- Critical Thinking
- Solving Problems
- Perceiving and Believing
- Constructing Knowledge
- Language and Thought
- Moral Issues
- Constructing Arguments
- Living Creatively
- Digital Stories
Welcome to Philosophy of Thought and Logic
Understanding the world through experience and reason.
Everyone has to think in order to function in the world, and this course will equip you with the tools to reason effectively in your pursuit of reliable beliefs and useful knowledge. Whether you are a budding philosopher searching for ultimate truths, a science student grappling with the nature of scientific proof, a new parent weighing conflicting childrearing advice, or a concerned citizen making up your mind about today's issues, the lessons you learn in this course will help you cut through deception and faulty reasoning to get closer to the essence of a matter.
This is equally a course in argument and in reasoning. While you will learn how to reason, you will also learn how to persuade others. And it teaches how to judge and answer the arguments of others and how they will judge yours. This is the very center of a well-educated mind.
Dr. Michael Thompson
By: Julie Weinmann
Why do I need to think? And why do I need to develop my thinking skills? I mean really, my life has gone pretty well so far or so I thought. Or did I really think? After reflecting upon my life, I realize that my thinking was not at the level that would have prevented wasted time, money, and efforts. Many decisions or maybe I did not notice that I was presented with a decision at the time were not made using critical thinking skills.
No matter what your goals, circumstances, where you are in life, or what problems you face, you are better off if you can become more skilled in thinking. Becoming more aware of the thinking process will help you to become a better decision maker. This is not a process to be taken lightly and it will require one to work hard to develop this skill.
To become a better thinker you must become a “critic” of your own thinking. To critically consider your own thinking, you should not do so in a negative or “put yourself down” manner. Think about how you think and develop the skills to think better. Decisions you make will be better as a result of it.
Four keys to sound decision making are:
1) To recognize that you face an important decision.
2) Accurately identify the alternatives.
3) Logically evaluate the alternatives.
4) To have the self discipline to act on the best alternative.
The worst decision making occurs when you fail to realize that you are faced with a decision. Many decisions are made subconsciously-or as mindless decisions. For instance, our typical daily habits are mindless decisions. Knowing that cigarette smoking is not good for our overall health and well being is overridden by our immediate want, need or desire. Later in life we are faced with emphysema, lung cancer or overall poor health. However, by raising our behavior to the level of conscious realization we can identify bad habits and replace them with good ones through willpower and self-discipline.
Recognizing alternatives when making a decision is an important step. We must accurately identify alternatives. Thinking that something is an alternative when it is not is unrealistic thinking. For example, thinking one more cigarette won’t do that much more harm is unrealistic when making the decision to quit smoking. Thinking too narrowly causes us to fail to recognize an alternative. Instead of smoking you could decide to do something healthier like going for a walk or using stress relieving techniques to replace the bad habit of lighting up a cigarette. A good rule of thumb is to indentify more than two alternatives. If you cannot think of at least two alternatives, you are possibly thinking too narrowly.
Putting in the time upfront to make decisions will save you time, effort, and possibly money later on. We must learn to be a reflective thinker when making decisions. Spend time to think about the decision and reflect upon it. If we can learn to be systematic in thinking about our major habits we can affect our overall quality of life. Many of us are guilty of saying, “I don’t have time to get x, y, or z done”, but yet we have time to post on Facebook just how busy and stressed we are.
The first step in becoming a good thinker is to become aware of the thinking process. Raising our own awareness of how we think and the decisions we have made as a result of that thinking can open our eyes to the process of improving our thinking.
Paul, Richard W. and Elder, Linda (2002) Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional Life, Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Thinking and Reasoning Correlations
The human race is constantly trying to categorize. The categories could be anything ranging from types of insects, colors, animals, and many more. When things are group it shows what characteristics they have in common and sometimes how they relate to each other. The human thought process is even privy to being categorized.
There is usually not a complete black and white boundary in categories and thinking is the same way. Many researchers group thinking into six categories: critical thinking, creative thinking, convergent thinking, divergent thinking, inductive thinking, and deductive thinking.
Critical thinking is using all of the information possible analyzing it to form a solid conclusion. Some of the components needed for critical thinking are being about to think rationally, time to develop a thorough knowledge of the subject matter, and process all the information to weed out what may not be true or helpful to the subject being studied.
Creative thinking in many ways is the opposite of critical thinking. While critical thinking uses the left side of the brain, creative thinking uses the right side of the brain. Creative thinking is subjective, there is more than one way to solve a problem. Association is used constantly in the creative thinking process. Analogies are constantly being used to process the information. How variable react in one situation might be the same as similar variable react in a second situation.
Teachers use convergent thinking strategies often. This type of thinking is seen when a teacher is trying to get an entire class to come to the same conclusion. When assigned a research project convergent thinking is used. This is seen when taking information from multiple sources to write one paper.
Completely the opposite of convergent thinking is divergent thinking. Going from one point and seeing where it leads. Word association games are good examples of divergent thinking. When a word is said each person is thinking of different things. Problem solving uses divergent thinking. The parallel being there is only the one problem, how will each person/group solve it.Some thinking starts with an observation and then breaks it down—also known as inductive reasoning. This type of thinking is very interested in finding similarities between events. Then, a hypothesis is devised so the similarities can be inspected at a deeper level. After testing the hypothesis, the results of the inductive reasoning are turned into something more concrete—a theory.
Deductive reasoning is the “backwards” work of inductive reasoning. Instead of starting with an observation, you start with a theory. This type of thinking is what others use to test a theory that has already been made. The basic steps are to take someone else’s theory and then form a hypothesis based on it (I.E. will it work or not). Then, you complete the experiment observing what happens. Analyzing the data gathered from the experiment you should be able to confirm or deny your hypothesis and also the theory of the previous scientist.
Clearly, these six types of thinking and reasoning can not be seen as completely separate. When you are thinking creatively you could also be using divergent thinking and inductive reasoning. The categories are supposed to show the differences in each of the types of thinking. But like in the real world one item can be grouped into different intermingling categories. Take for instance a human, some categories one person could be place in are: tall, skinny, brunette, old, and female.
Harris, Robert. "Introduction to Creative Thinking." Virtual Salt. Virtual Salt, 1998. Web. 5 May 2010. <http://www.virtualsalt.com/crebook1.htm>.
Kurland, Daniel. "What is Critical Thinking?." How the Language Really Works: The Fundamentals of Critical Reading and Effective Writing. Dan Kurland's, 2000. Web. 5 May 2010. <http://www.criticalreading.com/critical_thinking.htm>.
Trochim, William. "Deduction & Induction." Research Methonds Knowledge Base. Research Methonds Knowledge Base, 20 Oct. 2006. Web. 7 May 2010. <http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/dedind.php>.
Thinking -Lexi David
What do we think? Why should we think? What does thinking do for us?
Thinking is something very vital to the human being. Without thinking we would be no where in this world. I believe that the more you think the better off you will be. Because the more you think and challenge yourself the more you are going to learn and the more you are going to succeed. Not only will it help you succeed but maybe it will help out your family or the world. Therefore thinking is very very vital.
Thinking helps better us as humans. No matter what you think about as long as you are thinking you are going to do some kind of good. Thinking about anything and everything helps us humans grow. Thinking is what makes this planet that we live function day in and day out.
Some of the thinking that has done has got us to where we are today. To being able to have portable computers that practically think for themselves, to having smart phones that keep up with our daily lives. We also have highly advanced automobiles and they were all made through a thought. The light bulb, it was an idea that was thought of and then was later invented. So with out thinking we wouldn’t have any of these wonderful yet such helpful items.
There is many types of thinking, for instance critical thinking. Critical thinking allows you to grow beyond measure. Being a critical thinker means you explore as many possibilities as you can without using emotions to justify your ideas. Being critical means you have the mental process of actively and skillfully applying and analyzing information to reach a conclusion.
The worst thing you could possibly ever do is to stop thinking. When you stop thinking you stop producing thoughts and ideas to help out the world and our environment. You stop the growing of the nation, and once you stop thinking then you many others may just follow in that path.
Below are three steps that will help your thinking process out is KWL. What you Know, What you Want to learn and What you have Learned. This may seem silly but when you stop and think about it, when you ask yourself these questions it helps out your thinking. This helps you determine how your going to start thinking to better your learning.
What you Know
What you Want to learn
What you have Learned
Thinking by Paul Vandegriffe
Thinking! why do we do it? Do we really need to think about life as hard as we humans do today? It seems like the more advanced we become as a society, the more we think and with more thinking comes bigger problems and thus we have to think some more!
It used to be all we humans thought about was "ugh me need new club" or "ugh me need woman or man" or "ugh what me want for dinner, sabertooth or mammoth?"
Now because of how advanced we are, the thinking we do today involves stuff like "I need to check my email", "I forgot my cell phone", or "I need a frappichino from Starbucks to get my day started right"
I am not saying that we should stop thinking the way we do today and go back to having our most complicated thought be "ugh slar's club bigger then mine, me hit him and take club". What i am saying is that as an advanced society we need to stop and THINK "are we using our THINKING power to its full advantage?" "Are we as the top of the THINKING ladder in the animal kingdom using our brains in the proper way to make this planet a better place?"
So in conclusion i THINK that we as human beings need to stop Thinking so much and curb it back some to take a look at life and say "Wow i have never noticed how beautiful this world is because i have been THINKING to hard and much and failed to notice that life is just fine without THINKING to hard"
A) Thinking Critcally by John Chaffee
B) Dr. Michael Thompson
C) My own brain
By definition, thinking critically is “carefully exploring the thinking process to clarify our understanding and make more intelligent decisions.” A person who is a critical thinker is “Someone who has developed a knowledgeable understanding of our complex world, a thoughtful and intelligent judgment, and sophisticated thinking and language abilities” (Chaffee 2, 43).
In order for a person to think critically it is important for them to be focused and ready to think through not just the answers but the question. The main issue needs to be focused on instead of the impertinent information that is supplied through communication.
To classify someone as a critical thinker there is criteria that need be met. The following points should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not you or someone else is a critical thinker.
*Open –minded – Will listen to any opinion and decide fairly
*Knowledgeable – Knows enough on the topic to be aware but admits when does not know
*Mentally Active – Actively challenging thought process
*Curious – Yearn to know more and find more factual information
*Independent Thinker – Thinks independently and not afraid of not conforming to a group’s thought
*Skilled Discussants – Able to discuss ideas and thoughts with an organized process
*Insightful – Knows enough to know what the main point of the issue is
*Self-aware – Knows self well enough to point out and admit something
*Creative – Different ideas of thoughts and more unique ideas
*Passionate – Serious about an issue to know more
(( List from Chaffee ))
Active thinking is part of the critical thinking process. There is a multitude of factors that affect the active thinking. Both activities/objects and people can be an influence on the thought process. Examples of activities/objects that are influences are: TV watching, sports, listening to music and dancing, to name a few. People that have influences on the thinking are: family, politicians, religious leaders and more. By being around these people often their beliefs and thought processes can affect and influence your own.
Part of critical thinking is to analyze and learn more through using questions. By using questions, there is a larger likelihood that the person asking the questions will gain more information about the question they are trying to answer or problem trying to solve.
When questioning a situation there are the 5 W’s and H: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. This method can allow the person questioning to gain more facts. Relationships to the question should be questioned along with comparing and contrasting similar situations. Of course there are always more questions than the 5 W’s and H that can be used in exploring a situation more.
Another sign of critical thinking is ‘viewing the situation from a different perspective.’ In order to get the full effect of a situation, ‘seeing’ from a different perspective can be helpful. Putting oneself into another set of ‘shoes’ is a great way to get another view on a topic. Considering the other side of the story is a great way to see the whole picture. Focusing on both the details and the big picture are important steps in being a critical thinker and active thinker.
The above are just a few of the ways to increase one’s critical thinking skills. Listening carefully and examining the situation thoroughly, asking and using lots of questions, seeing both sides, discussing ideas, being organized in the thought process and analyzing issues are all great ways to increase the critical thinking process.
Chaffee, John. "Chapter 2." Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 44. Print.
The Critical Thinking Community. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2009. Web. 24 May 2010. Critical Thinking
Discussing Ideas in an Organized Way
by Alicia Oien
Most of the time, we think critically in social settings. Each person has their own view of the world and how things occur but that doesn’t mean that your own ideas are superior to other people’s ideas. In order to think critically and develop a better way of understanding problems, the world around us, and ourselves, we must listen and discuss ideas with others. We must also consider that others may have a better understanding of the things we think we know so well. All too often, when we engage in conversation with others, we end up becoming defensive and taking our own ideas as the “end all, be all.” However, if we learn to discuss ideas using critical thinking, we can develop a more complex understanding overall.
Chaffee tells us that there is a discussion process that we should use in order to discuss ideas in an organized way. The steps are:
• **Listening carefully
• Supporting views with reasons and evidence
• Responding to the points being made
• Asking questions
• Increasing understanding**
Often times when engaging in a discussion with someone else, we tend to respond only to what the other person says. Instead, we should be trying to understand the big picture they are trying to explain as well as their reasons for believing this. In doing so, we allow ourselves to grow in our ideas and view issues in ways we may have never thought of before. Chaffee says, “An effective dialogue in this sense is like a game of tennis—you hit the ball to me, I return the ball to you, you return my return, and so on.” (60) We need to remember to listen carefully instead of just hearing what someone says.
Supporting views with reasons and evidence
When we are engaging in discussion with another person, we need to remember to support our views and ideas with real reasons and evidence. We shouldn’t state something and then have no evidence to backup what we have just said. By explaining ourselves and supporting with evidence, we become more better critical thinkers.
Responding to the points being made
During a discussion, we should respond to what the other person is saying. It is ineffective to just “battle” back with our own statements and issues. This doesn’t create good discussion and doesn’t allow you, or the other person, to increase their knowledge and view on a subject. By responding to what someone says instead of simply what you are trying to say, you create more meaningful, interactive discussion. While you don’t have to agree, and neither does the other person, you can consider what they said and respond accordingly.
When considering critical thinking, one of the most important aspects is asking questions. This is very important when it comes to having a discussion. It creates a dialogue that allows all individuals included to get to the bottom of the issue and help find the reasons and evidence people are using in discussion. Using questions during discussion helps the dialogue to positively progress. It allows all involved to “take a second look” at what they are discussing to have a better overall understanding.
The whole purpose of having a discussion should not be do defend ourselves but rather to gain further insights into the ideas we are discussing. When discussing, if we are primarily focused on only proving ourselves right, we will not be open to any viewpoints that differ from ours. The whole idea is to increase your understanding, as well as all others involved, on the issue at hand.
Chaffee, John. Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. p58-61.
Rzadkiewicz, Carol. “How to Become an Active Listener” Online article. 2009.
By Jacob Plata
Critical thinking is taking consideration into, not just jumping to conclusion, using your thought process to evalute ideas, claims, or issues. Analyzing questions to the fullest potential of the human mind brings good judgement and reasoning. Good thinkers will take their time with a problem and find the solution, picking apart the issue piece by piece. Instead of reacting to problems critical thinkers will develope the habit to analyze things and reach the truth.
Although during critical thinking nobody out weights any other person, arguing with others and being able to prove your point and win that argument is not critical thinking. A critical thinker will be even more open to opposing ideas and able to learn from others. Accepting or recognizing that others may have other ideas or solutions and considering and weighting out each one will enhance critical thinking. What’s even stronger than one brain?? Multiple brains working together can form the best logical solution and obviously most agreed upon.
Awareness, Knowledge, and Attention
Definite requirements for good thinking brings us to three very valuable tools one must have. Be aware of everything. All the things that may exist around the issue. “Thinking outside of the box.” Recognize the complexity of a problem, identify the many possibilities, and anything that takes effect into solving the problem. Although without knowledge critical thinking is dead. Without knowledge you throw away all sense and create bad decisions. Knowledge about what the problem is, what inhabits the problem, an various forms of how to solve it. Finally, you need to pay good attention to everybody who speaks out their opinion or idea on the subject matter. How can anybody possibly think, process, conclude to a matter had they not payed any attention? They cant. Skimming through the claims and arguments, choosing what you want to hear, or watering down all what is said makes creates confusion. Sitting and being patient and listening to what others have to say, making your brain work, and thinking is what brings you to the truth!
Questions that need to be thought about
How is it known?
What does it mean?
What are the reasons given?
What is implied?
Is something left out?
Examine EVERYTHING carefully.
Critical Thinking in a Nutshell
All in all critical thinking is about taking a problem or idea and sitting down, taking your time with it, to come up with the best logical answer. Asking questions, Lining up the facts, and discussing points of view effectively is what its all about. Not being afraid to be wrong and also not being ready to argue (but be open to other thoughts and opinions). The value of critical thinking is worth so much. Being able to think of various options and having the patients to do so can really put you ahead in this word an make you very marketable in a great career path or just make you an awesome riddle solver.
Solving problems is an important of everyday life. All through middle and high school we were taught to use the steps of UGLY to problem solve effectively. Using this plan proved to be helpful in successfully solving a problem in everyday life.
U Understand the Problem – Make sure that you completely know all the details about the problem
G Get a Plan – Develop a plan of ‘attack’ on how the problem will be solved
L Let’s Work it Out - Try out the devised plan to make sure it works
Y Yes it makes sense! - If the plan went as hoped then there should be no reason to have t o find a new way to solve the problem, unless in search of a new plan.
After going through all of the steps to solving the problem, you win! You have successfully completed one of the many ways of problem solving.
There is more than one factor that contributes in causing a problem and needing to solve it. To really understand the problem, one needs to really understand all of the factors playing a part in the entire process and role of the problem. For example, smoking is the problem, but there are more factors that contribute to being a problem. The hazardous effects of smoking one the smoker’s health, the effects on those around the smoker and even the general cost can all be problems of why a smoker should quit. But there are also reasons and explanations to why someone may have a problem. For smoking, examples could be stress, wanting to lose weight, addiction and even ‘cool’ factor. Knowing and understanding how to stop all of the reasons will help in successful problem solving.
Of course, there are some problems that would require a huge amount of thinking, devising plans of attack and more or less, much more dedication to solving.
Solving issues like smoking, addiction and such require also the right mind set. To solve problems as complex as those, a person needs to accept that there is a problem indeed. Without admitting there is a problem, there would be no reason to even solve the issue. Until the committer can admit that he/she has a problem, no problem solving steps are going to do any good.
To accomplish anything, there must be some sort of dedication to solving the issue. To solve the issue, the person with the problem has to want to end that problem and make life better for them or those people their problem affects. Just because the so called problem many only be one person doing something, the outcome of their problem can affect more than one person.
For example, smoking can harm more than just the smoker. Second hand smoke is highly problematic for more than the smoker. The people around the smoker can suffer from second hand smoke causing them problems just like the smoker. To fix a problem there will be time needed to make sure the attempt to solve that problem is successful. Which is where the entire step of dedication comes into play. Nothing will happen unless the person wants a result.
If in need to get the key result of the problem, there are five why’s a person can ask. To use this method, you must start at the end result and work backwards, asking why five times. This method is easy to use and effective for quick results.
Being able to solve problems will come in handy all throughout life. There isn’t a day that goes by that something doesn’t arise needing a solvent.
Chaffee, John. "Chapter 3." Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 85. Print.
Mind Tools. Problem Solving Techniques. Web. 25 May 2010.
What is a problem? A problem is an opportunity for improvement. A problem is the difference between your current state and your goal state. A problem results from recognition of a present imperfection and the belief in the possibility of a better future. Problem solving is a mental process and part of the larger problem process as to problem funding, problem solving, etc. Solving problems has been defined as higher-order cognitive process meaning it requires you to have more control over your fundamental skills.
There are many approaches to problem solving depending on the person and the people involved in the problem. Ways to approach solving problems. Clarifying the description for the problem. Analyzing the causes, implementing it and last but not least evaluating whether the problem was solved or not. When making sure you solved the problem you have to make sure it is something that won’t occur again.
Description of the problem is the first step. Clarifying or describing the problem is where you figure out the problem, as to whether or not there is one. Analyzing the problem is where you determine what exactly happened. Analyzing the problem means you go over what happened and find out the details. Identifying alternatives is deciding if there is more than one cause to what happened and that leads to choosing what caused the problem.
Implementing the problem means you carry out the problem. You re-act what happened to see if you can come to the conclusion to what happened. Last but not least you evaluate. Evaluation is where you figure out whether or not the problem solved. If your problem is solved than obviously you found out the correct cause and analyzed the details exceptionally well.
Some of the approaches for problem solving is:
Stop-it approach is designed to cure the problem meaning it won’t happen again.
Reduce-it is where you try to prevent it happening as much as it normally does. For ex. The trash production.
Mop –it focuses on the effects of the problems. As to how someone is excepting the problem.
Tolerate-it approach is where you tolerate the problem most of the time only to some certain extent.
Redirect-it is where you figure out maybe if it was ever a problem or not.
Problem solving is a very vital key to have. Because if you are never able to solve a problem you will never be able to have a good functioning life. You will depend on other individuals to help pick you up when you fall apart.
By: Veronica and Kayla
Perceiving And Believing
According to John Chaffee, the author of Thinking Critically Ninth Edition, when we perceive something we go through three activities that include: Selecting, Organizing, and Interpreting. When we have our attention brought up to an issue of any sort whether it be what is healthy to eat or how a small child had been abducted, our method of perceiving goes through the same actions. However, not everyone would perceive this information in the same way. Understanding that there are many factors contributing to how we perceive ideas contribute to whether we believe in them or not.
How Perceptions Work
First, selecting an issue we must bring together all factors contributing to an idea. Let’s use gossip for an example. Many people hear the same story. First, we select the information by the details given to us, then organizing these ideas we can begin interpreting what has been said. Our perception can be altered by our own bias feelings, or by the way the one telling the story chooses to “paint the picture” in our minds. Both words and actions have a huge impact on the way we view things.
Although everyone goes through the same process many of our perceptions vary from person to person. For example, sitting in a court room the jury has watched and listened to a trial, but cannot seem to make a decision because they cannot get to a unanimous vote. Not everyone has the same perception of what has been argued. Therefore, the other part to perceiving is whether or not we believe what we have seen or been told.
Associate Professor Jamin Halbertstadt, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, claims that, “Common wisdom has it that ‘seeing is believing’, but latest research suggests that believing is seeing.” Maybe the reason a court has a different perception of the same trial is because people may interpret emotions of a defendant differently. While many say the defendant had been genuine in there final statement, others may have seen a smirk or something in the defendents face that through them off.
Any time we perceive something we already have our own personal beliefs. Things we know to be true already. Where many people run into difficulties with perception is if they aren’t sure what is true, others may try to push there beliefs onto them. An example we can use for this would be religion. Many people feel strongly about their beliefs in religion, but no everyone agrees on the same ideas. Parents many times raise up their children to believe in the same ideas as them, however as children get older they may begin to develop their own opinion. No matter how hard a parent tries if a young adult does not believe in the same religious views, the family may never have the same perspectives.
Tying It All Together
When we perceive, or take in information, we must develop an opinion in the idea. This leads to what we believe, the outcome, to be either false or true. However, contributing factors include our own beliefs, and the way that others may try to incorporate theirs as well. The important thing to remember is that you must sort through any bias opinions and be able to see things from all perspectives to make an informed decision to believe what is true.
Chaffee, John. "Chapter 4." Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin,
2009. 118. Print.
Halberstadt, Associate Professor Jamin. "Believing Is Seeing: Thoughts Colour How We Perceive Emotions." 2 Sept. 2009. Web. 5 May 2010. <http://www.criticalthinking.org/>
By KayAnn Mader
Before perceiving anything its important to break down and get behind the idea of perceiving and define what it is.
What is perceiving? Perceiving is actively selecting, organizing, and interpreting what is experienced by the senses-on what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted. The text of Thinking Critically, by John Chaffee, states that people’s perceptions differ. “You normally assume that what you are perceiving is what is actually taking place […] your perception of the same event differs from the perception of others.
In analyzing perceptions you must first: describe in detail what you perceive that’s taking place; second: describe what will happen next; third: identify the details as to what led to your perceptions; fourth: compare your perceptions to others perceptions, list the differences.
John Chaffee mentions in chapter 4, under Perceiving and Believing, he states that “the total collection of your beliefs represents your view of the world, your philosophy of life.” What are beliefs? Beliefs represent an interpretation, evaluation, conclusion, or predictions about the nature of the world that we endorse as true. “Speakers indicate that they believe these views are true.” Interpretation is an explanation or analysis of the meaning of significance of something. Evaluation is a judgment of the value or quality of something based on certain standards. Conclusion is a decision made or an opinion formed after consideration of the relevant facts or evidence. Prediction is a statement about what will happen in the future. Believing and perceiving tie in together by two statements. “your perceptions form the foundation of many of your beliefs about the world […] your beliefs about the world shape and influence your perception of it.” .” Based on this list “beliefs who endorse them, are likely to be based in large measure on a variety of perceptual experiences: events that people have seen and heard.
What is believing? Believing is to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so. Its like believing in magic or angels, you might not be able to see it or understand what’s happening but you know it happens for a reason and you just assume its their. I believe in God, it’s kind of like perceiving him but its not, because I cant see, touch, smell, taste, or feel him but I can in a way hear him. Like being in the presence of God while attending church, to me I get a sense of hearing his word from him. Or like if I get a sign from him some how, to me that’s hearing an answer from him on not or to do something.
. According to the site Personality 100.com , people are flexible, think randomly and likes to keep their options open ended. Basic characteristics of perceiving are flexible, relaxed, adaptable, spontaneous, care-free; just to mention a few. Personalities include: Persuader, advocate, engineer, artist, dreamer, and craftsman.
Perceive and believe, to me don’t have a lot in common, because what you believe isn’t what you perceive, like the example with God. Everyone has their own opinions on perceiving and believing, you can decide what your perceiving or believing.
References: Personality 100. Com, Dream Dolphin Media, LLC, 2007-2010.
Chaffee, John, Thinking Critically, Ninth Edition, Boston, New York, 2007.
By: Dane Olofson
Beliefs have been forming in your brain since the moment of birth. They help in your understanding of the way things are, as well as helping you in decision making. As time goes on, things may aid in making these beliefs become more accurate. How do you distinguish which of your beliefs are more accurate than others. Knowledge. Knowing is defined as “the ability to distinguish beliefs supported by strong reasons or evidence from beliefs for which there is less support, as well as from beliefs disproved by evidence to the contrary.” Where does this knowledge come from though?
The Three Stages of Knowing
The Garden of Eden stage places everything into two categories. Right or wrong. The definitions of right and wrong have been established by authority and cannot be determined by any one self. As children grow, the authority figure will be found in their parents first, and later in the school system they are part of. The rules in this stage are based upon the leaders previous life experiences and own personal knowledge. As a person continues to grow though this stage, they may begin to question why the authorities have different views on truth. The questioning will often lead to the ascension into the second stage of knowing. It is believed that a reason people may get stuck into this first stage due to a lack in environmental diversity. They must also possess the willingness to open themselves up emotionally to view the differing perspectives of others as well as the ability to be open-minded and see things from this new perspective.
Stage two places a person into the category of “Anything Goes.” When this stage is reached, the thinker has actually done a complete turn around and begins to question everything. This leads to the view of relativism. Relativism is the thought that truth is relative to any individual or situation, and there is no standard we can use to decide which beliefs make the most sense. The downfall to this stage of thinking is there would e no way to condemn or praise any action or belief. This issue leads one to work on moving into the next stage of knowing: thinking critically.
The final stage of knowing melds the previous two stages together. The thinker has come to the understanding that some viewpoints are better, not only because authorities have said o, but because there is truth and evidence to support the thought. The people in this stage have also been able to allow themselves to see the viewpoints of others and allow these as valid with the availability of support from reasoning and evidence. These thinkers have committed to a point of view, but are willing to open their thought to opposition in order to add to the foundation of that belief.
Knowledge may also be obtained from outside sources. Knowledge must be evaluated critically though before presumed to be true. In using an indirect experience for form a belief, a critical thinker must take into consideration the reliability of the information, based on facts and supporting evidence, as well as the source providing the information. Online information must also be evaluated by deeming the accuracy, credibility, and point of view of the source.
Chaffee, John PhD. Thinking Critically. 9th Edition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2009. 163-202. Print
“Skill Development.” March 3, 2011. Web. <http://www.brianmac.co.uk/tech.htm>
In the current society, the value of knowledge has gained power for several decades. In order for a person to become a critical thinker, one passes through some stages of knowing to get a better understanding of the world. I am going to talk about the stages of knowing which include the Garden of Eden, anything goes and thinking critically.
The first stage of knowing is the Garden of Eden. According to Chaffee John, people in this stage tend to see the world in terms of black and white or simply the Wright in side and the wrong side. The people in this stage of knowing belief what the authorities tell them. They find that what the authorities tell them the person disputing it must be wrong. The first example of authority is the parents. They start to quite the children since when they or young and the children belief all what their parents tell them as true. “ However, when people are exposed to diverse experience that challenge them with comparing perspectives, it is much more difficult to maintain the unquestioned faith in the authoritarian dictates of stage 1 thinking” ( Chaffee 168 ).
Chaffee contends that emotional willingness is necessary to open new possibilities and intellectual ability that enables one to see issues from different perspectives. This enables one to overcome another stage of knowing is ‘Anything Goes ‘stage. In this stage, one goes to the opposite extreme to the authorities and believes that “Anything goes”. They belief that the truth is relative to individuals situation and there is no standard measure to decide which belief makes most sense.
If someone truly belief this then it is. It is true that this stage of thinking doesn’t work because it leads to absurd conclusions that run against deeply felt conviction that some beliefs are better than others (Chaffee 169).When people achieve this level of understanding, they recognize that some viewpoints are better than other viewpoints, not simply because authorities say so but because there are compelling reasons to support these view-points. At the same time, people in this stage are open-minded toward other view-points, especially those that disagree with theirs. They recognize that there are often a number of legitimate perspectives on complex issues, and they accept the validity of these perspectives to the extent that they are supported by persuasive reasons and evidence. When asked, she can explain the rationale for her viewpoint, but she also respects differing viewpoints that are supported by legitimate reasons.
In addition, a Stage 3 thinker maintains an open mind, always willing to consider new evidence that might convince her to modify or even change her position. People in the Thinking Critically stage are actively open to different perspectives, and commit themselves to definite points of view and are confident in explaining the reasons and evidence that have led them to their conclusions. In addition to having clearly defined views, Stages 3 thinkers are always willing to listen to people who disagree with them. In fact, they actively seek out opposing view-points because they know that this is the only way to achieve the clearest, most insightful, most firmly grounded understanding. They recognize that their views may evolve over time they learn more. All in all this is what I believe you have to think clearly and be able to have constructive knowledge.
Resourses: the book, internet
Gana and Ted
By: Veronica and Kayla
Language And Thought
Language is the basis of communicating ideas and theories using symbols. By being able to speak we can understand how one another thinks. Language has developed our means for expanding the human thought process. Because we can bring together many different theories, ideas, and reasons we can evolve both scientifically and socially. We all have thoughts but without language there would be no way for us to interact. By using a common language, thoughts can be put together from many different perspectives to find truth and meaning in everything we do.
How Language Came About
Over the years since language came about it has been changing and evolving to what it is today. If you can imagine, before language humans would interact with what was then their own language, of grunts and gestures. Developing from then grunts turned into words which then turned into a more complex system of interaction and thinking. Old languages have died off as new ones broke through. This comes about by the changing in generations and the way groups or ‘families’ have changed words meanings and sounds. Upon expanding from one language different cultures began to interact and find means of understanding one another. Today we have several languages from different cultures that stand out, but even after us far down the road it is true that language will evolve yet again.
Using Language Effectively
Words can be hurtful, helpful, and confusing if not used right. One of the examples of how to learn to speak right is to read good writing (Thinking Critically). Choosing words carefully as well is a big part of being able to communicate. In politics across the world it is very important to understand the background of a cultures language. The way people perceive our thoughts is from our word choice. The way other people view us can also be from the way we speak. If we offend someone by explaining something wrong it could cause terrible fights or a war. It is so important also to be able to understand the person or people that you are speaking too. For example, someone who may be less educated may have a smaller vocabulary and use slang terms. Whereas, higher educated people have spent more time expanding their vocabulary.
The Effects of Language
"Even a small fluke of grammar"—the gender of nouns—"can have an effect on how people think about things in the world," says Lera Boroditsky. Lera Boroditsky has made excellent research on explaining how language even from different cultures effects how we understand what has been said. For instance, Boroditsky explains that in English we would say “she broke the bowl” even if it was an accident, other cultures would say the bowl broke itself or she dropped something on it. Either way it has been described the bowl is simply broke. Also, take into consideration that certain cultures view the same word as masuculine or feminine which also has an effect on how we view the object itself. Language becomes more complex with different cultures but yet we remain interacting, it is vital that we will have to adapt to understand.
Today many of us talk in text or instant chat. We do this through a computer which even more has adapted how we view emotions through words. We use emoticons to see how someone is saying an expression to understand if they are joking or truly angry. Also, we have our own symbols to express just kidding or someone laughing. We have already begun to evolve our own language in our generation.
Begley, Sharon. "What’s in a Word?" Newsweek. 9 July 2009. Web. 6 May 2010.
Chaffee, John. "Chapter 4." Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 118+. Print.
The Symbolic Nature of Language
By: Kelly Coen
As humans we can communicate with each other because of our ability to symbolize. Symbolize is letting one thing represent something else. In our daily lives words are the most common symbols we use. Words are truly just sounds or written marks on a piece of paper, they don’t have meaning in themselves. Words stand for something else such as objects, ideas, and other aspects of human experience.
Language symbols can take two forms: They can be spoken sounds or written markings. Either way the symbol is communicated the same way. We rarely stop to realize that our language is really a system of spoken sounds and written markings that we use to represent various aspects of our experience. Language is a system of symbols for thinking and communicating.
The basic blocks of language are sounds, which may be symbolized by letters. Sounds combined to form larger sets of blocks called words. Words are used to represent the various aspects of our experience—they symbolize objects, thoughts, feelings, actions, and concepts. When you read, hear, or think about a word, then it usually causes a variety of ideas and feelings.
The combination of all the ideas and feelings that a word puts in your mind make up the “meaning“of that word to you. Your meaning of a word maybe similar to someone else’s meaning but it also could be very different. Words are not one clear meaning that everyone agrees on; words are complex their exact meaning often varies from person to person. To understand how words function in our language and our thinking we have to examine the way words serve as vehicles to express meaning.
Words give us a variety of feelings, ideas, and experiences. Put all of those together to express the total meaning of the words for the individual. Linguists believe that this total meaning is actually composed of four different types of meaning: Semantic, Perceptual, Syntactic, and Pragmatic meaning.
Semantic Meaning (Denotation)
Semantic meaning of a word expresses the relationship between a linguistic event (speaking/writing) and a nonlinguistic event (an object, idea, or feeling). The semantic meaning of a word also referred to as denotative meaning expresses the general properties of the word, and these properties determine how the word is used. To discover the general properties you examining your own knowledge of the meaning and use of words, you can also check dictionary definitions. They tend to focus on the general properties that determine word usage. Although a word doesn’t always follow the general properties, and go beyond that to what you know about the word.
Perceptual Meaning (Connotation)
The total meaning of a word also includes its perceptual meaning, which expresses the relationship between a linguistic event and individual’s consciousness. For each of us, words elicit unique and personal thoughts and feelings based on previous experiences and past associations. Perceptual meaning also includes an individual’s positive and negative responses to a word. Perceptual meaning is also called connotative meaning.
Another component is syntactic meaning, which defines its relation to other words in a sentence. Syntactic relationships extend among all the words of a sentence that are or will be spoken or written. The syntactic meaning defines three relationships among words: Content: words that express the major message of the sentence, Description: words that elaborate or modify the major message of the sentence, and Connection: words that join the major message of the sentence.
The last element that contributes is the pragmatic meaning, which involves the person who is speaking and the situation in which the word is spoken. The correct interpretation or meaning of the sentence depends on what was actually taking place in the situation. Pragmatic meaning is also called situational meaning. The way different pragmatic context (persons speaking and situations) affect the meanings of the word.
Those four meanings create the total meaning of a word. All the dimensions of any word –all the relationships that connect linguistic events with non-linguistic events, your consciousness, and situations in the world—make up the meaning you assign to a word.
Chaffee, John. "Chapter 4." Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 206+. Print.
Using Language to Influence
By Alicia Oien
It has long been known that language influences thought. However, if we aren't careful, we can easily be negatively manipulated by the language some people and companies use. In order to prevent a negative manipulation of your thoughts, you must be perceptive of how language works. Once you understand how language works, you can become a more critical thinker.
"Two types of language are often used to promote the uncritical acceptance of viewpoints:
• Euphemistic language
• Emotive language."
Euphemistic language is using words to sugarcoat ways of saying things instead of coming right out and being frank. Euphemisms are used by people to make their problems not sound so serious, their jobs sound more important, and their dishonesty not seem so bad. (Chaffee, 233) For example, a farm laborer may instead call himself/herself an agricultural technician. Sounds more important right?
Euphemisms can become harmful when they are used to create misconceptions. For example, the Nazi’s in Germany murdered thousands of people and called it “ethnic cleansing” or “purification of the race. (Chaffee, 233)
Here are other examples:
bombing = servicing the target
recession = meaningful downturn in aggregate output
assassinations = active self-defense
torture = moderate physical pressure
Iraqi = enemy
Emotive language is used to cause us to have certain reactions or feel certain things when we hear the words. For example:
Sex Rape Terrorism Murder Love Tornado Family Liar
Each of the above words will strike people in different ways but will almost always cause a person to have a feeling of some sort. Emotive language is frequently used by politicians. They understand how to use both sides though. When speaking of themselves, they will use positive words; words that paint a picture of being a positive person. When speaking of their opponents, they will use negative words. This allows them to be seen in an even more positive light. (Chaffee, 237)
Another way people use emotive language in a negative way is to make a statement without the listener knowing that it is only their opinion. This can end up being very dangerous and a person must think critically to figure out if someone is using emotive language to get a point across or whether or not what they are saying is truth. (Chaffee, 239)
If you know how to think critically and you are actively listening to someone talk, you will be a lot more likely to pick up on negative euphemisms and emotive language. Once you pick up on these types of language that some use to influence you in a bad way, you can become a more effective learner.
Chaffee, John. Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. p232- 237.
Rzadkiewicz, Carol. “Euphemistic Language” Online article. 1 April 2008.
By Dallas Koerperich and Jeremy Chase
I do not believe in euthanasia, so I say, but if someone is in extreme pain and there is no chance of recovery, it is still not an easy question to answer. There are stories where a life was ended, and stories where the patients requests for death were simply ignored and by some miracle they recovered enough to life a good life, not as active as the life they lived prior, but could still function. There would always be that question in the back of my mind “What if”.
If we as a society begin to let this happen, people requesting to be put to death, or so called dignified death, where do we stop. It would be scary if we start to accept euthanasia as a part of society and then where does it go. In Nazi Germany the terminally ill people were the first to be euthanized, in Greek and Roman times deformed infants were put to death. Then do we start with the developmentally handicapped, when one reaches retirement age are your days done with. Sure there are laws in place to protect the people, but there always seems to be big financial interests behind certain developments, always looking for ways around the law and generally finding one eventually. People will often disagree with it, but then they begin to say they’re going to do it anyway and it becomes a norm, maybe not that bad, but still could happen.
A living will is good to have in place and would relieve family members from making difficult decisions in very emotional and stressful period in life. What a living will does is explain what conditions and/or treatments that you want in order to prolong life if you have a terminal illness or in a vegetative state. A living will only becomes effective if you are terminally ill or in a vegetative state and cannot talk or otherwise communicate with others. In most cases it would require the opinion of two doctors that recovery is extremely unlikely before it would become effective.
Euthanasia: The intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for
his or her alleged benefit, (The key work here is “intentional”. If death is not intended, it
is not an act of euthanasia).
Voluntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed.
Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent.
Assisted suicide: Someone provides an individual with the information, guidance, and
means to take his or her own life with the intention they will be used for this purpose.
When it is a doctor who helps another person to kill themselves it is called “physician
Euthanasia by Action: Intentionally causing a persons death by performing an action
such as gibing a lethal injection.
Euthanasia by omission: Intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and
ordinary (usual and customary) care or food and water.
What euthanasia is NOT: There is no euthanasia unless the death is intentionally caused by what was done or not done. Thus some medical actions that are often labeled “passive euthanasia” are no form of euthanasia, since the intention to take life is lacking. These acts include not commencing treatment that would not provide a benefit to the patient, withdrawing treatment that has shown to be ineffective, too burdensome or is unwanted, and the giving of high doses of pain-killers that may endanger life, when they have been shown to be necessary. All those are part of good medical practice, endorsed by law, when they are properly carried out.
By Sally Wilson
A concept is a generalized idea about a thing or a class of things. It can also be formed in the mind; a thought or a notion. That is confusing to me because those are two completely different definitions. An example for the first definition could be that it is generally known that there are 5,280 ft. in a mile. As for the second definition, an example would be much broader. Such as, anything from thinking that a room would look better with blue paint than green or thinking that adoption is a better option than abortion.
I have chosen to write about the second definition because for me it is hardest to understand. It is a thought that the legal age to consume alcohol should be lowered to age eighteen. Professor Ruth C. Engs offers a large quantity of insight on the subject:
Although the legal purchase age is 21 years of age, a majority of college students under this age consume alcohol but in an irresponsible manner. This is because drinking by these youth is seen as an enticing "forbidden fruit," a "badge of rebellion against authority" and a symbol of "adulthood." As a nation we have tried prohibition legislation twice in the past for controlling irresponsible drinking problems. This was during National Prohibition in the 1920s and state prohibition during the 1850s. These laws were finally repealed because they were unenforceable and because the backlash towards them caused other social problems. Today we are repeating history and making the same mistakes that occurred in the past. Prohibition did not work then and prohibition for young people under the age of 21 is not working now (Engs 1998).
I think that Engs has a good point. In America the age of adulthood is eighteen. At this age Americans are legal to get married but they are not legal to drink alcohol of any kind. They are legal to enlist to fight for their country but they are not legal to have a beer. I think it would be best to learn from watching other countries and the better results they are getting with lower drinking ages. Bill Schackner shares a compelling story:
Sarah Rafson and her college friends picked an off-campus bar on her 19th birthday — and did what in America requires a fake ID or a bartender willing to look the other way. Legal drinking in Canada starts at 18 or 19, depending on the province. That's why many U.S. college students, including Rafson, a University of Toronto junior from Pittsburgh, automatically become legal drinking adults when they head north of the border to study, only to become minors again when they return home. "It feels like walking backward in time." Sure, Rafson says, there are drunken college parties in this city. But she swears she sees fewer instances of her peers slamming down drink after drink than she does in the United States. Her own birthday celebration in November, the day she sipped her first legal drop of alcohol, stopped at a couple of drinks, and she says she's been a light drinker since. "It's legal," she said. "It's no big deal."
To me not lowering the age to consume seems crazy but it is a concept. My concept in which some may agree and many will disagree.
Engs, Ruth C. “Why the Drinking Age Should Be Lowered: An Opinion Based On Research.” Applied Health Sciences. 1998. Bloomington, Indiana. http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cqoped.html.
Schackner, Bill. “Pros and Cons of Reducing the Drinking Age.” 12 July. 2007. Pittsburgh Post Gazette. http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/25194.
by:Abby, Rebecca, Barbara
Think of the world as a story and we are all authors in the story of life. our world does not exist as a finished product, but rather our active involvement is creating the world in which we live. The composition of the outer world involves many activities, including:
These activities allow everyone to interpret the world differently. Imagine giving everyone the same writing assignment, although everyone would be writing about the same thing, their pattern of organization and though would be different. All of the ways we relate and organize ideas in our life create a dramatic difference in everyones ideas, thoughts, morals and values. There are three different way of organizing:
Chronological and Process relationships-
allow organization in through the order in which they happened, or a specific order for which they must develop. Remember, the order is extremely important and changing the order would completely change the meaning. Key words to help identify a chronological and sequential relationship:
First, Second, Third
Comparative and Analogical relationships-
these comparatives and contrast relationships relate similar things based on their differences and similarities. Key words to help identify this type of relationship:
On the other hand,
In the same way
Causal relationships relate events in terms that one event is responsible for bringing about another series of events. Cause and effect relationships try to relate one thing causing another. Key words for helping to identify a cause and effect relationship. Key words to help identify this type of relationship:
For this reason,
On that account,
Thinking Critically by John Chaffee Chapter 8
By: Bea Perez, Samantha Bennett, Aubrey Schneider
In order to understand Moral Issues we first have to define what is ethical or moral. It is “of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character.” We see it in our everyday lives. How a person makes moral decisions will depend highly upon what they learn to value. So then value possesses intrinsic worth, that we prize, esteem, and regard highly, based on clearly defined standards.
If they grow up in an environment which values possessions, their morals will contain strong rules against stealing and abusing property. If they are brought up in an environment that values personal expression, their morals will contain strong rules against suppress of creative and expressive impulses. If the environment contains religious influences then their morals will be highly influenced by the religious instruction that they receive. Every single day we are forced to make decisions, what we believe and what we do will be determined by who we are, and where we stand ethically. So given the following story; What would you do?
You are an emergency worker and arrive at the scene of a serious car accident. You quickly recognize the car as your wife’s. As you make your way over to the car, you notice another man in the car with your wife. Your wife sees you and mouth’s to you the words, “I’m sorry”. You are baffled at this, but her look confirms the worst. She is having an affair; the man in the car is her lover.
Your wife is seriously hurt and needs attention immediately. Even if she is administered care, there is a high likelihood that she will still die. The man in the seat next to her is only bleeding heavily from a neck wound. The flow of blood must be stopped immediately if he is to live. It will only take a few minutes to stop his bleeding, but this means that your wife will surely die. Who do you choose to administer care to in this moral dilemma? Does it matter that the chances of survival for each patient is quite different? Does this recent discovery of your wife’s affair affect your decision? (Stephen Quallich)
It is easy to say I am a good person and I will do the right thing. What if this was your situation? You put in all these different variables; you know what the right thing to do is, but what if it affects you in a way that you choose to not help the man your wife is having an affair with. So what do you do? The great philosopher Socrates says, “One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him.”
I know that if I was put in the same situation above there would be no doubt in my mind that I would save the man’s life. I was brought up to respect human life and that somebody’s life is the most important thing. I also know that I cannot speak for everyone else and I know that I am not to judge anybody. So how someone answers of what they would do in the story above would depend on how they were brought up and what they believe. I think that it is important for us to decide today how we are so that the decisions of tomorrow will be easy.
What would Socrates Think?
Chaffee, John. "Chapter 9." Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 308. Print.
Quallich, Stephen, “Moral Issues.” A Glimpse at Moral Issues. 23 July 2009. <http://www.moralissues.org/>
By: Kelly Coen
I Would Follow My Conscience
This theory could be described as a psychological theory because it is based on determining right and wrong basing that on our psychological moral sense. Our conscience is part of our mind formed by internalizing the moral values we were raised with, generally from our parents but from other authority figures and peers as well. If our upbringing has been that of intelligent, empathic, or fair-minded, then our conscience serves as a sound moral compass to determining right and wrong. The thing with following our conscience is that if we weren’t raised with those then our morals would be reversed. Such as if we were raised in a racist environment or where child abuse was condoned then we might thing that it is morally accepted to do those things.
I Do Not Know What I Would Do
This statement expresses a morally agnostic theory of morality that holds there is no way of determining a right or wrong way in a moral situation. With this view it is a form of relativism because it suggests that there is no universal common standard to determine how we ought to behave toward each other. The moral agnostic theory is problematic because it does not permit us to evaluate the conduct of others. An example would be that if someone came up to you and robbed and beat you up you have no basis on which to say, “That was a morally wrong thing for that person to do.”
I Would Do Whatever Would Improve My Own Situation
This could be described as pragmatic theory of morality because the right action is based on what works well for advancing the speaker’s interests, while the wrong action is determined by what works against the speaker’s interest. An example would be if you are trying to decide if you should do some volunteer work, you decide to do it because it would look good on your resume. The problem with this theory is you could use it to justify your cheating on an upcoming exam.
I Would Do What God or the Scriptures Say Is Right
This statement expresses a theist theory of morality that holds that right and wrong are determined by a supernatural supreme being (“God”). We do what the Supreme Being wants us to do by the divinely inspired writings or through divinely inspired messengers. The strength of this moral theory lies in the fact that many religions embody values that are intelligent, empathic, and fair-minded, and the devotion of these religions’ followers encourages them to act in these morally upright ways. The potential problem with this moral perspective is that all religions don’t agree regarding moral values, and so we are left to determine which religion is the right one on which to base our moral views.
I Would Do Whatever Made Me Happy
This statement reflects a slightly more refined version of the hedonist moral theory, which advises people to do whatever brings them pleasure. This is certainly something that people put as a goal to be happy, but with this there are significant problems when we apply this to the moral realm and our relationships with other people. For example, suppose you are contemplating an action that will make you very happy—stealing a new BMW convertible, for example—but will make someone else very unhappy, namely, the owner of the car. The trouble with doing whatever makes you happy is the same difficulty we saw with doing whatever improves your situation. Neither moral theory takes into account the interest or rights of other people; thus, when you interests conflict with someone else’s, your interests always prevail.
Chaffee, John. "Chapter 4." Thinking Critically. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 313+. Print.
By Sally Wilson
Moral Issues is a topic that at first glance, I thought I would know plenty about without having to do a large amount of research. I was wrong. Moral issues is a subject that can be defined in many ways. First off, moral issues are those which involve a difference of belief and not a matter of preference. Meaning that during a moral dispute, the disagreement would involve feeling. I believe that most moral disagreements do involve an abundance of feeling. Moral issues are touchy because they are something that we care about.
Another way to define moral issues is: what is moral should arise from your conscience. This would give possible feelings of guilt, shame, and even satisfaction; causing you to feel obligated to do something that your “gut feeling” tells you to. Such as: when you come across someone who is hurt and who needs your help, most would feel obligated to help them because if they do not, they will feel guilty. A massive amount of this is caused by the way that you are raised.
I have decided that a good example would be my own upbringing. I was brought up in a Christian home with a mother and father. I have what some might call a very large family. I have four sisters and one brother. My three older sisters had attended grade school for a small amount of time when my parents decided to start home schooling them. From that point on my parents did not even consider, going back to public school, an option for us. I have been taught precisely what my parents want me to know my entire life.
Does this put me at a disadvantage? Some would say that it does but I would go out on a limb to say that it is an advantage. I am able to say very sincerely that I know what I believe in and nothing anyone could say will cause me to back down from my beliefs. That is very valuable to me and it is something that other people search for a lifetime to find. Even though my parents brought me up to believe in what they do, I still have the opportunity to venture out and form my own beliefs.
While reading this you should automatically see that I am the perfect example. I am run by my feelings. When I put myself into a situation in which I would have to make a decision about a moral issue, I make that decision based on what I have been taught is right or wrong. After doing this research, I know now that when it comes to moral issues the belief of one person or another could be incorrect. It is also true that both people’s beliefs could be incorrect. What conclusion does this bring me to? I think that Brammer says it best:
Despite extensive work in this area, there is little consensus concerning the basis or standards of “good” or ethical behavior and the reasons behind them. Ethical standards are often implicitly assumed, or religious values such as those found in the golden rule or what is common across religions are strongly favored as a normative foundation for ethics (Brammer et al., 2007).
Brammer, S., G. Williams and J. Zinkin: 2007, ‘Religion and Attitudes to Corporate Social Responsibility in a Large Cross-Country Sample’, Journal of Business Ethics 71, 229–243.
By KayAnn Mader
There are many questions to be asked when it comes to the topic of moral issues. What is right? What is wrong? Does this consider to be moral to me? There are many issues that can be classified as a moral issue.
Before characterizing what is moral and what isn’t you must first know what moral means. Moral is concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character. When talking about moral issues it ties into ethics. “Ethical and moral are essentially equivalent terms that can be used interchangeably.” Morality has a lot to do with your own conscience.
One moral issue would be molestation. To me that is very wrong, that’s not a good moral. The psychopaths don’t have any good morals or at least they consider to them what would be the opposite to the people who think that would be devastating.
In the book Critical Thinking by John Chaffee, it explains about moral values and how you judge certain questions. I think morality is plainly an opinion. Everybody looks at issues in a certain manner to what they think is moral or “ethical” or not. “Self -evaluation is to illuminate current moral codes and initiate the process of critical reflection.
Did morality evolve? In the site Philosophy all about, the word of morality carries out the concept of moral standards-referring to behavior; moral responsibility-referring to our conscience; moral identity-the one who is capable of right and wrong. “Morality has become a complicated issue in the multicultural world we live in today.” Society can’t survive very long without the principle of our behavior. Morality is important to our behavior on 3 levels: ensure harmony between individuals; help make us good people in order to have a good society; keep us I good relationship in the power that creates us. "The most significant predictor of a person's moral behavior may be religious commitment.” Based on this “what we believe about Creation has a decided effect on our moral thinking and our behavior. Without belief in a Creator, the only option that seems to be left is to adhere to moral standards we make up for ourselves[…] “The view of many who do not adhere to Creation is that morality is a creation of humanity, designed to meet the need of stable societies. All kinds of life are in a process of deciding between life and death, choosing what to do with power and/or authority.” In morality and our conscience “ Many people hold to the idea that the conscience is a matter of our hearts, that concepts of right, wrong, and fairness are "programmed" in each of us. “
In conclusion I think its more based on the persons personality and beliefs towards society to think what is moral to them. Everyone is very different and don’t think alike. We all hold our own morals and tend to think differently about some people’s actions based on their morals, but this is simply the way our society works.
References: Chaffee, John, Thinking Critically, Ninth Edition, Boston, New York, 2007.
Philosophy all about, morality by design, 2002-2010.
By Jacob Plata
Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99 % of them are wrong. - H.L. Mencken
What is morality? Morality is a code of conduct. Morality is ethics that refer to either personal belief or cultural value. There can be no absolute right or wrong moral because everybody believes what may be right for them may not be right for someone else. Although regardless of what people think morals are what is truly right and wrong.
Moral acts can cause benefit or harm. Morals among the same types of communities or cultures usually can be beneficial. Although there are strictly morals that differ among everybody. What you may think is right somebody else can think is wrong. When people try to pass on morals to people who differ in culture or ways of living is when it can usually cause harm.
There can be no positively correct moral code to behavior and morality can rarely be judged.
Does Morality Tell Us How We Should Live?
The answer is usually yes. We follow morals and the lead us to they choices we make in everyday life. Whether it be bad morals or good morals we make the choices based on our beliefs and ideas. For example when we vote for our president, if strongly a democrat, we would hardly listen to anything a republican had to say and stick to the ideals of the democratic party. Another example would religion, its not necessarily the person who always attends church every sunday who has good morals. You could go to church and not hear a thing the priest is saying but being there was enough for you (being your moral viewpoint).
There are the laws of man and the laws of God. These are two visions of what moral codes are usually made up from. Being a good citizen, attending church on a regular basis, and not breaking the law all are what usually add up to be good ethics. We believe that following rules that are set up for us are what makes a person have good morals. Although rules in communities, religions, states, countries all differ, and not one’s morals are greater that the others. Also who tells us what makes a good person and what makes up good morals? Nobody but yourself. We choose to believe in what we want to believe in and in the end make up our own choices. We live how we want to live and follow our own code on conduct.
So whether you have good or bad morals we all have what we see is right and wrong. What we view as positive and negative. It gives us self identity and leads us to the path of how we live. From birth we are informed what the rules are and what we should do, morals like having good religious beliefs, obeying authority, being a hard worker, and maybe even good table manners. Morals and ethics will never be the same from individual to individual, so therefore we cannot and will no ever have a set moral code.
by Laura Williams
It is important in arguments to deal with strict definition of the subject
matter. This establishes the parameters within which the argument will be brought forth. However, the definitions of “argument” are as diverse as the birds in the trees. For example:
In logic, an argument is a set of one or more meaningful declarative sentences (or "propositions") known as the premises along with another meaningful declarative sentence (or "proposition") known as the conclusion.
For philosophers, an argument is an attempt to give good reasons for believing a claim.
However, perhaps the most interesting is this, from our friends at Microsoft….
In Excel, arguments are used in functions. They are the part of the function enclosed in round brackets (parentheses) following the function’s name. Arguments supply the data for the function to use in its calculations.
Think about that a moment; “arguments supply the data for the function to use in its calculations”. If we consider critical thinking to be the “function” in question, this statement becomes an absolute truth even outside the world of technology and spreadsheets. Without valid arguments, sound conclusions cannot be drawn. Without valid arguments, our reasons for believing a claim may be nothing more than pixie-dust. It is important to understand the basic parameters of valid arguments for the “function”, i.e. critical thinking, to correctly and logically perform its calculations.
All arguments fall into two fundamental categories; deductive and inductive. Using a deductive pattern will greatly increase the logical power of your argument, if you already have reasons which are true
Scientific reasoning uses both deductive and inductive argument structures. It is important to learn how science works, so we can properly assess scientific claims. In science classes and in the press we hear many scientific claims that are overstated. "We now know_." Do they really know? Perhaps. But all too frequently, they really don't.
For more information, please see….
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by: Barbara, Abby, and Rebecca
How do I decide if a statement is indeed an argument?
Lets first define argument. An Argument is a form of thinking in which certain statement are offered in support of another statment. Basically, this or these reasons offer a valid conclusion.
Now let's define reasons. Reaons are statements that support another statement, justify it, or make it more probable. Here are some key words to help identify reasoning statements;
Since, For, In view of, First, Second, Because, As shown by, Given that, Assuming that, As indicated by
Now let's define conclusion. A conclusion is a statement that explains, asserts, or predicts on the basis of statements that are offered as evidence for it. Here are some key words for identifying conclusions;
Therefore, Thus, Hence, So, Implies that, Points to, As a result, Then, It follows that, Consequently
Always consider the validity of the argument ar hand. a valid argument is on in which the reaons support that conclustion so that the conclusion follows for the reasons offered. However, an invalid argument is an argument in which the reasons do not support the conclusion so that the conclusion does not follow the reasons offered.
There are tow major types of arguments; deductive and inductive.
An inductive argument is one where the premises provide some evidence for the truth of the conclusion. These can be neither valid or invalid.
A deductive argument is an argument form in which one reasons from premises that are known or assumed to be true to a conclusion that follows necessarily from these premises. Here are some examples;
Every event has a cause
The universe has a beginning
All beginning involve an event
This implies that the beginning of the universe involved an event
Therefore the universe has a cause
Thinking Critically by John Chaffee, Chapter 10
Deductive vs Inductive Reasoning
By: Bea Perez, Samantha Bennett and Aubrey Schneider
In logic, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches.
And according to www.socialresearchmethods.net deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach. We might begin with thinking up a theory about a topic of interest. We then narrow that down into more specific hypotheses that we can test. We narrow down even further when we collect observations to address the hypotheses. This ultimately leads us to be able to test the hypotheses with specific data — a confirmation (or not) of our original theories. The table below explains it as well.
Inductive reasoning works the other way, by moving from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories. Informally, we sometimes call this a "bottom up" approach. In inductive reasoning, we begin with specific observations and measures, begin to detect patterns and regularities, formulate some tentative hypotheses that we can explore, and finally end up developing some general conclusions or theories. The table below show the steps as well.
These two methods of reasoning have a very different "feel" to them when you're conducting research. Inductive reasoning, by its very nature, is more open-ended and exploratory, especially at the beginning. Deductive reasoning is narrower in nature and is concerned with testing or confirming hypotheses. Even though a particular study may look like it's purely deductive. However, most social research involves both inductive and deductive reasoning processes at some time in the project. Even in the most constrained experiment, the researchers may observe patterns in the data that lead them to develop new theories.
An example of inductive reasoning would be if we see 100 cats, all with a different colored coat, we could conclude that all cats have some type of coat, right? Wrong, there is such a thing as a sphynx; which is hairless. This intern becomes an error in reasoning also known as a fallacy.
Also,experiment-resources.com has another way to explain inductive reasoning is it allows a tentative prediction to be made which leads to a general theory about how things work. An excellent example of this process in action is the discoveries and works of the great Charles Darwin. He made some observations about how the Darwin Finches vary from each other across the Galapagos archipelago. After some thought and reasoning, he saw that these populations were geographically isolated from each other and that the variation between the sub-species varied over distance. He therefore proposed that the finches all shared a common ancestor, and evolved and adapted, by natural selection, to exploit vacant ecological niches. This resulted in evolutionary divergence and the creation of new species, the basis of his ‘Origin of Species’.
This was an example of inductive reasoning because, as he started with a specific piece of information and expanded it to a broad hypothesis. Science then used deductive reasoning to generate testable hypotheses and test his ideas.
Then we have Deductive reasoning which is the complete opposite of inductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning is what most scientists recognize as the standard scientific method, where a researcher starts with a wider theory. The researcher generates a testable hypothesis and designs an experiment to observe the results, and prove or disprove the theory.
J. J. Thompson’s Cathode Ray-Experiment was an excellent example of this process, where he had ideas about how electrons behaved and generated theories about their nature. Therefore, he generated hypotheses, designed experiments and tried to find conclusive answers to add credence and weight to his initial theory.
In conclusion deductive reasoning moves from the more general to the more specific. For example, it uses accepted facts to write a logical argument. Also, another way to put it is inductive reasoning does not result with a definite conclusion like deductive reasoning.
by Laura Williams
The most common question in reasoning is, what kind of reasoning is it? Although this in itself seems to be a circular discussion, it is actually a very valid consideration. Most commonly discussed are the inductive and deductive forms of reasoning. However, both forms of reasoning require a qualified definition of what is true. Without this definition it is impossible to draw a conclusion from either type of reasoning. While inductive and deductive reasoning are both well-defined, it is actually the definition of “truth” that can throw a fork in the road on the way to a logical conclusion.
Several false theories regarding the nature of truth are currently in vogue…….. accepting them results in a wholesale rejection of reason.
We will examine a few examples of these false theories.
Subjectivism: This is the incorrect notion that truth is relative to individuals.
1) In ethical subjectivism moral values are dependent on a will, human or divine, a willing subject.
2) Subjectivism is the doctrine that all knowledge is subjective, that there is no external or objective truth.
The problem with subjectivism is that it negates any point in argument. By simply stating that what we believe to be true IS true, we elevate ourselves to the level of the infallible. That means that the belief that subjectivism is false is true. That results in a catastrophic contradiction, proving that subjectivism is false.
Relativism: This is the incorrect notion that truth is relative to societies.
1) The first clear statement of relativism comes with the Sophist Protagoras, as quoted by Plato, "The way things appear to me, in that way they exist for me; and the way things appears to you, in that way they exist for you" (Theaetetus 152a).
2) Relativism is a theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups which holds them.
The fact is that groups as well as individuals are prone to error. Wholesale subscription to relativism would make a society infallible by its own definition. The problem with that is that all reformers would be, by default, wrong, and no change could ever be advanced in that society.
Postmodernism: This is the postulation that all realities are constructions, and there are no absolutes.
1) "Postmodernists are suspicious of authoritative definitions and singular narratives of any trajectory of events.” (Bishop 1996: 993). Post-modern attacks on ethnography are based on the belief that there is no true objectivity. The authentic implementation of the scientific method is impossible.
2) In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person
As explained in the last reference, by including facets of both the previous false theories, postmodernism scores the Trifecta of fallacious theories of truth.
By recognizing and knowing how to refute these false theories of truth, one can remove some of the largest hurdles to logical reasoning and critical thinking.
Deciding on a Career
“Work is a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash… in short, for life rather then a Monday through Friday sort of dying.” By: Stud Terkel
I want to be a police officer, or maybe a teacher, or even a lawyer. What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a big question we ask ourselves everyday as we get older and learn new bits and pieces every day. As we all know life is full of numerous adventures, so when we’re young it is fun to experince the different activities we learn. What we don’t realize is, once we get out of high school is when the real concerns begin. You are now grown up and ready to make something of yourself but you question how to. You actually start to wonder who you are going to be, what your going to become, and where your going to start, to make your career(s) fit you. To me the most intelligent way to begin is by enrolling into college, all though some may consider another way to begin. The next challenge is to figure out what you want to major in, Crimanal Justice, Teaching, Forensic Science, Vet-Tech, there are just so many to choose from and not knowing where to begin. This can be a difficult to decide on, coming from personal experince. Whether you are just getting out of high school or trying to make a better decisions for yourself and family, people have a universal idea of what they would consider doing but aren’t exactly sure. Even if your positive on the major you have decided, it is not a bad idea to consider the different oppertunities, just to make certain that your selection is the right choice for you. Doing this will help you understand, and maybe even notice more of your ablities and talents. Quite a few people change their major numerous times before they find the perfect choice for themselves to move on and graduate. This may make you think that your being unstable and maybe a bit confused about what to do. When being indecisive is a normal healthy sign. Many would suggest this, so you are able to search and experience the different careers and choices you have and might want to attempt or carry out. This can be as simple just by going to a simple science class or math class. This just gives you the chance to begin thinking and analizing what your possiblities are. Another good way to decide your career, is by reviewing what you already know about your career orientation. Your personal history holds many clues on the debate to identify the course to choose. By the choices you have made, what motivated you for those choices, you then begin creating an image of yourself, that might help you define the best major for you. Giving the chance to have a fulfilling furture, but again this is all so very difficult to stay ahead and not give up. Just imagine a world where everyone just gave up, we wouldn’t have many of the pleasures that we have now. For exaple, if Benjemin Franklin gave up we wouldn’t have eletricity. This essay is just an very well explination of to stay motivated and to keep moving forward, No matter what the hurdles may be. Just take a large leap and have faith that no matter what you will make it to the the fulfilling future you need, want, and worked hard to get.
Thinking Critically book by, John Chaffee
Internet site: http://howtochooseacareer.com/
Ted and Gana