Monday, October 19, 2015

Chapter 5: thinking critically: the basis of a college education

  • liberal education: to liberate your mind from biases, superstitions, prejudices, & lack of knowledge so you'll be in a better position to seek answers to difficult questions
  • critical thinking: ability to think for yourself & to reliably & responsibly make decisions. investigate problems, ask questions, pose new answers that challenge authorities & traditional beliefs, challenge received dogmas & doctrines, make independent judgments & develop creative solutions
  • improves the way you think about subject, statement, idea, etc.
  • critical thinking is a search for truth
  • 54% of first-year students say they “frequently evaluate the quality or reliability of information they receive
  • argument: calm, reasoned effort to persuade someone of the value of an idea
  • weigh options & think through consequences
  • critical thinkers aim to be fair
  • Become a critical thinker:
ask questions (engage your curiosity. can you trust the source? is there enough evidence?)
consider multiple points of view (be open-minded. listen to all sides)
draw conclusions (after listening to different points of view, come to your own conclusion)
  • collaboration fosters critical thinking:
generates greater number of ideas
people think more clearly while talking & listening
encourages original thought
consider alternative points of view
express & defend own ideas
-can be face-to-face, in person, online, etc.
web blog benefits: support of self-expression & "voice", efficiency, convenience 
  • logical fallacies: 
attacking the person (not ok to attack someone personally/their personality)
begging (appeal to facts & reason is more effective)
appealing to false authority (claim based on someone w questionable authority)
jumping on bandwagon (believing something just bc many others do)
assuming something is true bc it hasn't been proven false
falling victim to false cause (making assumption that something happens bc something else)
making hasty generalizations (reaching conclusion based on opinion of one source)

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