Critical_Thinking_Module - Critical Thinking How to Read...

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Critical Thinking: How to Read and Analyze Arguments Jim Wohlpart Spring 2007
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Critical Thinking: A Definition Critical thinking is a mode of thinking where the thinker consciously analyzes an issue or problem, while at the same time assessing the thinking process. Critical thinking presupposes rigorous standards and mindfulness in their use. It depends upon effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our inherent egocentricism and sociocentrism. Finally, it improves with practice. (Adapted from CriticalThinking.org)
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Critical Thinking: Not! I believe I have omitted mentioning that in my first voyage from Boston, being becalmed off Block Island, our people set about catching cod and hauled up a great many. Hitherto I had stuck to my resolution of not eating animal food, and on this occasion, I considered with my master Tryon the taking of every fish as a kind of unprovoked murder, since none of them had or ever could do us any injury that might justify the slaughter. All this seemed very reasonable. But I had formerly been a great lover of fish, and when this came hot out of the frying pan, it smelt admirably well. I balanced some time between principle and inclination, till I recollected that when the fish were opened I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs. Then thought I, if you eat one another, I don’t see why we mayn’t eat you. So I dined upon cod very heartily and continued to eat with other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do. Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography
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Features of Thinking Critically about Arguments Overview of an Argument Awareness of Point of View Awareness of Purpose and Audience Statement of Central Question or Issue Understanding Key Concepts Internal Elements of an Argument Deduction: Awareness of Inferences and Assumptions Induction: Analysis of Information and Evidence
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Features of Thinking Critically about Arguments Overview of an Argument Awareness of Point of View Awareness of Purpose and Audience Statement of Central Question or Issue Understanding Key Concepts Internal Elements of an Argument Deduction: Awareness of Inferences and Assumptions Induction: Analysis of Information and Evidence
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Overview of an Argument University is given 760 acres, 400 of which are designated to be restored and preserved, 360 of which are buildable. In 15 years, the 360 acres are built out, and the school is still growing and needs to find more space for buildings. The 400 acres that are to be preserved are on the table. Consider the following points of view: what differing audiences and purposes would this person or group address, what might their thesis be, and what evidence would be most effective in achieving the purpose?
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