Critical Thinking

11 Nov

homer-simpson-wallpaper-brain-1024.jpg“What? A class on deductive and inductive reasoning? We have to spend so many weeks just for this? I learned this in my language class in high school.”

Even though I am not familiar with analysing statements, I was rather dubious when I started the class. I thought it was simple. I studied engineering for my bachelor degree where I analysed numbers and problems logically, and I knew reasoning. But after few classes, I started to see it in different light. I was not aware how important it was and how to see it using the appropriate steps. 

Howard, in critical thinking class, said:

“As intelligent people, we must somewhat troubled by the extent to which we depend upon the word of others for what we call our ‘knowledge’. We must at least a little uncomfortable abut the extent to which we depend upon the intentional transmission to us by others of much of the information we accept as true. The knowledge we get from others is called testimony.”

The method to ascertain what reliable or sound testimony is ‘reasoning’. Concious use of reason enables us to apply standards that produce sound arguments.

A sound argument must pass three tests:

  1. Is there any degree of logical strength between the premises – matter if the premises are true or false?
  2. Are the premises true?
  3. Do the premises support the conclusion?

Simple concept but very powerful one. Logical strength is a tricky concept. Even when the premises are false, there can be logical strength with various degree. But only when the premises agree with all the three test, it is an argument with various degree of soundness. Only when the degree is high, we can somewhat conclude that it is credible.


2 Responses to “Critical Thinking”

  1. Doris November 24, 2006 at 12:31 am #

    This is a good way to review our classes!
    I already forget what is inductive, what is deductive….
    Shame on me…


  1. Critical Thinking 2 « Strange pilgrim - November 24, 2006

    […]  As mentioned in part 1, a sound argument must pass three tests: […]

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