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SSH 105 (72)
Chapter 1

SSH105 Chapter One.docx

6 Pages

Social Sciences and Humanities
Course Code
SSH 105
Andrew Hunter

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What Is Critical ThinkingYou come into this world without opinions or beliefs and now your head is overflowing with them Some of your beliefs truly inform you and some blind you Some are true and some are not The question is which ones are which This kind of question a question about the quality of your beliefs is the fundamental concern of critical thinkingCritical Thinking The systematic evaluation or formulation of beliefs or statements by rational standardsCritical thinking is systematic because it involves distinct procedures and methods not just gut feelingsIts used to evaluate existing beliefs and formulate new onesIt evaluates beliefs in terms of how well they are supported by reasonsCritical thinking focuses on not what causes a belief but whether it is worth believingWhile sociology and psychology study why we believe what we believe critical thinking is about which beliefs are worth having We assume a belief is worth having provided its most likely true And we assume a belief is most likely true if there are good reasons to accept itCritical thinking is one of the few tools we have to counteract the natural limitations of the human brain such as forgetting things failing to give enough attention to key facts and jumping to conclusions The more common errors of reasoning are referred to as cognitive biases Cognitive biases emphasize that we tend to judge facts differently depending on how they are stated For example we would react positively hearing that a company saved 300 jobs out of 1000 but would react negatively if we heard the company had to fire 700 peopleLogic The study of good reasoning and the rules that govern itCritical thinking involves logic but is far more broader because it also involves examining the truth and falsity of statements evaluating arguments and evidence and the use of analysis
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