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Logical and Critical Reasoning Project

Regarding Logical and Critical Reasoning, I intend to talk about the essence of logic-based critical thinking and the techniques required for identifying logical arguments. Individuals in the present day are bombarded with information, regardless of whether it be from television ads, presidential campaign pledges, or internet news items. People must employ critical thinking skills while digesting information because not all assertions are factual or reasonable. As a result, contemporary people must be able to think clearly and rationally to analyze information and decide on actions (Myers, Brendan, et al.). The research underlying the principles for reasoned reasoning, known as logic, is the cornerstone of critical thinking. The formation of rational arguments in support of a viewpoint is a fundamental emphasis of logic. Adopting a perspective, making assertions that mirror that attitude, and supporting those assertions with logic and proof are all part of this approach. Argumentation allows for persuasion, clarification, explication, and the disclosure of truth and conclusion.

Logic encompasses two methods of argumentation: induction and deduction. When utilizing the method of deductive reasoning, someone gets a particular result from a set of more general assumptions. Inductive reasoning, conversely, requires reaching a wide conclusion based on inadequate proof. Logic employs two schools of philosophy: formal logic and informal logic. Formal logic examines the structure of arguments instead of the content of them. This suggests that formal reasoning primarily deals with the framework of an argument instead of deciding if it is valid. The initial premise defines the contention as formal reasoning, while the second explains the type of reasoning and how its reliability is established. Contrary to what happens in informal rationality, the concentration is on establishing the corresponding worth and usefulness of distinct bits of information. Providing an informal reasoning legal form allows you to test its validity.

The capacity to distinguish between arguments is required for evaluating them. In each debate, a stance is stated, and a conclusion is reached, supported by evidence. Before starting to look for arguments, make sure the content you’re dealing with is intended to convince. For example, looking for proof in magazine entertainment articles would be pointless because they need to be intended to convince (Myers, Brendan, et al.). Election campaigns, on the other hand, are designed to convince voters in support of an individual. As a result, they should concentrate on establishing an argument for that person. Understanding the information’s main point is critical if it aims to persuade. The phrases such as “because,” “since,” “given that,” and “assuming that” can be employed to convey the premise of the contention, whereas “therefore,” “consequently,” “therefore,” and “thus” could be employed to indicate the conclusion of the reasoning. Developing an illustration demonstrating how the presumptions link to the conclusion might help you understand more about the argument’s advantages and drawbacks.

Whenever you come across an argument, be keen to identify the arguments to counter. The first stage is to present the reasoning so that the audience can see the author’s point of view. The proof is additionally evaluated for its reliability, importance, and capacity to back up the contention. It is additionally critical to analyze any counterarguments that may be provided. If the argument is strong, they need to be unable to weaken or invalidate it. Lastly, examine the contention for logical faults. Circular argumentation, applicability fallacies, and semantic fallacies include all forms of flawed logic.

Part 2: Annotated Bibliography

Module 1: Reading: in the textbook Clear and Present Thinking (from now on CPT), read Introduction and Chapter 1, pgs. 7-41.

This chapter defines logic as the research of such links between ideas. If you didn’t struggle with each of these instances, you won’t struggle with the remainder of the content throughout this book. The process of critical thinking is remarkably comparable to logical reasoning. It’s simple if you establish it as a routine. Most people are born with the ability to solve complex computational challenges. In reality, we frequently need to upgrade when performing complex calculations from our heads or while performing calculations of probabilities with little data. Given this connection, many people regard reasoning as the polar opposite of irregular processes such as intuition, creativity, spontaneous association, sentiments, and artistic endeavors.

The primary distinction between logical and non-logical reasoning is not the most important. Alternatively, it is a decision between good and bad ideas. This distinction, however, may cause some people to feel unsettled or even intimidated. The single most individual and precious thing you possess is your intellect. Your intelligence is the one aspect of you that can never be taken away (Myers, Brendan, et al.). As a result, you may feel hurt or upset if someone claims your views are chaotic, complicated, imprecise, or just incorrect. The students of Socrates, like Plato, who turned out to be significant philosophers throughout Western culture, are mentioned throughout the book. He considered reasoning and logic heavenly since they might force our cognitive processes to mimic the universe’s. Among those concerned by Kant’s argument is G.F.W. Hegel. To demonstrate that we may know the object in and of itself, he suggested that rational thought is analogous to a cosmic essence, which he referred to variously as Geist (soul) and the Supreme.

Module 10: Reading: Clear and Present Thinking Chapter 7, pgs. 131-141

The writer explains throughout the first paragraphs of Chapter 7 that a misunderstanding might develop due to an erroneous conviction that we have proven our conclusion or an exaggeration of the integrity of the proof backing our conclusion. When this happens, it typically means that the requisite evidence is absent. A fallacy that is logical suggests that the foundations provided are inadequate to support the conclusion. However, this does not automatically imply that the conclusion needs to be corrected. Some fallacies are founded on incorrect assumptions. Whenever a wrongheaded appeal to legitimacy is employed to substantiate a conclusion: When the legitimacy in question is insignificant and overlooked, any attempt at convincing an individual to agree with an opinion or claim by using compel or dread, which might involve the possibility of assault, is immediately identifiable as an unsuitable appeal. Because intimidation does not constitute evidence, this fallacy refers to any endeavor to persuade people to agree with a statement or reasoning by pandering to and using their feelings.

A recourse to tradition is an absence of convincing proof for an assertion, whether in defense of or against the assertion, by referencing a culture’s or even a person’s historical preferences and behaviors. The unintentional fallacy is a form of generalization error. It occurs when you apply an expansive rule to a specific situation without taking into account any relevant exceptions. Amphiboly, on the contrary, is a confusion fallacy that occurs when ambiguity arises immediately from the incorrect grammatical construction of a sentence as opposed to from an attempt to implement a general principle as though it were ubiquitous.

This mistake occurs when a poor argument employs linguistic vagueness to appear more persuasive. Nevertheless, although such proof may raise reasonable questions, it ought to be employed to only partially dismiss the contention. Suppose an automaker and dealer contends that the country’s economy should transition away from petroleum and coal and favor energy from renewable sources. In that case, the reality that he is likely to profit from the marketing of electric vehicles is not an appropriate way to refute his case.

Module 12: Reading: in Clear and Present Thinking, chapter 8, pgs. 143-173.

As defined by this chapter, rational doubt constitutes the logical area with the lowest theoretical grounding. Why would you trust everything is discussed? The concept of reasonable skepticism can assist you in investigating and analyzing how knowledge moves through the community’s cognitive surroundings, experiences modifications across each step, and ultimately attains your subconscious, where it may be shaped by one’s prejudices and assumptions before, during, and after its transmission to other people (Myers, Brendan, et al.). When you examine the various circumstances that might impact how you understand experiences, it’s reasonable to wonder how you perceive things. The nocebo impact is another noteworthy cause of erroneous impressions of what we have experienced. This was discovered throughout clinical tests using experimental drugs when individuals given artificial substances claimed to experience the impact of the real thing. In a contemporary research study, volunteers applied a skin lotion, and half the number advised that as an adverse reaction, they were to become more susceptible to pain. Many people believe that attacks by sharks are prevalent, that flying is dangerous, that cold air makes you unwell, and that a warm bath is dangerous.

After an extended period of heavy drinking, taking a bath might help you recover faster. The average knowledge of one community could vary significantly from that of another person, which constitutes one of the explanations why it is only seldom reliable. Assume there is sufficient evidence to support the assertions made for them. Nevertheless, there are several ways for some people to “skew” or “twist” their handling or assessment of that evidence to retain their prior ideas, no matter how justified their reasoning might be. Conviction partiality is the name used to describe this type of thinking error.

Part 3: Essay Questions

In Chapter 1 of Clear and Present Thinking (Myers et al.), the authors present several historical, logical sources. Pick three sections (from sections 1.1 to 1.17) and explain the points of view of the philosophers described in them and their contributions to the history of logic and reasoning. What is unique about the time, place, and philosopher(s) described in the text? What concepts or ways of thinking came out of that period? What is significant about those ways of thinking? Do they play a role in contemporary science and reasoning? Explain and give examples.

We Usually Say It Began in Greece…

The principles shaping rational thought and reasoning are constructed based on curiosity and amazement. Western culture may be dated directly to the writings of Homer and Hesiod, as well as the unknown authors of works such as The Epic of Gilgamesh and the earliest editions of the Torah, which predates the history of the West as we understand it. Numerous key mathematical conclusions can be linked to the work of Pythagoras, notably the theorem about the sizes of triangle edges that bear his name. Socrates may also be credited with coining “philosophy,” which translates to “love of knowledge.” In terms of understanding the deities, Xenophanes distinguished between pure understanding and mere opinion (Myers, Brendan, et al.). Parmenides is the earliest known optimist. “What is; what is not, is not,” he says, implying that existent things are unable to have sprung from nothingness and cannot cease to have any existence. In the 6th century BCE, several Greeks concluded that conventional tales no longer addressed their inquiries concerning the concepts of the universe, time, and philosophy. The astonishment at the world’s immensity remained, although it was complemented by a thirst for knowledge rarely encountered throughout traditional Greek poetry and literature. Even though most people in the period lacked intellectual views, they established complex ways of cognition.

…With Men Like Socrates of Athens (469–399 BCE)

The majority of what we understand regarding the life and mental operations of Socrates, the greatest Greek philosopher, was successfully conserved. Remarkably, he purports to be unattached to any fundamental world-building ideas advanced by earlier philosophers. They’d prefer to acknowledge he didn’t have the responses to the significant inquiries than pretend he did. Socrates should have gone into detail regarding his strategy. This is understandable, given that he left not a single trace of his philosophical thoughts. As a result, what we understand about him is derived from other people’s writings, mainly his student Plato. Two significant causes contributed to the emergence of Socratic discussion and discussions about philosophy in classical Greek civilization. The initial, and probably most evident, is that it was a method of discovering what was true that did not need consulting anybody other than one’s intellect. The additional and arguably more crucial explanation is that in around 508 BCE, Athens evolved a unique type of governance in which every person, not only the aristocratic, soldiers, and clergy, participated actively in the decision-making process. This governmental structure was described as a democratic system or “rule of the individuals.”

But It Also Began in China…

Others may wonder if everyone on the planet was finding reasoning simultaneously. This is true, regardless of how the logic of prehistoric Athens appears to be distinct from that of later civilizations. Most major historical Chinese systems of thought valued the connection between names and actualities, particularly for social and moral significance, metaphysical consequently, or influence over politics (Myers, Brendan, et al.). The Tao that may be discussed is not the eternal Tao, Lao Tzu declared in the ambiguous beginning lines of the Tao Te Ching, indicating the opposite viewpoint. The name we choose for ourselves is not going to endure always. Unluckily, most of what we know about Chinese logic and philosophical thought has come in shards and pieces. Throughout 213 and 206 BCE, the initiators of the Qin dynasty wanted to eradicate all dynasties prior to their very own, decades following the existence and deaths of prominent people such as Confucius, Lao Tzu, Mencius, and Chuang Tzu.

What does ” empirical ” mean as it relates to empirical science? What is empiricism, and who are two empiricist philosophers? How does the philosophical movement known as empiricism relate to science and the scientific method (section 6.14)? What are overdetermination and underdetermination, and how do they relate to scientific truth? Explain and give examples.

The ’empirical’ aspect of our study distinguishes it from other sorts of understanding that are only theoretical. The phrase “empirical” implies data obtained by observing—the empiricist movement of thinking formed in Britain in reaction to rationalist intellectuals. The two distinct philosophies debated the foundations of human understanding, or the query of which type of understanding is most firmly entrenched. René Descartes felt that comprehension was the foundation of knowledge among humans. He established that the primary source of our understanding could not be gained from the senses by melting wax. Empiricist thinkers reject Descartes’ theories regarding the basis for understanding, believing that we derive all of our understanding from our senses. Empiricists deny Descartes’ claims about the genesis of knowing.

Overdetermination is referred to as happening when several variables take into consideration (or “determine”) an individual observable consequence when just that one would have to be required. In a nutshell, there are more causes than are necessary to be taken into consideration for the consequences. According to the uncertainty thesis, for every single hypothesis backed up by scientific information, there is at least one alternative explanation that may also be backed by data and logically sustained despite the context of new information. The perfect test setup would reveal the information that was supposed to be seen, demonstrating the theory accurately and alternative hypotheses. When alternative hypotheses result in identical forecasting, the theory becomes underdetermined. The problem only occurs when somebody is seeking to anticipate an observation.

On the other hand, it occurs when an attempt is made. When judging the reliability of scientific assertions, evaluate if additional hypotheses are able to clarify them in perspective of the existing facts (Myers, Brendan, et al.). In a nutshell, anytime you investigate scientific content, you should consider if the facts may similarly easily justify an alternate claim. With a simple finding, it is often possible to demonstrate one theory and reject another. Whenever this happens, the knowledge might be understood in various ways. Although there could be philosophical arguments supporting a particular hypothesis, we’re unable to demonstrate that our stance is correct. In this case, Occam’s razor and other reduction theorems fall into action. Overdetermination must be the inverse of insufficient determination, given that it is the counterpart of insufficient understanding. Overdetermination refers to having more excellent backing for a concept than is required.

Work Cited

Myers, Brendan, et al. “Clear and Present Thinking: A Handbook in Logic and Rationality.” (2013).


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