Critical thinking and logic powerpoint


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Critical thinking and logic powerpoint

  1. 1. Critical Thinking and Logic by Douglas Wilson Printed in PHS #3, 1993. Source:
  2. 2. Douglas Wilson is a founder of Logos School in Moscow, Idaho one of the few American day schools founded on classical learning principles.
  3. 3. Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that reads
  4. 4. This bumper sticker provides an example of what modern educators call "critical thinking."
  5. 5. A logical answer to the bumper sticker (for those of us to talk back to bumper stickers) would be, "Says who?"
  6. 6. The person trained in logic questions the bumper sticker because he sees a logical problem with the position presented on the bumper sticker.
  7. 7. This questioner has been trained to recognize such problems, correct them, and arrive at the right answer.
  8. 8. The Difference Between Critical Thinking and Logic
  9. 9. Those who seek to inculcate "critical thinking skills" give all authority to the questioner .
  10. 10. He examines, probes, questions, and so forth, before he settles upon "whatever works for him." The one with the questions has all the authority -- a totally subjective authority.
  11. 11. Logical analysis presupposes that there is such a thing as absolute unchanging truth, and that this truth has authority over us.
  12. 12. We are not allowed to tinker with the truth. Instead of teaching skepticism -- the belief that there are no unchanging answers --this approach teaches that we are looking for validly derived answers.
  13. 13. What to Do about Critical Thinking
  14. 14. Nevertheless, appearances can be deceiving.
  15. 15. The rhetoric of "critical thinking skills" allows educators to make intelligent-sounding noises while wandering in a circle.
  16. 16. Don't be fooled by it.
  17. 17. It is nothing more than sophisticated and witty chatter on the edge of the void.
  18. 18. So should we simply avoid anything and everything labeled "critical thinking"?
  19. 19. Again, labels may be deceiving
  20. 20. Although the "critical thinking skills" movement as a whole teaches skepticism and unbelief, not every product merely labeled "critical thinking" is bad
  21. 21. What you want to avoid are:
  22. 22. <ul><li>Materials that encourage </li></ul><ul><li>the student to challenge </li></ul><ul><li>biblical authorities. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Materials that encourage </li></ul><ul><li>general confusion </li></ul><ul><li>and skepticism </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Materials that dwell at length </li></ul><ul><li>on a particular view of the future </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Materials that introduce </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;closed&quot; dilemmas </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Materials that stress </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;there are no right answers&quot; </li></ul>
  27. 27. Logic 101
  28. 28. Christian parents, of course, want to teach their children to think. .
  29. 29. How do we do this?
  30. 30. The parent instructing his children in logical analysis should start by learning certain basics of logic himself.
  31. 31. Let’s take a look at a few of these.
  32. 32. Truth and Validity.
  33. 33. One of the most important starting points when studying logic is the difference between truth and validity. A valid argument is one that is structurally sound -- the conclusion must be true if the premises are true. The premises may not be true, but if they were, the conclusion would follow necessarily.
  34. 34. Look at this example: All dogs are brown
  35. 35. This animal is a dog.
  36. 36. Therefore this animal is brown.
  37. 37. This is not true ( all dogs are not brown ).
  38. 38. Even if it were true, the conclusion would necessarily be true.
  39. 39. Truth answers the question, &quot;Is it so?&quot; Validity answers the question, &quot;Does it follow?&quot;
  40. 40. Fallacies of Form Another important distinction to be made is the difference between fallacies of form and fallacies of distraction.
  41. 41. A fallacy of form occurs when there is a structural problem in one's argument -- it would never be valid no matter what the nouns in the argument were. Look at this invalid argument:
  42. 42. All cats have four legs.
  43. 43. This animal has four legs.
  44. 44. Therefore, this animal is a cat.
  45. 45. Even though the premises are true (cats do have four legs and this animal does have four legs), this is a fallacy of form . The argument is structurally unsound.
  46. 46. Fallacies of Distraction A fallacy of distraction occurs when one is trapped and seeks, by various and sundry means, to change the subject.
  47. 47. Instead of saying, “ You've got me there,” he says, &quot;Look! A comet!”
  48. 48. One example of a fallacy of distraction is the abusive ad hominem: &quot;That can't be right because you're a jerk.&quot; The man is attacked instead of his argument.
  49. 49. Another example is that of tuquoque: &quot;Oh yeah? Well, you've done it too!&quot; But of course just because someone else has committed the fallacy does not rescue your argument.
  50. 50. The possibilities for real-life applications are enormous.
  51. 51. Deuteronomy tells us that we are to instruct our children when we rise , when we walk along the way, when we read letters to the editor , and so forth.
  52. 52. Our society has graciously provided us with abundant fallacious grist for our children's logical mill
  53. 53. I recall watching the news one time when my son suddenly pointed at the screen and gave the name of the fallacy.
  54. 54. With any rigorous training at all, it is not long before your children will begin to see fallacies everywhere.
  55. 55. Be warned: unbelievers aren't the only ones who make errors in logic. Logical contradictions will often surface in sermons, Christian books, etc.
  56. 56. Christians will often say things that are true, but still invalid. Are we obligated to defend such errors, just because good people make them? By no means! Truth is still true, no matter how many invalid arguments are enlisted on its side, but how much better to rid it of the invalid millstones that are so often tied around its neck
  57. 57. It is no real help to a child to teach him to applaud when he hears something with which he agrees. Even critical thinking professors do that! We should teach him to always ask these two questions:
  58. 58. (1) Is the conclusion true, and (2) Was the argument sound? If the argument was not sound, can he think of an argument that is?
  59. 59. We want to inculcate both love of truth and trust in God's Word -- which is self-consistent, logical, and true. This is what Solomon was talking about when he said, &quot;Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom&quot; (Proverbs 4:7).
  60. 60. After all, we are not Christians because &quot;it works for us.&quot;
  62. 62. The Star Trek series portray an optimistic technological future, but one filled with constant conflicts as the crew travels on their odyssey through space.
  63. 63. The show sometimes diminishes the role of human reason and the possibility of objective knowledge.
  64. 64. The Voyager series includes a first officer who is a Native American.
  65. 65. He is a spirit guide that utilizes a combination of science and mysticism to help manage crisis situations. Ironically, the greatest threat is not being lost in some distant quadrant of space, but it is the loss of a personal inner stability.
  66. 66. After sharing highlights from the Star Trek programs, teachers can discuss how the television series reflects different perspectives on truth, knowledge, ethics and intellectual trends.
  67. 67. Students might notice that human reason is less important and there is greater emphasis on relativism. What is the basic definition of the term?
  68. 68. Barzun (2000) relates it means flexible, adaptable; a sliding scale that gives a different reading in similar situations.
  69. 69. Relativism appears to make a few distinctions between moral codes, cultures and religions.
  70. 70. They each reside in a certain time and place in history that should be respected and tolerated.
  71. 71. Yet, Barzun argues that a civilized society often utilizes relative standards for applying the law to individual criminal cases.
  72. 72. He maintains that the anti-relativists who embrace moral absolutes cannot effectively answer the question whose absolute are we to adopt and impose?
  73. 73. The brief example reveals that popular culture can offer numerous instructional opportunities to help students refine their thinking skills through reading and reflective dialog.
  74. 74. Evaluating Critical Thinking Skills
  75. 75. Contemporary testing methods often fail to provide teachers with information on how students arrive at their responses to test items.
  76. 76. Quantitative and qualitative assessment procedures can be useful but it is vital that the assessment must be sensitive enough to identify changes that have occurred in students thinking skills.
  77. 77. Critical thinking assessment instruments can include commercially designed tests, teacher made tests, checklists, open-ended questions, problem-solving scenarios or simulations.
  78. 78. For instance, check lists can be used to evaluate a variety of student work such as gathering information on student online comments or portfolios.
  79. 79. Check lists are useful tools to document evidence of student problem solving and decision making skills (Sormunen & Chalupa, 1994).
  80. 80. Teachers can integrate critical thinking into their classes by presenting information from a diversity of perspectives that involve both the cognitive and affective learning domains.
  81. 81. The author has found that students really enjoy reading nonfiction short stories about individuals and their personal learning adventures.
  82. 82. Teachers can share interesting and informative stories that offer insights into concepts such as perseverance in problem solving.
  83. 83. Short stories can be included in lectures and handouts that stress descriptive information on critical thinking.
  84. 84. The following chart is an effective way to help students understand the multidimensional aspects of critical thinking.
  85. 85. Essential Critical Thinking Skills (Wool folk, 1990, p.278)
  86. 86. Defining and Clarifying the Problem
  87. 87. -Identify central issues or problems. -Compare similarities and differences. -Determine which information is relevant. -Formulate appropriate questions.
  88. 88. Judge Information Related to the Problem
  89. 89. -Distinguish between fact, opinion and reasoned judgment. -Check consistency. -Identify unstated assumptions. -Recognize stereotypes and clich és. - Recognize bias, emotional factors, propaganda and semantic slanting. -Recognize different value systems and ideologies.
  90. 90. Solving Problems/Drawing Conclusions
  91. 91. -Recognize the adequacy of data. -Predict probable consequences.
  92. 92. Online Instructional Strategies
  93. 93. The affective and psychological dimensions of distance education are important aspects of the teaching and learning process.
  94. 94. Distant educators face the dilemma of how to foster critical thinking with students who vary in their need for academic guidance.
  95. 95. Often, this problem is portrayed as teacher-directed versus self-directed learning models.
  96. 96. In reality, the online teacher will have to adapt his/her teaching style to meet the needs of their students.
  97. 97. Berge (1999) relates that interaction in education involves a continuum from teacher-centered to student-centered approaches.
  98. 98. Distant educators are challenged by using a text-driven form of education.
  99. 99. Today’s online classes rely heavily on printed materials and teacher created lectures and handouts.
  100. 100. Kirby & Goodpaster (2002) note language works intimately with all aspects of our thinking, sensing, feeling, remembering, creating, organizing, reasoning, evaluating, deciding persuading, and acting.
  101. 101. As we become more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of language, and as we increase and refine our own language, we will think better
  102. 102. Conclusion
  103. 103. A major adult education goal is helping students become self-directed learners who learn to monitor and improve their thinking skills.
  104. 104. Distance educators need to integrate meaningful instructional activities into their classes that promote internalization of critical thinking skills and knowledge.
  105. 105. It is one of the unique challenges of teaching online but it is essential to fostering classes and degree programs that prepare students for leadership roles in our society.
  106. 106. Thank you…