Critical Thinking 3

11 Dec

Apparently, there are really a lot more in Critical Thinking than I expected. The stuff in the previous critical thinking posts still have a long way to go. Next is about variation of how to build an argument.

Any argument will use these three basic shapes:

  1. Tree shape
  2. T shape
  3. V shape
  4. Combine them and we will have Complex shape

Tree shape is the simplest argument model. Basically we have a premise leads to a conclusion. Along the way, the one premise may arrive at a  secondary conclusion, lead to conclusion.

Tree shape: P1 –>P2–>P3…. ==> Conclusion

T shape happens when we have two or more premises, all are needed to arrive at the conclusion.

T shape: P1 and P2 and P3…. ==> Conclusion

V shape happens when we have two or more premises, each one is enough to arrive at the conclusion.

V shape: P1 or P2 or P3 ….==> Conclusion

Combination shape basically use two or more of the basic shapes.

Eg: (P1.1 and P1.2) or (P2.1 –> P2.2) ==> Conclusion

 So the logical strength rule only apply to Tree shape and T shape, and not applicable to V shape.

However, the problem is sometimes T shape and V shape is not very clear cut and it depends on personal judgement to decide which shape it is.

I guess that’s why sometimes we can argue for very long and still cannot come to an agreement.


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