Sunday, July 15, 2012


 How Do I Reason From Premises?

 About Deductive Reasoning 
  Deduct is from the Latin  deducere to lead away.In deductive reasoning we infer or lead away from a general  principle in order to apply that principle to a specific instance .
 The  Basic Vocabulary Of Logic 
  1.   Argument : is a set of claims in the form of reasoning  offered to support a conclusion 
  2.   Reasoning; is to draw conclusions ,judgments  or inferences from facts or premises  .
  3.   Syllogism   : is a standardized form that makes the structure of a deductive argument visible 
  4.   Premises    :  are the claims made in an argument  that provide the reasons for believing in the conclusion 
  5.   Validity     :The standard used for testing reliability  are based on some specific rules that determine an argument's validity and soundness.
  6.  Soundness  : Standarts for judging argument refer not only to correct reasoning but also to the truth of the premises.

 Standardized Forms In Syllogisms 

    Syllogisms have been discussed as a standardized form that makes the structure of a deductive visible .A syllogism  presents claims concerning a relationship between the terms given in the premises and those in the conclusion .

What  Syllogisms Do

  1. To clarify the claims of the premises ;
  2. To discover and expose any hidden  premises ;
  3. To find out if  one thought follows logically from another .

The Interplay Of Inductive And Deductive Reasoning 

  Inductive and deductive thinking are not isolated modes .They interweave in our minds constantly 
throughout the day as we confront  both serious problems such as environmental  degradation and mundane ones such as daily transportation .



 How Do I Reason From Evidence?

   Inductive reasoning is a method used to discover new information or to supply missing information .
   when we use inductive reasoning ,we observe ,test ,and check things out in some systematic fashion .Although it is an open ended method of learning and discovering ,it is not hit and miss or trial and error ,but has it own rules for arriving at the most reliable answer.

  Reasoning From Sensory Observation 

    " Sensory observation is the awareness of self and of the word though the basic senses of sight ,touch ,taste ,smell,and hearing .Ancillary senses include a sense of time ,weight ,energy,pressure,motion ,balance,direction ,color,darkness,cold and lightness... "
     The ability to observe and infer will always remain the primary  skills of a scientist.Even a scientist who employs instruments such as a computer ,microscope or  X-ray machine still depends primary on personal skills of reasoning  from sensory information.Moreover,some of the most dramatic discoveries in the history of science resulted from simple observing of the right  thing at the right  time .

  Reasoning From Enumeration 

"  Enumerate  means ;To  count off or name one by one or to determine a number from counting ."
  Induction uses enumeration in a range from simple counting to gathering statistics .The rules for good induction  are concerned with how to draw the most likely  and probable conclusions about wholes on the basis of a controlled sampling  of parts.

  Analogical  Reasoning 

  " Analogy means to find a correspondence of similarity  between things that seem different or an inference that if two things are a like  in some respect  ,they will be like in other respect... 
  Inductive reasoning ca be also be based on analogies ,which are a from of comparisons .All of us learn from  making comparisons .
  Analogical reasoning also severs as a mainstay of legal argumentation in countries  such as Canada,England and ,the United States,where the decisions depend on precedents;the rules of precedents  means that similar  cases must be decide in a similar  manner ..

  Reasoning With Hypotheses 

   "Hypothesis comes from the Greek word hypothesis,meaning a proposal ,suggestion ,or supposition .A hypothesis is the name given to a conclusion reached through inductive reasoning ;a hypothesis  is a trial idea, a proposal or a theory."   
  A conclusion derived from inductive reasoning is called a hypothesis.You found a number of them in the story of humphrey the whale ...

Fallacies Of Inductive Reasoning Covered In This Chapter 

  1. Hasty Generalization 
  2. Either or Fallacy 
  3. Questionale Statistic 
  4. Inconsistencies And Contradictions
  5. Loaded Question 
  6. False Analogy 
  7. False Cause 
  8. Slippery Slope 


Saturday, July 14, 2012


 What's  A Faulty Argument?

  Of course the man's defense is absurd,but would you recognize his red herring fallacy?In order to make learning  assimilation easier  ,these fallacies will be present to you in two segments, beginning  with this cheater.

Fallacies Of Trickery 

 Since the times of the Greeks ,fallacies  of reasoning  have been given names and categorized for study and identification  .When we learn the names and characteristic of these fallacies,we gain the following advantages:  

  • We learn more about the rules for good reasoning  ;
  • we avoid using them ourselves ;
  • we are not influenced by arguments that contain  them.  
Fallacies That Use Language Trickery 

   Three fallacies seek to persuade by relying on deceptive language.They are called the fallacies or word ambiguity,misleading euphemisms ,and prejudicial language  .

Fallacies Involving Trickery With Emotions

   A sure sign of a poor argument is one smothered in a sauce of evaluative words . Word connotations 
convey evaluations that can be quickly  trigger emotions and invite a conspiracy of bias.Once a reader is flunked by them ,he or she may not even notice  a lack of sound supportive reasons. 

Emotional Appeals To Fear And Pity

  1. What your best friends  won't  tell you..
  2. Next time be safe with our fast call in service 
  3. Did you think one insurance  coverage plan was enough ?
  4. Are you still postponing  that alarm system?

Fallacies Using The Trickery of Distraction

   The  fallacies  of red herring pointing to other wrong ,straw man ,and circular reasoning  use the ploy of distraction. 
   Four other fallacies the red herring pointing to another wrong,using a straw man,and circular reasoning  classified  in may ways but what they all have in common is  a lack of support  for their arguments.

Red herring ;

 The red herring fallacy diverts our attention from the question at hand and throws us off track into irrelevances .

Pointing to another wrong

  This fallacy is also called two wrongs make a right because it assumes that two wrong cancel one other out .

Straw man 

   The straw man fallacy makes a false replica of an opposing argument then destroys it .It uses caricature ,ridicule ,and oversimplifications by way of refutation.

Circular Reasoning

  The fallacy of circular reasoning  is the assertion or repeated assertion of a conclusion without reasons being given to support the same conclusions.


What's A Good Argument?

    Fighting maybe easier than arguing,but even fighting can't proceed when viewpoints and ideologies become entangled.

Critical Reading Of Arguments 
    In reading argument, maintaining  openness is not always easy ,especially  when the arguments express values that differ from your own. It can require a lot of restraint to slow down those inner objections  in order to make sure that you really understand what is being  said. Critical analysis cannot be fair unless it is based on a careful and accurate reading of the material.

 What Viewpoint Is The Source Of This Argument?

   You might have begun by first skimming through each argument ,reading the names,titles ,and affiliations of each speakers then argument in light of this information.From such clues ,you might have been able to make inference about the speaker's values,motives,and beliefs.

What Is The Issue Of Controversy?

  Thus ,every controversial topic generates many issues; moreover ,surrounding  these issues are many debate questions .
  1.  Should we be willing  give up some freedom  for sake of national security  ?
  2. Do we need to suspend some civil liberties in order to flight terrorism ?
  3. In national security more important than our civil liberties  ?
 Debate questions can also be less general than the three given previously ,addressing a more specific aspect of the larger problem :  

  •  Does dissent threaten national security?
  • Should the USA Patriot Act be repealed  ?
  • Are secret arrests detentions ,and hearings justifiable in the fight against terrorism ?
  • Should cyber liberties be curtailed for the sake of national  security  ?

Is It Argument Or A Report?

 Argument  and report  are each structured differently and have different  objectives we cannot analyze one according to the standards  of the other.


   What's The Filter?

   When one's own viewpoint is mistaken for reality ,there are no other viewpoints.
   The ability to detach from one's own point of view and assume another's is an skill; it enables us to communicate better with others and gain new perspectives. However ,if we forget that all information must flow through  the filters of human biases ,we confuse information with reality . 

  Viewpoints In Literature

   When we study the elements of literature such as plot ,theme and character a crucial element  is the point of view of that tell story .In literature author can choose a third person to tell the story with omniscient or limited understanding .Other choices of viewpoint include a first person narrative told by one characters. In each case ,the author  must decide how much information and sensitivity this view point will allow and how this perspective will shape the story and effect the reader .
   Recognizing Viewpoints Left And Right
   Today's student often find it both frustrating and confusing to understand ,use .and apply the labels "left"and "right" to categorize shifting world patterns  of political ,social ,economic  ,and religious values . In years past ,the following left to right political spectrum  could be drawn :

LEFT                                                           RIGHT

  • ANARCHISM                                       LIBERALISM 
  • COMMUNISM                                      CONSERVATISM
  • SOCIALISM                                          FASCISM 

Hidden Viewpoints :The Use Of  News Framing

  When we begin to understand that information's filtered  though human viewpoints ,we begin to ask more questions about "the daily news ."We begin to wonder who decides what's is news ?Are they truth seekers dedicated to public service  ?
   Learning the identity  of owners of any given TV network remains  a challenge in this decade of constant and overlapping media mergers .
  The Discovery Assignment  that follows is designed to introduce you to the technique  of news framing analysis..A news frame is basically the layout , placement ,and prominence  given to any story in a publication.
   Frame analysis habits teach us to detach from the influence of the frame and gain a more objective perspective of the hidden viewpoint it express .



Friday, July 6, 2012



      What's Judged? 

     When we mistake them for facts or are influenced by them unawares ,when get into trouble .Their effects are powerful.When we mistake them for facts or are influenced by them unawares ,we get into trouble.This how to both recognize and detach from evaluations.

     On Evaluations

     Our values shape our ideas ,decision and judgment.It takes some hard thinking to evaluate ,appraise and estimate value .We make comparisons and measure them against ideals ,yet our standards may be conscious or unconscious .

     Premature Evaluations

      If a stranger were to grab your arms and throw you down to the side walk,you would immediately think that this person was a thug .

   Evaluations Are Not Facts 

  Suppose you to go a lot of effort to persuade your brother to enroll in college ;he finally agrees to take one English course .Five weeks into the semester  ,he drop his English class He tell you he can't stand the instructor .

     Propaganda And Hidden Evaluations  

     The word propaganda means to manipulate public opinion for the benefit of the propagator .One thing is certain about propaganda : it shows no respect for truth and rational argument .Instead ,psychologically sophisticated maneuvers are employed to effect the unconscious mind sway emotions toward a predetermined purpose.


 Whats Believed ? 

 By definition ,opinions express our decision about life.we collet them from experiences ,or adopt them from other.

 Types Of Opinions 

 Lets review what you may have discovered so far by categorizing so far opinions in to types.

  1.     Men and women should not share college dorm.
  2.     That car you bought was lemon 
  3.     Judgment are based personal or collective codes of values.
Examples of such opinions are as follows

  1. I wouldn't  advertise for a roommate  if i were you 
  2. You need a new car 
  3. As you must have  concluded from the earlier rating exercise ,whether one choose to accept advice is an individual
  A third category of opinions includes simple generalizations ,typically preceded by word all no or some,

  1. Children in the United States are pressured to grow up too fast
  2. Nothing comes without a price 
  3. Here again support for the opinion may be offered  or not .

Distinguishing Between Responsible And Irresponsible Opinions 

  When we use the same word to convey so many different  meaning ;
  1. An expert's judgment 
  2. An unsubstantiated belief 
  3. An argument that is well supported 
  4. A final legal judgment 
  5. Prevailing sentiment on a topic 

 Looking At Public opinion Polls 

 Some congressional representative and senators regularly poll their constituent by sending questionnaires with questions.
  On the whole ,do you consider the following institutions and people to be trustworthy  and credible


 What's Taken For Granted ?

 The discovery of an assumption ca be amusing ,if not shocking .

 Understanding Assumptions

  Usually when we infer,we are aware of our reasoning . We infer actively and consciously  when we infer ,we are aware of our reasoning .We infer actively and consciously  when we make plans ,like deciding what to pack when we go on a trip.
  Critical thinkers use the lemons of wrong assumptions  for making lemonade .They learn how to think better  by mulling over their wrong assumptions .

Types Of Assumptions 

 The earlier examples discussed had to do with wrong assumptions that were usually  unconscious assumptions .A conscious  assumptions ,on the other hand is an entirely  different  matter .Also called a working  assumption it is international strategy used to gain more information  .You might wonder for example whether you want to pursue a career as a basketball star or as a basketball coach

 What Is An Assumption ? 

 1- Understanding Assumption Ussually when we infer ,we infer ,we are aware of our reasoning .we infer actively and Consciously when we make plans ,like deciding what to pack when we go on trip.We reason that we will be away for a week ,and therefore only need to pack as much clothing as we need for a week as well as much as we can conformably carry.
 2- Types of Assumption The earlier examples fissure had to do with wrong assumption that were usually unconscious assumptions.A conscious assumption ,on the other hand is an entirely different matter.Also called a working assumption ,it is intentional strategy used to Gain more information .
 3-Identifying Hidden Assumtions In Reasoning ;

 -if your friend is Japanese ,she must be moody ,
 -He is a good candidate for mayor since he looks sincere.
 -If you love her , you will give her diamonds.
All of statements appearing in the previous list contain assumptions that are hidden or implicit .In each case ,the assumptions may not be easy recognizable



         How Do I Describe it?     

      In order to share our experience with others thought writing ,we need to give much thought to our choice of words .

  •    - words interconnect with thinking and perceiving   
  •    -a good dictionary helps thinking      
  •    - words are defined   
  •    - words convey feeling       
  •    - concepts abstract thought      
  •    - critical reading works             

      On Finding The Right Word       

      The first was probably on of silent absorption .if words came to you at that time ,they could have interfered with your sensing proses .     

    How Well Do You Use Your Dictionary?             

  Working with partner ,take turns finding three random entries to discuss . Explain to your partner every piece of information that you find there ,including  every symbol and every abbreviation .

    Clear Thinking Depends On Clear Word Definitions       

   Clear thinking and expression depend on clear word understanding . 

  1- paying attention to the inner discomfort that indicates you have not fully understood a word  

  2- taking out the time to clear things up.    Word confusion stands out more in conversation than in reading.         

    What Makes A Definition?          

 The etymology or history of the word definition shows us something interesting , it comes from the latin .

  •   baked deserts   
  •   a cake that looks like a pie    
  •   egg based  not flour based with a thin a crumb crust   
  •   sweetened cottage or cream cheese       

   What Is Critical reading ?      

     When we read a detective story , we enjoy getting lost in another world ,when we read a training manual ,we follow and memorize .In  both cases ,we rarely question what we read .     As you study each chapter of this book ,you will be learning those questions found most valuable for making a critical assessment of information 

  •   Is this the most accurate word choice ?  
  •   what is the connotation of this word?   
  •   what is the more appropriate here?   
  •   Is this word clearly defined?  
  •   The reading selection offered in this text are intended to stimulate critical thinking.



What's Follows?

 Of curse the fish are only the biggest fish in their own word , but they don't know that ,only we do.We can be excellent observes we can have facts plainly before us , but still go wrong in the making of Inference .

 Understanding The Words Infer And Inference 

 We use inferences every hour of the day in all it's forms of imagining ,guessing ,estimating ,predicting, and concluding.Inferences govern our simplest action .

 How Inference Can Go Right And Wrong

 We make inference to help us fill in for missing fact and in order to sense of fact we have . As we make inferences ,we have to keep checking them against our facts,otherwise we can build one faulty inference on top of another . Let us now consider contrasting example of how inferences can create either knowledge or confusion .Lets begin with a reading selection showing the thinking of that master of skillful inference ,sherlock Holmes .

Drawing Inferences From Careful Observation 

  1. The facts appear first followed by the inferences that can reasonably be drawn from them .
  2. More than one inference can be drawn from each set of facts
  3. The factual information groups together  the details of segment or feature of photograph at a time 
  4. The conclusion draws together the facts and the possible  inferences into a plausible explanation of the message ,purpose and meaning of the photograph .



    What's out there ?    

  If we base our thinking on poor observation ,then no matter how many strategies we devise ,or how well we reason ,that thinking will be faulty .

    Using Observation  Skills To Develop New Knowledge 

   Those  of you who discovered something new from these exercises learned because you observed in it's true sense of staying awake and closely attentive .Therefore you became aware of details ,which a sweeping glance would have missed in your subject ,that revealed significance about the whole .The following reading process of learning .

  Evaluating Your Work By Using The Scoring Boxes

  Thus ,the scoring boxes can serve first a checklist to help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your first  draft.Second ,they can be used in class to guide you and your first draft .In summary ,the scoring boxes have the following purposes;
  1. To clarify each assignments  skill building components 
  2. To clarify priorities  and criteria
  3. To clarity standards for a peer critical analysis that will take place in class .
  4. To enable you to turn in your best work for a grade

   The Observation Process :Sensing ,Perceiving ,Thinking 

  When you worked with your fruit ,vegetable,or tool,you went through a process  of collecting data ,seeing patterns,and drawing conclusions.As you learned  in the opening  ,Discovery Exercises,this process is called inductive reasoning .
   Sensing occurs through sense organs such as the eyes and skin.When our sense organs become activated by stimuli such as by a bright ,warm light they send information though the nervous system  to brain .
   In everyday speech the word perceiving is often used loosely  as a syndrome for sensing,although there  are distinct  differences .Perception is both passive and active ;it holds sensations in consciousness  long enough to interpret  them.

    How Discomfort Leads Us To Think   

    In our daily lives ,when we are presented with a problem ,our first reaction may be one of denial and inertia .We may try first to explain this situation in a way that will not require any change or effort from us .Let's take the case of a young man who tries one job after another ,only to always find himself bored of fired .He attributes his problem to bad .