CRE 101 Study Guide by guy22

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									   CRE 101
Study Guide
 Joanne Martinez
What is critical thinking?

   “involving or exercising skilled judgment or observation”
   Cognitive skills needed to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments
   Discover and over personal prejudices
   Make reasonable and intelligent decisions about that to believe
    Intellectual standards:
        1. Clarity
        2. Precision
        3. Accuracy
        4. Relevance
        5. Consistency
        6. Logical correctness
        7. Completeness
        8. Fairness

connected series of statements intended
 to establish a proposition
 composed of one or more premises and
 II. Deductive arguments
 a. try to prove their conclusions with rigorous,
  inescapable logic
 b. claim to provide logically conclusive grounds
  for their conclusions
 c. they attempt to show that their conclusions
  must be true given the premises asserted.
 III. Inductive Arguments
 a. Try to show that their conclusions are
  plausible or likely or probably given the premises
Definitions of Words
 Good arguments will depend on the precise definition of words and phrases
  that opponents in an argument may define differently
 b. definitions can be:
 1. stipulative - a word's meaning is determined by the writer
 2. persuasive - the writer reveals bias or a point of view in the definition
 3. lexical - word is defined in the way it is generally used
 4. precising - a vague word is given a clear, precise meaning
 5.ostensive definition - providing examples of that is meant by a word by
    to the object being defined
 6. enumerative definition - listing members of the class
 7. definition by subclass - indicating what subclasses the word contains
 8. etymological definitions - give a word's history
 9. synonymous definitions - provide more-familiar equivalent terms
Logical Fallacies
         A logical fallacy is an argument that contains
          a mistake in reasoning.
         Fallacies can be divided into two general
           Fallacies of relevance – arguments in which the
            premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusion.
           Fallacies of insufficient evidence – arguments in
            which the premises, though logically relevant to
            the conclusion, fail to provide sufficient evidence
            for the conclusion.
Nine common fallacies of insufficient evidence

 a. Inappropriate appeal to authority: citing a witness or authority that
  is untrustworthy
 b. Appeal to ignorance: claiming that something is true because no
  one has proven it false or vice versa
 c. False alternatives: posing a false either/or choice
 d. Loaded question: posing a question that contains an unfair or
  unwarranted presupposition
 e. Questionable Cause: claiming, without sufficient evidence, that
  one thing is the cause of something else.
 f. Hasty generalization: drawing a general conclusion from a sample
  that is biased or too small.
 g. Slippery slope: claiming, without sufficient evidence, that a
  seemingly harmless action, if taken, will lead to a disastrous
 h. Weak analogy: comparing things that aren’t really comparable.
 i. Inconsistency: asserting inconsistent or contradictory claims.

 A. To analyze an argument means to break it up into its various parts to see
  clearly what conclusion is being defended and on what grounds.
 II. Diagramming - analyzing short arguments
        A. Six basic steps
 1. Read through the argument carefully, circling any premise or conclusion
  indicators you see.
                 2. Number the statements consecutively as they appear in
  the argument.
 3. Arrange the numbers spatially on a page with the premises placed above
  the conclusion(s) they are alleged to support.
 4. Using arrows to mean “is evidence for”, create a kind of flowchart that
  shows which premises are intended to support which conclusions.
 5. Indicate independent premises by drawing arrows directly from the
  premises to the conclusions they are claimed to support. Indicate linked
  premises by placing a plus sign between each of the linked premises,
  underlining the premises and drawing an arrow from the underlined
  premises to the conclusions they are claimed to support.
Evaluating arguments: general guidelines

          A. Are the premises true?
          B. Is the reasoning correct? Is the argument deductively valid
    or inductively strong?
          C. Does the arguer commit any logical fallacies?
          D. Does the arguer commit any logical fallacies?
          E. Does the arguer express his or her points clearly and
          F. Are the premises relevant to the conclusion?
   G. Are the arguer’s claims logically consistent? Do any of the
    arguer’s claims contradict other claims made in the argument?
   H. Is the argument complete? Is all relevant evidence taken into
   I. Is the argument fair?

Images and feelings that are associated
 with the word
Emotive Language

Expresses and arouses emotions

Literal meaning

imagery that may alter the meaning of the
  Ex. Garbage man = sanitation engineer
Concrete & Abstract

Concrete words point to real objects and
 real experiences
Abstract words express qualities apart
 from particular things and events
  Concrete – Beautiful roses
  Abstract – Beauty in the eye of the beholder
Factual Evidence

Usually enough to convince and audience
 that your factual claim is sound
Use examples, statistics, and expert
Sometimes, even good evidence may not
 be enough to convince your audience
Value assumptions and Reality assumptions

Value assumptions - beliefs about how the
 world should be
Reality assumptions – beliefs about how to
 world is
Relativistic thinking

Subjective - individual opinion
Objective – seeing the issue as a whole

Fuzzy and inexact and thus have
 debatable, borderline applications

Words or phrases are over general if the
 information that they provide is too broad
 in a given context

Two or more distinct meanings in a
 particular context
Ostensive Definition

Providing examples of what is meant by a
 word by pointing to the object being

Listing members of the class

Give a word's history
Analyzing an argument

To analyze an argument means to break it
 up into its various parts to see clearly what
 conclusion is being defended and on what
Evaluating Arguments
 Are the premises true?
 Is the reasoning correct? Is the argument deductively
  valid or inductively strong?
 Does the arguer commit any logical fallacies?
 Does the arguer commit any logical fallacies?
 Does the arguer express his or her points clearly and
 Are the premises relevant to the conclusion?
 Are the arguer’s claims logically consistent? Do any of
  the arguer’s claims contradict other claims made in the
 Is the argument complete? Is all relevant evidence taken
  into account?
 Is the argument fair?
Inductive Arguments

The premises are intended to provide
 support, but not conclusive evidence, for
 the conclusion

Statement made about all or most
 members of a group
   Inductive Argument- is one in which the premises are
    intended to provide support, but not conclusive
    evidence, for the conclusion.

   Generalization- is a statement made about all or
    most members of a group.

   Inductive Generalization is an argument that relies on
    characteristics of a sample population to make a
    claim about the population as whole.
Sample population uses evidence about a
 limited number of people or things of a
 certain type.
Population as a whole (Example) So, most
 of the bass in the Susquehanna River
 weigh less than one pound.
 Sound Argument – deductive argument that
  is valid and has all true premises leading to a
  true conclusion.

 Cogent Argument has all true premises and
  supplies strong support for its conclusion.

 Sample Large Enough –when it’s clear that
  we have not rushed to judgment that we not
  formed hasty generalization.
 Representative sample- is like the population as a whole
  in all relevant ways.

 Statistical Argument- argues from premises regarding a
  percentage of a population to a conclusion about an
  individual member of that population or some part of

 Reference Class – is the group to which statistics apply,
  as a rule the more specific the reference class is, the
  better the argument id.
 Analogy is a comparison of things based on
  similarities those things share, arguments from
  analogy claim that certain similarities are
  evidence that there is another similarity (or other

 Cause- is that which brings about a change that
  which produces effect.
 Correlation- two things that share a mutual
  relationship ; where one is found the other is
  often or always found.
 Negative correlation- one which indicates that
  two things are found together less than 50
  percent of the time may indicate that one thing
  prevents the other.
 Relative frequency probability – which takes
  information about a group as a whole and
  applies it to an individual case.
 Epistemic probability- which expresses how
  likely we think an event is given other things we
Priori probability- statements that have
 odds that can be calculated prior to an
 independent of sensory observation.
Gambler Fallacy- the mistaken belief that
 a past event has an impact on a current
 random event.
 Law of large numbers- proximity of theoretically
  predicted and actual percentage tends to
  increase as the sample grows.

Expected Value –essentially the payoff or loss you
  can expect from making a bet.
 Relative Value- the value a bet has in relation to
  an individual’s own needs, preferences and

 Diminishing Marginal Value- as quantity
  increases relative value tends to increase
  relative value tends to decrease.
   Research- can assist you can you in writing a more solid
    argument, it can also help you as critical thinker to correct
    misunderstanding, discover the truth and set the record straight.

   Bibliographies- is a list of books that provide for each book the
    name of the author, the title, the place, and date of publication
    the name of the publisher and in some cases the price of the
    book, it can also include recording, films photograph and
    computer software programs.
 Periodical Indexes and Abstracting Services-
  Indexes and abstracting allows you to search for
  articles, essays, editorials, and other items in
  periodicals, these services are available
 Internet search Engines, Guides and Directories-
  have indexes for subject areas such as travel,
  games, movies, sports, and jokes
 Encyclopedias- are excellent starting points for finding
  information about a topic, whether you are seeking
  specific answers or overviews and historical
 Almanacs, Yearbooks, Fact books, Directories
  Handbooks, Manuals and Atlases- these are volumes
  you will most often these indexes help reduce the
  number of pages you surf, they are generally limited to
  popular interest.
   Biographical Sources- when you need to find out who someone
    is or was, can turn to a host of biographical sources, some of
    which are highly reliable sources of information about a person’s
    life accomplishments, contributions, publications, and even
    misdeeds or crimes.

   Government Documents- many libraries have access to
    government documents through database and online services,
    and a few libraries in every state ,are depositories for
    government documents meaning that hard copies are kept on
 Human Sources- overlooked in our dependence
  on the written words are human beings who
  could easily supply needed information.
 Fact- is an item of information that is objective
  and true
 Author- creates and an authority holds the
  power over that which he or she has created.
 Quotation- the act of repeating words of another.
 Summary- of an argument essay or article
  contains only the main idea (the thesis) or the
  claim depending on the purpose of the
  summary, the main premises or supporting
 Paraphrasing-restates a passage in different
 Plagiarism- to kidnap, or to be more modern about it, to
  take the creation ,though, words, writings, inventions,
  charts, and tables of another person, whether those
  creations have been published or not and to pass them
  off as one’s own creation.
 Quoting and Paraphrasing Longer Passages- provide
  introduction to the sentence that establish the context
  and help the reader understand its meaning and
  relevance to your point.
Block Quotation- should block the
 quotation maintaining the double space
 omitting question mark and indenting the
 left margin five spaces.
Writing argumentative essays
       A. An argument is not a fight. Although our objective
  might be to win, your success in an argument should be
  measured by how well you defend your claim and how
  fair, accurate, and honest you are in presenting your

       B. Whether your opponent agrees or disagrees with
    you, you should strive to put forward the most rational
    and even-handed presentation you can muster.
Before writing
  A. Know yourself, your audience, and your topic
  B. Present yourself as a humane and generous person
  C. Don't write an argument on an issue you know nothing about
  even though you might have strong opinions concerning it.
  D. Know your topic well, even if you have to research
  E. Speak to your audience; don't lecture, antagonize, or bully them.
  F. Expect your readers to be fair but skeptical. Try to foresee you
  readers' reactions and objections.
Get started
  A. Focus your topic so that you can cover the issue in the number of
  pages assigned.
  B. Brainstorm for ideas and organize thoughts.
Writing the argument
  A. Provide a single statement of your central claim and organize
  material in a manner that will allow your readers to easily recognize
  your premises.
Central claim
Defend your central claim with:
     1. factual evidence
     2. expert opinion
     3. examples
     4. analogies (when appropriate)
Research your topic
After it's written
   A. Read what you have written
   B. Be certain you have defended your premises and any
   assumptions on which your argument is based.
   C. Seek the advice of your professor, a tutor, or a peer
   who might alert you to any shortcoming in the argument
   you may have failed to notice
   D. Edit, write your final
   Mass Media- includes all print or electronic media
    intended to inform entertain, or persuade large audiences
    and include news, broadcast sitcoms, talk shows, soap
    opera, music videos, movies magazines.
    Context of the Message-the background of the
    information, the intention or perceived intention of the
    speaker and wider implications that surround it. If there is
    no context message it can be meaningless and useless.
    Compromise Information- by subordinating depth,
    substance, and complexity to entertainment and human
 Painless consumption and stories too critical of
  American corporation, powerful non-profit organizations,
  the government and the news media itself.
 Emphasizing Stories and Part of Stories
 The print media uses a variety of techniques to achieve
  this. A newspaper can highlight a story by pacing it on
  the front page or diminish a story’s worth by burying it
  deep inside where it is likely to be overlooked.
 Attempting Objectivity-the media falls into trap of simply
  delivering information that has been gathered. The result is a
  mishmash of information that a journalist has collected without
  sorting out what’s reliable, useful and meaningful.

 Unsubstantiated Opinion- most reporting in the mainstream
  news is not overly biased, serious breaches of neutrality do
  sometimes occur, and journalist have on occasion blatantly
  offered their opinions often with disastrous consequences .

 Humor- the use of humor in ads can be very effective in
  grabbing our attention and in closing down or critical
  defenses. The purpose of humor in advertising is to create in
  the viewer or listener a pleasant and memorable association
  with the product.
 Catchy slogans and Jingles- most ads use some variety
  of the fallacies we have already studied. A simple way of
  gaining easy retrieval from memory is the use of
 Anxiety Ads- play on our fears, anxieties, and
  insecurities. Most of us strive for what psychologist call
  cognitive balance. Advertisers attempt to upset this
  balance by making us worry that we are not as attractive
  as we may believe.
Weasel Words- are used to water down or
qualify a claim so that it ends up being
practically meaningless.
 Fine Print Disclaimers- small bold letters
 Puffery- exaggerated claim that skirts the literal
  truth but does so in a way that does not deceive
  most audiences.
 Sex appeals- using woman or men in sexy ads
  getting excitement or sexual pleasure to
Science- is a method of inquiry that seeks to describe,
  explain, and predict occurrences in the physical or
  natural world by means of careful observation and
  rigorous experiment.
 Formulating Hypotheses All scientific investigation is guided by
  certain presuppositions that influence the kinds of observations and
  experiments scientist think are worth making.

 Testing the Hypotheses- Scientific hypotheses are tested by
  considering their implications and then testing those implications by
  means of observation or experiment.

 Controlled Study- is a rigorous carefully structured study in which
  scientist use a baseline comparison, or control group to answer

 Question of Meaning-science deals with empirically observable
  facts, but not with fundamental question that deal with the meaning
  of life.
Questions of Value-or normative questions are questions
  about what is good or bad.
Pseudoscience- is false science that is unscientific thinking
  masquerading a scientific.
Near death experience - cluster of striking paranormal or
spiritual experiences commonly reported by people who
have come very close to death or have been
resuscitated after being pronounced dead.
 Afterlife hypothesis- paranormal glimpses of
  postmortem spiritual world.
 Dying brain hypothesis- hallucinations,
  fantasies, or distorted perceptions of the dying
 Consistency argument: NDE's are often
  remarkably similar in people of many different
  background and ages.
 The reality argument: NDE's feel so real that they cannot
  be mere fantasies or hallucinations
 The paranormal argument: Many NDE's involve
  paranormal experiences.
 Transformational argument: People who have
  experienced NDE's are often permanently and positively
  changed by their experiences.
 Birth memory hypothesis- NDE's are vivid recollections
  of birth experience

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