An Introduction to Critical Thinking

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  • http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/arg/goodarg.php

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  • 1. Damian Gordon
  • 2.  What is Critical Thinking?
  • 3. What are some of the dangers associated with DHMO?• Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.• Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.• Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.• DHMO is a major component of acid rain.• Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.• Contributes to soil erosion.• Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.• Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • 4.  Born Oct 20, 1859 Died June 1, 1952 Born in Burlington, Vermont Philosopher, psychol ogist, and educational reformer Very influential to education and social reform
  • 5.  Reflective Thinking 1909 “...an active, persistent, and careful consideration of a belief or supposed form of knowledge, of the grounds that support that knowledge, and the further conclusions to which that knowledge leads. ”
  • 6.  Reflective Thinking 1909 “...an active, persistent, and careful consideration of a belief or supposed form of knowledge, of the grounds that support that knowledge, and the further conclusions to which that knowledge leads. ”
  • 7.  Critical Thinking 1941 “Involves three things: 1. An attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of ones experiences, 2. Knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, 3. Some skill in applying those methods.”
  • 8.  Critical Thinking 1989 “Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do.”
  • 9.  Critical Thinking 1993 “Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.”
  • 10.  Critical Thinking  "a constellation of cognitive skills"  "willingness to consider interpretations of data or experience that may conflict with ones own preferred world view"  "an orientation to learning"
  • 11.  Regrettably Critical Thinking “is another concept whose value is diminished by terminological disarray” (Gabannesch, 2006,) And Barnett (2004) noted that “critical thinking is a defining concept of the Western university. Almost everyone is in favor of critical thinking, but we have no proper account of it” How do we mark fairly if we can’t define?
  • 12.  to recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems, to gather and marshal pertinent information, to recognize unstated assumptions and values, to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discrimination, to interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments, to recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions, to draw warranted conclusions and generalizations, to put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives, to reconstruct ones patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience, and to render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life. (Glaser, 1941)
  • 13. Managing the Thinking Setting the focus Making summaries Overviews & conclusions Action PlansFeelings and Intuition Information & DataEmotions and hunches Neutral and objectiveNo reasons or justifications Checked and believed facts“At this point” Missing information &Keep it short Where to source it FOCUS Creative Thinking Why it may work Possibilities * Alternatives Values * Benefits New Ideas * New Thinking (both known and potential) Overcome black hat issues Logical reasons Reinforce yellow hat issues must be given Why it may not work Cautions * Dangers Problems * Faults Logical reasons must be given
  • 14.  People sometimes try to persuade us of a particular point This could be considered “arguing the case” It is important we understand what their reasoning is.
  • 15.  Going from the general to the specific E.g. ◦ 1. All men are mortal. (premise) 2. Socrates was a man. (premise) 3. Socrates was mortal. (conclusion) Thus, the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises and inferences. In this way, it is supposed to be a definitive proof of the truth of the claim
  • 16.  Going from the specific to the general e.g. ◦ 1. Socrates was Greek. (premise) 2. Most Greeks eat fish. (premise) 3. Socrates ate fish. (conclusion) An inductive argument is one in which the premises are supposed to support the conclusion in such a way that if the premises are true, it is probable that the conclusion would be true. BUT WE WILL RECALL...
  • 17.  General statements (theories) have to be based on empirical observations, which are subsequently generalized into statements which can either be regarded as true or probably true. The classical example goes from a series of observations: ◦ Swan no. 1 was white, ◦ Swan no. 2 was white, ◦ Swan no. 3 was white,… ◦ to the general statement: All swans are white. ◦ Proof by Induction
  • 18.  Let’s look at an example...
  • 19.  A student made the following complaint to me: I spent two days working on your assignment, I read all of your notes and memorized everything we were told, and did a good job of reciting it back to you in the assignment, and I only got a “C”, come on. So after doing all that work I think I should have done better, therefore I think the test was unfair.
  • 20.  A student made the following complaint to me: I spent two days working on your assignment, I read all of your notes and memorized everything we were told, and did a good job of reciting it back to you in the assignment, and I only got a “C”, come on. So after doing all that work I think I should have done better, therefore I think the test was unfair.
  • 21.  Since Mary would not lie to her best friend, and Mary told me that I am indeed her best friend, I must really be Marys best friend.
  • 22.  Analysis ◦ What are the main conclusion(s)? ◦ What are the reasons? ◦ What is assumed? ◦ Clarify the meaning. Evaluation ◦ Are the reasons acceptable and credible? ◦ Does the reasoning support its conclusion(s)? ◦ Are there other relevant considerations to be considered? ◦ What is your overall evaluation?
  • 23.  You are going to buy a second-hand car, you know very little about cars, so you employ an AA mechanic to check the vehicle over, he tells you the car is in good condition and that it would be a good buy.
  • 24.  How acceptable are the claims? ◦ How certain is it claimed to be? ◦ Does the context of the claim influence its acceptability? ◦ Does it require research to decide? ◦ Is it widely known? ◦ How well does it fit in with other beliefs? ◦ Is it from a credible source?
  • 25.  Judging the source ◦ Is the person an expert? ◦ Were they an eye-witness? ◦ Is the reputation good? ◦ Might they have a vested interest?
  • 26. Critical Thinking Non-Critical ThinkingEpistemological • shades of gray - strives for depth • black and white - superficial level Standpoint: • interdisciplinary • uni- or adisciplinary • knowledge is open • knowledge is closed • knowledge is intertwined with • knowledge is independent of thinking thinkingModes of • irrational and inconsistent • rational and consistent Inquiry: • strives to learn what to think • strives to learn how to think • uni-disciplinary/linear • holistic/webbed • relies on second-hand information • original/insightful • one or very limited frames of • multiple frames of reference referenceConcrete • suspends closure • strives for closure Strategies for • explores/probes • dogmatic/avoiding Thinking: • questions • doubting • fair-minded • ego-/ethnocentric/emotional • active • passive • collaborative/communal • authoritative • precise language • vague language
  • 27. Bloom, B.S. (Ed.) (1956) Taxonomy of educationalobjectives
  • 28.  McConnell, J. V. (1962) “Memory transfer through Cannibalism in Planarium”, J. Neuropsychiat. 3 suppl 1 542- 548. Reports that when planarians conditioned to respond to a stimulus were ground up and fed to other planarians, the recipients learned to respond to the stimulus faster than a control group did. McConnell believed that this was evidence of a chemical basis for memory, which he identified as memory RNA. Although well publicized, his findings were not reproducible by other scientists.
  • 29.  Potential Issues ◦ In natural conditions, these worms will react to light by elongating and to shock by contracting, in this experiment they were trained to contract in response to light and elongate when exposed to shock, thus not only were they being trained to run a maze but to do so in complete opposition to their instincts. That raises questions and variables which werent taken into account during the course of the original experiment, and could has caused bias. ◦ The propensity of planarian worms is to choose to follow a path coated in the mucous or slime trail left by a previous worm rather than to slither off in new directions.
  • 30.  SWOT Developed originally as strategic planning tool for organisations to determine the internal and external factors that might be advantageous and detrimental to their business. Although the origins of SWOT are elusive, generally it is credited to Albert S. Humphrey working at the Stanford Research Institute in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • 31.  SWOT stands for: ◦ S: Strengths - what is going well in this organisation? ◦ W: Weaknesses - what is not going well in this organisation? ◦ O: Opportunities - what external elements are present to improve success? ◦ T: Threats - what external elements are present that might be an impediment?
  • 32.  SWOT can be used for SWOT any decision making scenario where a clear Helpful Harmful end goal has been External Internal established. The Strengths and Weaknesses tend to S W look at the present whereas the Opportunities and Threats focus on the O T future.
  • 33.  The Law of Identity The Law of Non-Contradiction The Law of Rational Inference The Law of the Excluded Middle plus Occam’s Razor
  • 34.  The Law of Identity This states that if something is true, it is always true. That which is, is, for example, men are men, women are women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri are small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri;
  • 35.  The Law of Non-Contradiction This states that two statements which are antithetical (opposite) cannot both be true. For example, Aristotle cannot be both alive and dead at the same time;
  • 36.  The Law of Rational Inference This states that if statement A is equal to statement B and if statement B is equal to statement C, then statement A is equal to statement C.
  • 37.  The Law of the Excluded Middle This states that if a statement is not true, then the opposite of that statement is taken to be true. For example, if Aristotle is not alive, he must be dead Or, the disjunctive proposition "Either it is raining or it is not raining" must be true. Also, if it is true that it is raining, then the proposition "Either it is raining, or I own a car" must also be true. It really doesnt matter what the second phrase is.
  • 38.  Finally we have Occam’s Razor, which in its original form states "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily" {"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate"}, taken to mean in this case that if two theories present themselves that are both equally likely to be true, pick the one that makes the fewest assumptions.
  • 39.  Aristotle said that there is a different between the following two statements; “The wood is not white” “It is not white wood” Can you see the difference?
  • 40.  “The wood is not white” This statement means that the thing under discussion IS wood BUT isn’t white, so, from example, it could be green wood, yellow wood or black wood “It is not white wood” This statement means that it is anything other that white wood, so, for example, it could be blue wood, green metal, or white plastic.
  • 41. . . . . . . . . .How can the definition of critical thinking help you solve this problem? Connectthe 9 dots using 4 straight lines. Once you start drawing the lines, do not stopuntil all 9 dots have been connected. HINT: Lines may be vertical, horizontaland/or diagonal.
  • 42. . . .. . .. . .
  • 43. . . . . . . . . .How can the definition of critical thinking help you solve this problem? Connectthe 9 dots using 1 straight line.
  • 44. . . . . . . . . .How can the definition of critical thinking help you solve this problem? Connectthe 9 dots using 4 straight lines. Once you start drawing the lines, do not stopuntil all 9 dots have been connected. HINT: Lines may be vertical, horizontaland/or diagonal.