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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Critical Thinking #5

In the fifth critical thinking class, we learnt about more complex arguments and their structure.
R1 : In a no. of countries, cars drive on the left. 
R2 : This can result in accidents involving drivers and pedestrians from other countries who are used to traffic being on the right. 
(therefore)1C : R3 : Roads would be safer if in all the countries, the rules were the same. 
R4 : Countries where cars keep to the left are in a very small minority. 
C : Those countries should chane to the right.
The structure of the argument would be:

 R1 and R2                    >R3 and R4                  > C
Then we moved on to what a claim is. A claim is a sentence that may or may not be true, but it has to be a sentence that could arguably be true. 
A question or an exclamation can never be a claim.
Claims can be divided roughly into those that state facts and those that express opinions. Opinions are purely subjective and differs from each individual. Fact is anything that can be verified and has a proof.
An argument that has facts is always a strong argument. An argument that mostly has opinions is an extremely weak argument.
Opinions are also called value judgments, i.e., stating that someone or something is good, bad, better, best, nice, nasty, wicked, etc.
Predictions and recommendations are also claims.

The day’s class ended with that. We had a few more minutes for the class to end. Our teacher explained to us the 6 stages of learning:
1.    Recalling
2.    Comprehension
3.    Application
4.    Analysis
5.    Synthesis
6.    Evaluation
He told us that critical thinking was in the 3rd and 4th stage (application and analysis stage). He told us that there was something called the “Degree of Difficulty” which helps to measure our knowledge. He ended the class with a few puzzles.
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