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Critical Thinking Notes.pdf

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Carleton University
PHIL 2003

Critical Thinking Notes 1 Introduction To Reasoning and critical thinkingWe reason whenever we solve problems fix anything think or work But we dont reason when we tell stories take notes daydream and experience feelings Properties of Reasonable Beliefso Truth Truthfulness makes a thought more reasonable Ex A politician is honest based on wishful thinking not reasonable vs A politician is honest based on evidence from their record reasonable because it sounds trueo Stability reasonable beliefs are known to be more stable because they are less subject to being undermined by doubts and conflictso Safety the safer the belief is to a person the more reasonable it is Ex You accept comments from a trustworthy engineer unlike the comments of a normal engineero Goodness if the belief is of more moral goodness to humanity it sounds more reasonable Belief that other races are inferiorracism not reasonableo Health Reasonable beliefs are known to be psychologically healthier than the unreasonable ones and the unreasonable beliefs are often the cause of psychological problems Ex If youve done bad things in the past this makes you a bad person this is unhealthy belief resulting in a deliberately sense of guilt Also if you believe that if you dont pull down top marks in a course this makes you an invaluable person panic attacks and depression Inference and Mere thinkingWhen we merely think thoughts come one after anotherWhen we engage in inference thoughts we think in such a way as to base some of our thoughts on another hence we try to link ideas reason If we infer B from A we move from thought A to B because we believe that A makes B ReasonableInference thoughts might contain Inference Indicators such as since thus implies consequently because it follows that and given that But it is not usually the case for example if the inference is quite obviousExamples Its raining andhe took out his umbrella mere thinking Its raining thus he should take out the umbrella inference thinkingindicator Its raining hed rather take out his umbrella inference thinking no indicator Recognizing ArgumentsDefinitionso StatementA sentence used to express a thought that can either be true or false Hence a statement is a truth evaluable thought Questions and commands are not statements Types of Statements i A premise a statement intended to do the supporting in an argumentii A conclusion a statement intended to be supported in an argument Examples All humans are mortal And of course Socrates is a human so Socrates is mortal
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