Critical Thinking: The Scientific Method in 5 Steps

Introduction to the Scientific Method in the Context of Critical Thinking http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/OXO2azb3_PE&source=uds (For an example of real science in action, watch the video)In the last few lessons we’ve looked at 5 common argument schemes:  Generalizations, polling, general causal reasoning, particular causal reasoning, and arguments from ignorance.  As luck would have it, these are the most […]

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Critical Thinking: Arguments from Ignorance, God, and GMOs

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/_w5JqQLqqTc&source=uds IntroductionThe next argument scheme we will look at is what’s known as the argument from ignorance.  An argument from ignorance (or argumentum ad ignorantium if you want to be fancy) is one that asserts that something is (most likely) true because there is no good evidence showing that it is false.  It can also be […]

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Critical Thinking: Particular Causal Reasoning and Arguments from Ignorance

IntroductionIn the previous section we looked at general causal reasoning.  Now we’re going kick it up a notch with particular causal reasoning.  Essentially, particular causal reasoning is when we apply causal reasoning to explain a particular effect in terms of a particular (or sometimes general) cause.  For example, I got bronchitis because of the fire down […]

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Critical Thinking: Relevance Relevance-Related Logical Fallacies, and Sufficiency

IntroductionLast week we revisited premise acceptability and looked at rules of thumb for acceptance, rejection, or “questionable” status.   This week we’re going to continue our happy reinvestigation of foundational principles by reexamining premise relevance and sufficiency.  Recall from previous discussions that relevance and sufficiency are measures of logical force; that is, the degree to which a conclusion follows from premises.  In […]

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Critical Thinking: Premise and Evidence Acceptability, Unacceptability, and Uncertainty Revisited

IntroductionUp until now we’ve looked at the major components of argument, argument evaluation, and argument construction:  (a) premise acceptability and (b) logical force (which is made up of (i) premise relevance and (ii) sufficiency).  Now we are going to look at these elements a little more closely. Premise/Evidence AcceptabilityWhen it comes to value-based arguments (e.g., […]

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