Critical Thinking Notes (1-10) - Module 1 Introduction What...

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College Algebra
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Chapter 2 / Exercise 5
College Algebra
Gustafson/Hughes
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Module 1 Introduction: What is an Argument? What an Argument is Not! Thinking clearly & rationally is key, as well as the ability to engage in careful, reflective and independent thought A person with skills in critical thinking is able to: understand the connections, logical or otherwise, between ideas identify, construct, and evaluate arguments recognize inconsistencies and common errors in reasoning systematically solve problems identify relevance and importance in arguments assess the justification of beliefs and values A critical thinker can deduce consequences from what they know and knows how to use information to solve problems of many kinds Is also able to source relevant information to inform themselves Despite belief, critical thinking can be creative as it requires people to think “outside the box”, challenging tradition, and pursuing novel approaches to old problems: one must first know what these are, why they seem permanent, and where they no longer reflect contemporary thoughts and values. Identifying Arguments Arguments can not be opinions just be based on first hand experience - we can't to be able to change those mere opinions into opinions based on reason and sound judgement When oursviews receive the response that they are just a matter of opinion, we lose the ability to be taken seriously Your opinion is thus the starting point The are particular “indicator words” that will help you identify an argument Most common: “therefore”. This word tells us that the statements immediately preceding it are likely to be premises, and the words immediately following it are the conclusion that has been supported by the premises Premises will often begin with one of the following: since, because, for, as indicated by, follows from (this one has many variations), given that, and may be deduced from.
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College Algebra
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Chapter 2 / Exercise 5
College Algebra
Gustafson/Hughes
Expert Verified
Conclusions will often begin with the following: therefore, thus, so, consequently, hence, then, it follows that, for this reason ... , shows that ... , etc. These words reveal the structure of the argument. Structure in an argument is very important, as it is the graphic representation of the thought that leads to it. In a sense, the structure of the argument is the thought process, and in that respect is the way you indicate not just what, but also how, you think. In the real world often these indicator words are left out. Other aspects of conversation and dialogue that will help develop an argument are tone and logical structure These will help you identify the claim someone is making, identify the statements that supports the claim, and gain insight into the background of the argument Identifying Non - Arguments There are a lot of expressions that look like but are not arguments.

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