Download Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction (1996) by Anne Thomson PDF

By Anne Thomson

Reasoning is the standard approach that all of us use to be able to draw conclusions from proof or facts. To imagine severely approximately what you learn and listen to is a crucial ability for everybody, even if you're a pupil or no longer. after we are confronted with texts, information goods or speeches, what's being acknowledged is frequently obscured by way of the phrases used and we might be not sure even if our reasoning, or that of others, is in reality sound. by means of the tip of this topical and exercise-based advent to severe pondering, it is possible for you to to: * establish flaws in arguments * examine the reasoning in newspaper articles, books or speeches * technique any subject being able to cause essentially and to imagine seriously This stimulating new advent to reasoning will entice all those that wish to increase their reasoning talents, even if at paintings, at school or within the seminar.

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Extra info for Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction (1996)

Sample text

In the above examples, we have often found that identifying an assumption has led us to question the truth of that assumption, and perhaps to reserve judgement on an argument until we have obtained further evidence or information. But sometimes when we have identified an assumption, we will see that there is no reason at all to think it is true, and we will therefore judge that the argument does not give strong support to its conclusion. Consider the following example: Some people say that the depiction of violence on television has no effect on viewers’ behaviour.

So the increased affluence of the country has produced the improvements in the health of the population. The question as to whether increased affluence has or has not produced improvements in the health of the population cannot be settled without more evidence—evidence both about the incidence of all illnesses in the population, and about whether any Evaluating reasoning 41 improvements in health could not have occurred without greater affluence. The argument simply assumes, without producing any evidence for it, that because two things have occurred together, one of them must have caused the other.

If it does not, then the experiment does indicate that rhinoceros horn does not have aphrodisiac properties, because if it did have such properties, the number of those reporting an increase in sexual arousal should have been higher amongst those who ate rhinoceros horn than amongst those who ate powdered rice. However, this is a complex piece of reasoning, and, rather than hitting upon this, readers of the argument might instead imagine a context in which it is not known by the experimenters whether either substance has aphrodisiac properties.

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