Answers to Exercises
1. Critical thinking is the systematic evaluation or formulation of beliefs, or
statements, by ra tional standards.
2. Critical thinking is primarily concerned with how you think.
3. Critical thinking is systematic because it involves distinct procedures and
4. Critical thinking operates according to rational standards in that beliefs are judged
by how well they are supported by reasons.
5. 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. If they are not
really yours, and you let them guide your choices and actions, then they n▯ot
youa▯re in charge of your life.
6. The critical in critical thinking refers to the exercising of careful judgement and
7. Critical thinking can complement creating thinking because it is needed in order
to assess and improve the results of creative activity.
8. A statement is an assertion that something is or is not the case.
9. Statement: Critical thinking is essential. Nonstatement: Is critical thinking
10. We should proportion our acceptance of a statement according to the strength of
reasons in its favour.
11. An argument is a group of statements in which some of them (the premises) are
intended to support another of them (the conclusion).
12. Example: If the accident happened at 5:00 p.m., it was John’s fault. The accident
did happen at 5:00 p.m. So it was his fault.
13. A premise is a statement given in support of another statement.
14. In an argument, a conclusion is a statement that premises are intended to support. 15. An argument requires reasons that support a conclusion; the mere assertion of a
belief does not provide reasons.
18. Yes. The arguer’s conclusion is that Alonzo’s claim is incorrect, and the arguer
provides a reason to support that conclusion.
19. Indicator words are words that frequently accompany arguments an signal that a
premise or conclusion is present.
20. Therefore; consequently; so... (among other possibilities!)
21. Because; since; for... (among other possibilities!)
22. The word “since” is only sometimes an indicator word. It can introduce a premise,
or it can be used to signal the passage of time.
23. Look for the conclusion first.
1. Not a statement
2. Not a statement (command)
4. Not a statement
5. Not a statement (question)
6. Not a statement (exclamation)
9. Statement 10. Not a statement
1. Argument (Conclusion: You should try coffee.)
2. Not an argument (explanation)
3. Not an argument
4. Not an argument (question)
5. Not an argument (a command and a statement)
6. Not an argument
7. Not an argument
8. Not an argument (explanation of where knowledge came from)
9. Argument (Conclusion: Ironman was a better superhero movie than Thor.)
10. Argument (Conclusion: Whether our argument concerns public affairs or some other
subject we must know some, if not all, of the facts about the subject on which we are to
speak and argue.)
11. Argument (Conclusion: Don’t outlaw guns.)
12. Argument (Conclusion: If someone says something that offends me, I should have the
right to stop that kind of speech.)
13. Argument (Conclusion: Citizens who so value their ‘independence’ that they will not
enroll in a political party are really forfeiting independence.)
14. Argument (Conclusion: If someone says something that offends me, I cannot and should
not try to stop them from speaking.)
15. Argument (Conclusion: Noisy car alarms should be banned.)
16. Argument (Conclusion: NHL teams may not be good for local business.)
1. Argument (Conclusion: “If prices go up, demand will fall.” Premise: A fundamental law of economics says that when prices go up, demand falls.)
2. Argument (Conclusion: Therefore, you are not fit to serve in your current capacity.
Premise: You have neglected your duty on several occasions. Premise: You have been
absent from work too many times.)
3. Not an argument
4. Argument (Conclusion: The flu epidemic on the east coast is real. Premise: Government
health officials say so. Premise: I personally have read at least a dozen news stories that
characterize the situation as a “flu epidemic.”)
5. Not an argument
6. Argument (Conclusion: People who protest Canada’s military involvement in
Afghanistan don’t know what they’re talking about. Premise: They spend all their time
marching and pro testing. Premise: These are the sort of people who think Canada
shouldn’t have a military at all.)
7. Not an argument
8. Not an argument
9. Argument (Conclusion: Witches are real. Premise: They are mentioned in the Bible.
Premise: There are many people today who claim to be witches. Premise: Historical
records reveal that there were witches in Salem.)
10. Not an argument
11. Argument (Conclusion: Dianne’s blog should definitely be on your reading list. Premise:
Her blog is always interesting. Premise: Her commentaries are tough but fair.)