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How does critical thinking affect you as a reader and writer? How can thinking critically improve your writing?© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 24, 2018, 10:54 pm ad1c9bdddf
Your Inquiry: How does critical thinking affect you as a reader and writer? How can thinking critically improve your writing? Please provide notes or examples.
I decided to write this essay guide for you that goes through the historic, journalistic & social scientific merits of critical thinking, with examples that will allow you to exercise the solution I've provided by reading and to see one in writing. Thank you for using Brainmass. Attached is the word version of your solution,use it as your guide.
Martin Luther King on Critical Thinking & Education:
"The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically...The complete education gives one not only power of concentration but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate."
Thinking Through Data
Political Science is that branch of the social sciences that is focused on political systems & the social structures & agencies inherent in it. By studying the dynamic world of politics, social scientists hope to come up with theories, trends, structures & analysis that would allow for prediction and accurate understanding of political situations & events. Like every other social scientific knowledge, that currently in practiced or accepted within Political Science as an academic body is situated. When one talks about knowledge being 'situated', it means that is bounded by the time in which the knowledge is accepted as common truth as well as bounded by the locality and the events that allowed for it to happen. For instance in 1770, it is accepted knowledge in England that the Kingship is the divine right of the monarchy and that social classes are a natural occurrence. When Locke released his work that espouses this status quoi to be otherwise, that by laws of nature all men are created equal, he was called an abomination & those who read his work were liable for Treason. However, his work reached the likes of John Adams & Thomas Jefferson who used his perspective on social equality when they rallied for the Continental Congress to declare independence. By the early 1900's, Free Markets, Federalism, Libertarianism & Republicanism slowly became the debated 'truths' about governance & social organization of nations. France & England were experiencing their own rebirths following the U.S. example whereby the 'people' hungered to create their own democratic governments, rendering monarchical absolutism as unfair & abusive.
Most of what we learn of the political systems from the past are written in historical archives. History, like political science is a branch of social inquiry. Indeed, many historians & the histories that they specialise in concern themselves with political chronologies of nations, cultures & social groups. Thucydides' work on 'The History of the Peloponnesian War' chronicled the events, the politics behind & the effects of the war upon the Greeks & her enemies, the Spartans. His work is the first historical work to ever follow a logical flow of information as well exhibit objectivity. By retelling the events using primary sources that allows for verification, he practiced the earliest methods on scientific historiography as well as ethnography. Prior to him, Herodotus' annals would fly from one event to the next without chronology, his works invoked with religious sentiments, a trait not present in the work of Thucydides. There are accounts by which suggest that Thucydides was a student of Hippocrates, the earliest practitioner in ancient Greece of ...
Critical Thinking as a manner of looking at the world & processing information is looked at both as a reader & a writer especially in the practice of sociological research & philosophical studies. The solution provides historical examples on critical writing as well as practical exercises in reading & thinking critically.
Critical Thinking and Logical Fallacies
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Fallacy Summary and Application Paper.
Select two logical fallacies from word attachment. Prepare a 700 -1,050 - word paper, in which you define each of the two fallacies, explain its significance to critical thinking, and discuss its general application to decision making. Using various sources (Internet, magazines, trade journals, etc.) find organizational examples that illustrate each one of your chosen fallacies. Be sure to use and cite at least three different references in your paper.
1. Ad hominem or ATTACKING THE PERSON.
Attacking the arguer rather than his/her argument. Saying something negative about someone is not automatically ad hominem. If a person (politician for example) is the issue, then it is not a fallacy. Example: Johnââ?¬â?¢s objections to capital punishment carry no weight since he is a convicted felon.
2. Ad ignorantium or APPEAL TO IGNORANCE.
Arguing on the basis of what is known and can be proven. If you canââ?¬â?¢t prove that something is true then it must be false (and vice versa). Example: You canââ?¬â?¢t prove there isnââ?¬â?¢t a Loch Ness Monster, so there must be one.
3. Ad verecuniam or APPEAL TO AUTHORITY.
This fallacy tries to convince the listener by appealing to an expert. Often times it is an authority in one field that is speaking out of his field. Example: Sports stars selling cars or hamburgers. Or, the actor on a TV commercial that says, ââ?¬?Iââ?¬â?¢m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.ââ?¬
4. AFFIRMING THE CONSEQUENT.
An invalid form of the conditional argument in which the second premise affirms the consequent of the first premise and the conclusion affirms the antecedent. Example: If he wants to keep the job, then he will work hard. He is working hard; therefore he wants to keep the job.
A fallacy of syntactical ambiguity deliberately misusing implications. Example: ââ?¬?Three out of four doctors recommend this type of pain relief!ââ?¬ The implied assertion here is that three out of four means seventy-five percent of all doctors and that this type of pain relief means this particular pain reliever.
6. APPEAL TO EMOTION.
In this fallacy, the arguer uses emotional appeals rather than logical reasons to persuade the listener. The fallacy can appeal to various emotions including pride, pity, fear, hate, vanity, or sympathy. The appeal to sympathy is actually a formal fallacy labeled Ad Misericordiam. Generally, the issue is oversimplified to the advantage of the arguer. Example: In 1972, there was a widely printed advertisement printed by the Foulke Fur Co., which was in reaction to the frequent protests against the killing of Alaskan seals for the making of fancy furs. According to the advertisement, clubbing the seals was one of the great conservation stories of our history, a mere exercise in wildlife management, because ââ?¬?biologists believe a healthier colony is a controlled colony.ââ?¬
7. ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY or FALSE ANALOGY.
An unsound form of inductive argument in which an argument is based completely or relies heavily on analogy to prove its point. Example: This must be a great car, for, like the finest watches in the world, it was made in Switzerland.
8. BEGGING THE QUESTION.
An argument in which the conclusion is implied or already assumed in the premises. Also said to be a circular argument. Example: Of course the Bible is the word of God. Why? Because God says so in the Bible.
9. BLACK AND WHITE FALLACY or SLIPPERY SLOPE.
A line of reasoning in which there is no gray area or middle ground. It states that x, y, z are implicit in step a. The primary characteristic is that it fails to distinguish between (or among) degrees of difference. It argues for (or against) the first step because if you take the first step, you will inevitably follow through to the last. Example: We canââ?¬â?¢t allow students any voice in decision-making on campus; if we do, it wonââ?¬â?¢t be long before they are in total control.
10. COMMON BELIEF.
This fallacy is committed when we assert a statement to be true on the evidence that many other people allegedly believe it. Being widely believed is not proof or evidence of the truth. Example: Of course Nixon was guilty in Watergate. Everybody knows that.
11. PAST BELIEF. A form of the COMMON BELIEF fallacy.
The same error in reasoning is committed except the claim is for belief or support in the past.
12. CONTRARY TO FACT HYPOTHESIS.
This fallacy is committed when we state with an unreasonable degree of certainty the results of an event that might have occurred but did not. Example: If President Bush had not gone into the Persian Gulf with military force when he did, Saddam Hussein would control the worldââ?¬â?¢s oil from Saudi Arabia today.
13. DENYING THE ANTECEDENT.
An invalid form of the conditional argument in which the second premise denies the antecedent of the first premise, and the conclusion denies the consequent. Example: If he wants to keep his job, he will work hard. He does not want that job, so he wonââ?¬â?¢t work hard.
This fallacy is committed when we conclude that any part of a particular whole must have a characteristic because the whole has that characteristic. Example: I am sure that Karen plays the piano well, since her family is so musical.
15. FALSE DILEMMA (often called the either/or fallacy because the argument nearly always includes the words ââ?¬?either... or...ââ?¬).
This fallacy assumes that we must choose between two opposite extremes instead of allowing for other possibilities, especially for the possibility of choosing an alternative between the extremes. Example: Women need to be either brilliant or beautiful to survive in this world.
This fallacy is a product of semantic ambiguity. The arguer uses the ambiguous nature of a word or phrase to shift the meaning in such a way as to make the reason offered appear more convincing. Example: An ad from a sugar company says ââ?¬?Sugar is an essential component of the body, a key material in all sorts of metabolic processes, so buy some P&R sugar today.ââ?¬ The word ââ?¬?sugarââ?¬ is being used with two definitions that the ad does not acknowledge.
17. FAR-FETCHED HYPOTHESIS.
A fallacy of inductive reasoning that is committed when we accept a particular hypothesis when a more acceptable hypothesis, or one more strongly based in fact, is available. Example: The African-American church was set afire after the civil rights meeting last night; therefore, it must have been done by the leader and the minister to cast suspicion on the local segregationists.
18. HASTY GENERALIZATION.
A generalization accepted on the support of a sample that is too small or biased to warrant it. Example: All men are rats! Just look at the louse that I married.
19. POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC.
A form of a hasty generalization in which it is inferred that because one event followed another it is necessarily caused by that event. Example: Mary joined our class and the next week we all did poorly on the quiz. It must be her fault.
A discourse is inconsistent or self-contradicting if it contains, explicitly or implicitly, two assertions that are logically incompatible with each other. Inconsistency can also occur between words and actions. Example: A woman who demands equal rights and represents herself as a feminist, yet is upset when a date expects her to pay half.
21. NON SEQUITUR.
In this fallacy the premises have no direct relationship to the conclusion. This fallacy appears in political speeches and advertising with great frequency. Example: A waterfall in the background and a beautiful girl in the foreground have nothing to do with an automobileââ?¬â?¢s performance.
22. QUESTIONABLE CAUSE.
The fallacy of questionable cause is committed when, on insufficient evidence, we identify a cause for an occurrence that has taken place or a fact that is true. Example: I canââ?¬â?¢t find the checkbook; I am sure that my husband hid it so I couldnââ?¬â?¢t go shopping today.
23. RED HERRING.
This fallacy introduces an irrelevant issue into a discussion as a diversionary tactic. It takes people off the issue at hand; it is beside the point. Example: Many people say that engineers need more practice in writing, but I would like to remind them how difficult it is to master all of the math and drawing skills that engineers require.
A form of misrepresentation in which a true statement is made, but made in such a way as to suggest that something is not true or to give a false description through the manipulation of connotation. Example: I canââ?¬â?¢t believe how much money is being poured into the space program (suggesting that ââ?¬?pouredââ?¬ means heedless and unnecessary spending).
25. STRAW MAN.
This fallacy occurs when we misrepresent an opponentââ?¬â?¢s position to make it easier to attack, usually by distorting his or her views to ridiculous extremes. This can also take the form of attacking only weak premises in an opposing argument while ignoring strong ones. Example: Those who favor gun-control legislation just want to take all guns away from responsible citizens and put them into the hands of the criminals.
26. TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT.
This fallacy is committed when we try to justify an apparently wrong action by charges of a similar wrong. The underlying assumption is that if they do it, then we can do it too and are somehow justified. Example: Supporters of apartheid are often guilty of this error in reasoning. They point to U.S. practices of slavery to justify their system.