda  Can never completely get rid of this in critical thinking To overcome this:  Watch out when things get very personal  Be alert to ways that critical thinking can be undermined {faulty reasoning}  Make sure nothing has been left out; consider arguments for and against your position/claim (not selection bias) o Part of selective attention o Make a conscious effort to look for opposing evidence F ALLACY  An argument form that is both common and defective G ROUP THINKING / PRESSURE – CATEGORY 1 Peer pressure  Group pressure to accept/reject a claim solely on the basis of what one’s peers think/do Appeal to popularity/masses  An argument that tries to support a conclusion on the basis of the mere popularity of a belief  The fallacy of arguing that a claim must be true merely because a substantial # of people believe it  Both cases: lapse in critical thinking comes from the fact that views/behaviour of the group alone is taken as reason to support a claim Appeal to common practice  The fallacy of accepting/rejecting a claim solely based on what groups of people generally do/behave when it’s irrelevant to the truth of the claim  Group pressure can happen quickly or take a while to have an effect  Often leads to prejudice, bias and racism  May have beliefs just because we were born into them; like the influence of the self this ENDEMIC pressure can lead to wishful thinking, rationalization & self- deception.  Can easily generate narrow-mindedness, resistance to change & stereotyping (drawing conclusions about people without sufficient reasons)  The best way to deal with the power of the group is to proportion your belief to the strength of reasons. MODR 1770 Oct 1/12 Appeal to tradition  {religion} Genetic Fallacy  Addressing where the argument came from; attacking the source of the argument and not the argument itself  {Stereotype} W ORLD VIEW  A philosophy of life; a set of fundamental ideas that help us make sense of a wide range of important issues in life; help to guide us in the evaluation/acceptance of many other less basi
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