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Symbolic and Critical Reasoning - IAP 101

What Reasonable Conclusions Are Possible?

Todays Class
Grades! Paper Topics! Quest Next Week! Chapter 13 Review?

The Critical Questions!!!


1. What are the Issue and the Conclusion? 2. What are the Reasons? 3. What Words or Phrases are Ambiguous? 4. What are the Value Conflicts and Assumptions? 5. What are the Descriptive Assumptions? 6. Are There Any Fallacies in the Reasoning?

Continued
7. How good is the evidence? 8. Are there rival causes? 9. Are the statistics deceptive? 10. What significant information is omitted? 11. What reasonable conclusions are possible?

Conclusions
Remember the Either-Or Fallacy? It applies to conclusions too! Very rarely is there only one possible conclusion to an argument As critical thinkers we must look for alternative conclusions!

Dichotomous Thinking
Dichotomy: a division between two things that are being represented as being opposed or entirely different. Good or evil Asleep or awake

Dichotomous Thinking
When people think in terms of black or white, yes or no, right or wrong, correct or incorrect they are engaging in dichotomous thinking. Dichotomous thinking often overlooks other possible options. It also oversimplifies complex situations. Very rarely is there only one possible conclusion to an argument As critical thinkers we must look for alternative conclusions!

Searching for Multiple Conclusions


Two sides or many? Should you give money to beggars? Is shakespeare the best writer of all time? Should the government provide every child in school with a free computer tablet?

Finding the Context


Ask: When is it accurate? Where is it accurate? Why or for what purpose is it accurate?

If Clauses
Qualify your answer, you don't have to pretend you know everything. Conditional yes or no Yes, if... No, if... Maybe, if... It depends on...

As Critical Thinkers...
Try to identify as many conclusions as possible Use if-clauses to qualify those conclusions Re-word the issue to what should we do about Y? Caution: Not all conclusions are created equal

Conclusion About Conclusions


Finding multiple conclusions can be very liberating. It keeps us humble. Always ask what if? When choosing a conclusion, you are looking for the most reasonable answer that fits your worldview.

First year students should not be required to live in dorms on campus. One reason they should be allowed to live on their own is that dorms are often noisy and disruptive to students who wish to study. A survey of ninety-five freshmen who live in dorms on campus at a midwestern university said that they had a difficult time studying in their rooms because of the noise level. One female student surveyed answered, "I have a hard time reading in my room every Thursday through Sunday because of the amount of noise in my hall." Also, dorms tend to promote too much partying and experimentation with drugs and alcohol because of peer pressure and availability. Students who wish to do well in college would be benefited if allowed to live off campus.

Because television, videotapes and other visual aids are a more entertaining and attention grabbing medium of communication according to most students, schools should employ this source much more and lectures and reading much less. Students are more likely to watch curriculum materials than to read about similar materials for the reason that watching is a much quicker and fun way to learn concepts. Since the evidence of countless surveys show that students would rather watch a film in class than listen to a lecture, video curriculum would have immediate appeal and success. In response to those who are critical of the idea, viewing the presentation of a concept and then writing it down in notebooks stimulates two areas of the brain, the visual and the motor, which research shows is more conducive to successful memorization of learning materials.