Critical Thinking

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Unformatted text preview: 6/13/11 Click to edit Master subtitle style Ch. 3 Clear Thinking, Critical Thinking, and Clear Writing 6/13/11 Vagueness  A word or phrase is vague if the group of things to which it applies has borderline cases. (Ex.: baldness. In order to be considered bald, one might have no hair at all, or to a lesser extreme, might have lost hair in certain spots. To say that someone is bald is vague unless you specify to what extent.)  The phrase cruel and unusual punishment in the Constitution is vague, and has to be interpreted 6/13/11 Vagueness, cont.  Vagueness occurs in varying degrees, and it is impossible to get rid of it entirely.  Rule of thumb: When a claim is not too vague to convey appropriate useful information, its level of vagueness is acceptable. 6/13/11 Ambiguity  A word, phrase or sentence is ambiguous when it has more than one meaning. (Ex.: I cashed a check. Does this mean that I received cash for a check that someone wrote me, or might it also mean that I work at a bank and gave a customer money in exchange for a check?)  Semantic ambiguity : some words are spelled the same but have different meanings. (Ex.: right side) 6/13/11 Ambiguity, cont.  Grouping ambiguity makes it unclear as to whether a word is being used to refer to a group collectively or to members of the group. (Ex.: Teachers make more money than racecar drivers. As individuals, this is unlikely. Perhaps teachers as a WHOLE make more $ than racecar drivers as a WHOLE...
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ch3 notes - 6/13/11 Click to edit Master subtitle style Ch....

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