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Chapter 1

SSH 105 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Critical Thinking

Social Sciences and Humanities
Course Code
SSH 105
Andrew Hunter

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Chapter 1: The Power of Crical Thinking
Crical Thinking: the systemac evaluaon or formulaon of beliefs beliefs or
statements by raonal standards
Crical thinking focuses on not what causes a belief, but on whether it is worth believing
Cognive biases are universal: we tend to judge facts dierently depending on just how
they are stated or framed
oWe tend to overesmate how common dramac events are and underesmate
how common more boring events are
Crical thinking involves logic
Logic: the study of good reasoning, or inference, and the rules that govern it
Why It Maers
A consequence of blindly accepng views or beliefs is a loss of personal freedom
If you passively accept beliefs that have been handed to you by your parents, your
culture, or your teachers, then those beliefs are not really yours
Your beliefs are yours only if you crically examine them for yourself to see if they are
supported by good reasons
Many believe that crical thinking makes one excessively crical, emoonally cold, and
creavely constrained
Crical thinking involves an openness to other points of view, a tolerance for opposing
perspecves, a focus on the issue at hand, and fair assessments of arguments and
Crical thinking complement feelings and creavity
How it Works
Claims and Reasons
Belief is another word for statement or claim
Statement: an asseron that something is (true) or is not the case (false)
Ex: a triangle has 3 sides, I am cold, you are a liar, you are not a liar
Reasons provide support for a statement
Reasons and Arguments
Arguments: a group of statements in which some of them (the premises) are intended
to support another of them (the conclusion)
Inference: the process of reasoning from a premise or premises to a conclusion based on
those premises
A declaraon of beliefs never counts as an argument
Explanaon: a statement or statements intended to tell why or how something is the
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