GSU PHIL 1010 - Critical Thinking: The Art of Argument

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Slide 1Slide 2Learning OutcomesWhat is Critical Thinking?What Critical Thinking IS NOTWhat is an Argument?Identify An ArgumentIdentify An ArgumentWhat An Argument IsStructure of an ArgumentStatementsSpot the StatementSpot the StatementSpot the StatementSpot the StatementNon-Declarative StatementsTruth-ValueStatements vs. SentencesFinding ArgumentsA Method to the MadnessConclusion Indicator WordsPremise Indicator WordsComplicating FactorsA Madness in the MethodMissing SignpostsSentence (Out of) OrderQuestions QuestionsThe UnstatedUnstated ConclusionsUnstated PremisesThings That Are Not ArgumentsAssertionsDescriptionsQuestions and InstructionsSpecial Case - ExplanationsExplanations of TruthHow to Tell the DifferenceA Final ComplicationAn ExampleArguments in Standard FormThe Standard FormWhat is Standardizing?Linked ArgumentsAn ExampleIdentifying the ConclusionIdentify The PremisesUnstated…Final StructureLearning OutcomesCritical Thinking:The Art of ArgumentSlides designed byNess A. CreightonPower Point Presentation by Chapter Send comments to [email protected] OneCritical Thinking And Arguments1Presentation by Ness A. CreightonLearning Outcomes•Identify arguments.•Identify the conclusion and premise(s) of arguments.•Distinguish arguments from explanations.•Put arguments into standard form.•Identify unstated premises and subarguments.What is Critical Thinking?•Definition: Critical Thinking is the skill of –correctly evaluating the arguments made by others–composing good arguments of one’s own It is a skill that can be and should be used every day for the rest of your life.Our course focuses on using this skill in the university setting - how to think critically while in college.What Critical Thinking IS NOT•Being critical of people making arguments.•Knowing lots of facts about the content of arguments.•Evaluating the arguments of others without coming to conclusions.•Simply contradicting others.What is an Argument?•If Critical Thinking is being able to construct and evaluate arguments, then we need to know what an argument is first!•Argument–Most people think of having a verbal fight when they use the word “argument.”–In this course we use argument to mean “any attempt to provide reasons for thinking that some belief is true.”Identify An Argument“The golden-rod and asters adorn the roadsides, the odors of the sweet gale and scented fern are wafted gratefully to our senses as we pass along the lanes, and there, among the fallen leaves, at the very edge of the woods, peers out a bright yellow mushroom, brighter from the contrast to the dead leaves around, and then another, close by, and then a shining white cap; further on a mouse-colored one, gray, and silky in texture. What a contrast of colors.”-Among the Mushrooms, Ellen Dallas and Caroline BurginIdentify An Argument“It is apparent that a thing is not necessarily bad because it is forbidden by the law. Legislators are forever repealing and abolishing criminal statutes, and organized society is constantly ignoring laws, until they fall into disuse and die. ... Not only are criminal statutes always dying by repeal or repeated violation, but every time a legislature meets, it changes penalties for existing crimes and makes criminal certain acts that were not forbidden before.”-Crime, Its Cause and Treatment, Clarence DarrowWhat An Argument Is•We have said an argument “is any attempt to provide reasons for thinking that some belief is true.”•There is more to an argument internally than just this, however.•All arguments have a particular two part structure that we can identify.Structure of an Argument•The reasons are the premises, and the belief being supported is the conclusion.•All arguments have –A Conclusion, the statement that the argument is intended to support.–Premises, the statement(s) that are intended to support the conclusion.•One conclusion = one argumentStatements•Both the conclusion and the premises are statements.•A statement is a sentence that makes a claim that can be either true or false. –Anything that is not capable of being either true or false is not a statement.–Things that are not statements do not belong in well formed arguments.Spot the Statement1. Read the instructions before doing any problems.2. There are four sentences on this page.3. There are five words in this sentence.4. How many words are in this sentence?Spot the Statement•There are four sentences on this page. (This is a true statement.)•There are five words in this sentence. (This is a false statement.)Spot the Statement1. Your state governor has an orange cat with 26 toes.2. What type of cat is it?3. There is an invisible cat on the table.4. There are sixty cats on the moon at this moment.Spot the Statement•Your state governor has an orange cat with 26 toes.•There is an invisible cat on the table.•There are sixty cats on the moon at this moment. Note that you have little chance of knowing any of these things currently… but each can be either true or false!Non-Declarative Statements•People sometimes use non-declarative sentences in a way that indicates they want to make an argument. For example,–Don’t you think a well formed argument is a good way to convince people of things?•In these cases, the sentences can be rephrased as declarative sentences.–A well formed argument is a good way to convince people of things.Truth-Value•We have talked about a statement being either true or false.•The more technical way of saying this is to say that a statement has a truth-value of either true or false.•The truth-value of this statement is F –is another way of saying that the statement is false.•You may come across discussions in which you’ll consider truth-values besides “true” and “false.–Don’t worry about those for this class!Statements vs. Sentences•Statement and Sentence are not interchangeable terms.•One statement may result from two sentences. (Both make the same claim)–Our diet influences our health daily. What we eat impacts our ability to function every day. •One sentence may contain two statements. (One makes two claims)–Apples are red and they grow on short, shrubby trees.Finding Arguments•It is easy to spot arguments in some passages.•Other times, it can be very difficult.•To make the process of finding an argument in a passage easier, here is a simple method.A Method to the Madness1. Look for an

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