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Critical Thinking, Assumption & Emotions

Please summarize the following:

Assumptions: Critical Thinking and the Unknown
0 Recognize assumptions in various situations.
0 Compare and contrast necessary and unwarranted assumptions.
0 Develop methods of checking assumptions and creating alternatives.

Logic versus Emotion
0 Explain the impact of feelings on the critical thinking process.

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RESPONSE:

a. Recognize assumptions in various situations.

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally (http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/critical/). Critical thinking is "the disciplined mental activity of evaluating arguments or propositions and making judgments that can guide the development of beliefs and taking action?(http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/cogsys/critthnk.html).

Critical thinking may seem at odds with assumptions, but people draw conclusions based on assumptions (consciously or unconsciously), WHICH NEED TO BE CRITICALLY EVALUATED, An inference is a conclusion you come to in your mind based on something else that is true or you believe to be true. Assumptions are part of your belief system, and often, something that you do not challenge or question. Your mind takes for granted that your assumption is true (http://www.achieving-life-abundance.com/assumptions-and-critical-thinking.html).

Let's look at some general inferences and assumptions, where a conclusion or inference is made, based on a belief and assumption about what is believed to be true based on prior experiences. It is important to consider these assumptions behind the inference or statement to accurately interpret the meaning of the conclusion (inference) statement. The critical thinking process helps to identify these assumptions, which can bias decision making when left unchallenged. For example:

1. Inference: We should reduce the penalty for drunken driving, as a milder penalty would mean more convictions.
Assumption: We should increase the number of convictions for drunken driving.

2. Inference: Moby Dick is a whale. So Moby Dick is a mammal.
Assumption: "Anything that is a whale is a mammal? or "If Moby Dick is a whale it is a mammal.?

3. Inference: Giving students a fail grade will damage their self-confidence. Therefore, we should not fail students.
Assumption: We should not damage students' self-confidence.

4. Inference: It should not be illegal for adults to smoke pot. After all, it does not harm anyone.
Assumption: Anything that does not cause harm should not be made illegal.

5. Inference: There is nothing wrong talking on a mobile phone during lectures. Other students do it all the time.
Assumption: If an action is done by other students (or people) all the time, then there is nothing wrong with it.

6. Inference: Killing an innocent person is wrong. Therefore, abortion is wrong. ...

Solution Summary

This solution summarizes the assumptions involved in critical thinking, including: recognizing assumptions in various situations, comparing and contrasting necessary and unwarranted assumptions, and; developing methods of checking assumptions and creating alternatives. Referring to logic and emotion, it also explains the impact of feelings on the critical thinking process. Supplemented with an article on critical thinking and why is it important.

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