Explore BrainMass
Share

# Logic & Critical Thinking

“I mean, you could claim that anything's real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody's proved it doesn't exist!”

J.K. Rowling

Logic and Critical Thinking are two key areas in philosophy.  Logic specifically is useful in mathematics, computer science and related subjects, while critical thinking is important to all people in making decisions throughout life: in academics, work, and personal interactions.f="#1">¹

Logic means using reasoning to find the validity of an argument.¹  Logic began in ancient history – from India, China, and Persia.  In Greece, Aristotle began the study of logic within philosophy.  Al-Farabi, the Arabic scientist and philosopher, was considered the “Second Teacher” after Aristotle, and identified ideas and proofs as the two elements of logic.¹  In modern study logic has three parts: inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning, and deductive reasoning.

Deductive reasoning is a “top-down” approach, where one starts with a general statement and then reaches a more specific conclusion.  Inductive reasoning is the opposite – starting with a specific consideration and using the pattern to find a more general conclusion.¹

Deductive¹

All people are mortal.

Jane is a person.

Jane is mortal.

Inductive¹

My cat likes to chase mice.

The other cats that I know also chase mice.

All cats chase mice.

Sherlock Homes famously “deduces”, but in truth he primarily uses abductive reasoning to come to his conclusions.  Abductive reasoning could be considered “guessing” but it generally means that a person uses observed data to explain the evidence.  If the lawn was wet it would be reasonable to abduce that it had rained the night before.¹  Note that abductive reasoning often leads to a “best guess” situation – instead of rain a sprinkler could have wet the grass.  The abducer would want to eliminate alternate possibilities¹: “I don’t own a sprinkler, the lawn is wet, therefore it is likely that it rained last night.”  This form of reasoning is used every day by doctors and other medical professionals, who must use their knowledge and experience to judge the best treatment for medical issues.

When someone makes an argument, critical thinking is used to decide whether the assertation is true or false, or something in between.  The Socratic method and the Buddhist Kālāma Sutta are two early forms of critical thinking.¹

Critical thinking is “purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based.”¹

Critical thinking requires an objective consideration of a claim, interpreting the data in support or opposition to the claim, and deciding on a conclusion based on the evidence.  Logic is a key requirement in any critical thinking exercise.¹

Image source:

1. Wikimedia

Resources:

1. Facione, Peter. 1988. Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://assessment.aas.duke.edu/documents/Delphi_Report.pdf

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com February 23, 2020, 6:12 am ad1c9bdddf

## Categories within Logic & Critical Thinking

### Noncontradiction Theory

Solutions: 1

The non-contradiction theory states that something cannot be true and not true at the same time.

### Critical Thinking Questions

Solutions: 18

Critical thinking is objective rather than subjective thinking that uses logic and rational thinking to make decisions and come to conclusions.

### Fallacies

Solutions: 17

A fallacy is an incorrect argument in logic that is not sound or valid in some way.

### Categorical Propositions: Distribution (Part III)

Distribution can apply to prepositions, but not all. Does it apply to I-propositions?

### Does distribution apply to E-propositions?

Distribution is a property of a categorical proposition. But what kinds of propositions can express distribution? Is the quality only limited to one kind of proposition?

### Categorical Propositions: Distribution (Part I)

What is meant when a proposition is said to be "distributed"?

### Categorical Propositions: Quantity and Quality (Part II)

Every categorical proposition, regardless of the form, either uses or implies both a "quantifier" and a "copula." But what exactly is meant by those two, quoted terms?

### Categorical Propositions: Quantity and Quality (Part I)

Every categorical proposition, regardless of the form, possesses both "quantity" and "quality." But what exactly is meant by those two, quoted terms?

### Categorical Propositions: O-proposition

Categorical Propositions have four basic forms. Of those four, the final one is the "O-proposition." What exactly is an "O-proposition"? How does it usually look? What does it achieve?

### Categorical Propositions: E-proposition

Categorical Propositions have four basic forms. One of those is the "E-proposition." What exactly is an "E-proposition"? How does it usually look? What does it achieve?

### Categorical Propositions in Logic (Part 3)

Categorical Propositions have four basic forms. One of those is the "A-proposition." What exactly is an "A-proposition"? How does it usually look? What does it achieve?

### The challenges of becoming a critical thinker

What are some of the challenges of becoming a critical thinker in our contemporary world? In what ways do these challenges also make it important to develop critical thinking skills?

### Advertisements and Fallacy Discussion

Locate a piece of advertising that demonstrates one (or more) of the deductive or inductive fallacies listed below. - Describe the advertisement example that you located. - Identify the fallacy you observed in the advertisement and describe how this is an example of this type of fallacy. - Explain whether or not you believe

### Enthymemes in Everyday Life

Identify an example of an enthymeme you encountered this week in the media or in a conversation. - Create a syllogism based on the enthymeme. - Determine whether the syllogism is valid or invalid and explain why. - If invalid, identify the reasoning error that is present in the syllogism

### Spotting Fallacies: Article Study

Assignment: Step 1: Find one example of a fallacy. Choose one of the articles below. What's the Difference Between Terry and Terri? By Terence Jeffrey The Organic Difference by Zazel Lovén The Science of Satire by Mahzarin Banaji Arrest Everybody by Jacob Sullum Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense by Joe Klein Step

### Inductive Argumentation

Inductive arguments take specific premises to make general conclusions. A strong inductive argument is most probably the case, and a weak inductive argument is most likely not the case. A causal inductive argument is very similar. It works like this: When X happens then Y happens. X probably causes Y. Consider these two caus

### Argument Construction Against Alcohol Consumption

Construct an argument on one of the following: • Should college campuses ban alcohol on campus? • Should U.S. citizens be eating meat? • Should the driving age be raised to 21? List at least ten different premises that relate to the issue. Eliminate some weak premises. Choose two premises you eliminated and e

### Experiment and Expertise

Malcolm Gladwell is a popular current author who recently wrote a book called Outliers. In his book, he claims that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that before someone becomes an expert at something, they must put in 10,000 hours of practice. Gladwell bases this claim primarily on the work of the psychologist Anders Eri

### Nonverbal Language as Circumstantial Evidence

In 2004, Scott Peterson was convicted of killing his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner. There was no conclusive proof that he committed the crime, only circumstantial evidence. The jurors said a major factor in their decision was Peterson's nonverbal communication, his lack of emotional responsiveness, and "stony demeanou

### Secrets of the Brain Review

Your answers should include a description of the patient's problem (both the symptoms and the underlying cause). See the attachment.

### Logic and Truthfulness for LEAST Sense

Please answer both questions 1. Which of the ways of knowing with people like Descartes, William James, William Cliford etc) makes the LEAST sense? Why? 2. How would you describe your own way of assessing truth claims when made by: a) friends, b) media (radio, television, magazines), and c) scholarly works or text books.

### Basic Modalities of Logic

I have trouble with the following: Three dichotomies of modality 1) Metaphysical: necessary v. contingent 2) Epistemological: a priori v. a posteriori 3) Linguistics: analytic v. synthetic

### Reasoning and Critical Thinking Explanations

Hello, I need help with answering some questions relating to critical thinking. If you could, please provide examples along with the explanations so that I can have a better understanding. 1) What roles do ethical and emotional appeals play in an argument? 2) Is there such a thing as an over-reliance on logic? Explain. 3) H

### Language Capacity: Human and Non-Human

Does empirical scholarly evidence suggest a quantitative or a qualitative difference in language capacity between humans and non-human primates? Please do not copy and paste or quote. Please give scholarly references to support your position. Thank you.

### Speech analysis highlighting fallacies in logic

Analyze the speech by President George Bush April 14, 2004 regarding the war in Iraq in terms of the fallacies that you can detect in the speech

### Features of a hypothesis

I would like to under what specific features of a hypothesis do each of the criteria adequacy- testability, fruitfulness, scope, simplicity, and conservatism try to measure?

### Sociocentrism or egocentrism

Identify a time where you, someone you know, or a group of people have displayed sociocentrism or egocentrism. Explain how the people acted, as well as the improper thinking that led to these actions. Finally, explain what could have been done differently and list some specific ways that these forms of thought can be eliminated

### What Gives Human Life Meaning?

What gives human life meaning? I think this is subject to my own observations and experiences in how I comprehend the meaning of life which will be different than anyone else's. Knowing this above, what is your opinion based on observations and experience, and would you rely on any others? What about the knowledge that h

### The Classic Versions of the Ontological Argument

Looking for a simple answer to figure out the classic version of the Ontological Argument: 1. God is the most perfect ('the greatest') being conceivable. 2. It is more perfect ('greater') to exist than not to exist. 3. Therefore, God must exist. In the late-18th-century Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant provided t

### Critical Thinking of Philosophy and Reasoning

1. How does philosophy affect ethical issues? 2. What significance does thinking and reasoning critically play in society, and in human development?

### Philosophy, Education and Careers

Looking for a reader's digest version for the questions below in order to me understand and prepare for a future paper. How does philosophy affect a relationship in terms of education and career? What value does philosophy have? How can people benefit from thinking more philosophically?

### The meaning of life

What is your view on the meaning of life? What gives human life meaning? How do you know? How should one act in the world once one realizes this meaning? Can you tie the meaning of life to a view of any one philosopher?

### Does God Exist?

Looking for a readers digest version to the following questions. Argument: Does God exist? If so, did he create the universe? Why? Why do philosophers seek such proof? Is it necessary?