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Critical Thinking and Logic Paper Lorrie Graham Philosophy 251 University of Phoenix August 29, 2006
Lorrie Graham 08/29/06
Brent Muirhead PHL 251 Thinking and Language 2 Critical Thinking and Language Paper
The world I live in is particularly harsh at times so I contemplated for a moment on the trials and tribulations of two different societies. There is a contrast between two different states I have lived in and currently live—Charleston and Atlanta. The difference is noted from my recent vacation and I decided to return to my previous home for a slower pace of life even if it meant for a short period of time. Charleston is like a brand new discovery only limited in its scope. One trip around the Charleston Area and you have pretty much seen it in its entirety. The only disadvantage of living in Charleston is the sudden fact that you will have to brace yourself for its hurricane season and the mere fact that the people are little more hospitable in the surrounding Charleston Area. Atlanta is a different version and one that I continuously find a tremendous challenge—day in and day out. My sunny disposition can attest to this from a different perspective. There is no other way to describe Atlanta other than it’s a wake up call to the other side of insanity. “Where is the love?” I ask especially when commuting becomes an event with a myriad of road warriors and angry mobs vying for space on the highway. Atlanta is a distant place and, oftentimes, unfriendly. I’m doing my best to survive the mean streets of Atlanta but it’s getting harder by the minute. Therefore, I’ve decided to make my eventual trip back to Charleston when I’ve accomplished my goals. Now looking at language and its diversity, one can see the impact that language has on society and the world today. We have many cultures imbued into one society but we use language in different ways to communicate to one another like sign language for the deaf, slang terms used to convey similar meaning but different context, learning to speak another language i.e. Spanish, French, German, etc. The diversity of language can
Lorrie Graham 08/29/06
Brent Muirhead PHL 251 Thinking and Language 3 be an advantage as we have the ability to transcend understanding of different cultures. But the greatest challenge for language itself is circumventing the pitfalls of language that can easily lead to misunderstandings or even create a backdrop for war. Connotations (meaning of words), metaphors (words emphasizing meaning figuratively), generalizations, abstracts, and other word meanings play a huge factor on how we deliver language. We use language to explain our feelings, emotions, and nonverbal cues to express these thoughts in everyday communication. However, cultural diversity can complicate this in various ways. People from other cultures have their own customs and beliefs that fit their tradition and ignorance can play a part in miscommunication. This can result in conflict and the many obstacles of language, whether verbal or nonverbal, we face today. For instance, an online article from the Ten3Businesse-Coach states, “In some cultures, looking people in the eye is assumed to indicate honesty and straightforwardness; in others it is seen as challenging and rude. In USA, the cheapest, most effective way to connect with people is to look them into the eye. Most people in Arab cultures share a great deal of eye contact and may regard too little as disrespectful. In English culture, a certain amount of eye contact is required, but too much makes many people uncomfortable. In South Asian and many other cultures direct eye contact is generally regarded as aggressive and rude" (Ten3Business-Coach, 2006). In fact, critical thinking encompasses the language thought process with assumption, fallacies, inductive and deductive reasoning that coincide with the ability to persuade others to think along our way of reasoning. Persuasion is used in everyday life like political campaigns or promoting a business need. Persuasion can be an added
Lorrie Graham 08/29/06
Brent Muirhead PHL 251 Thinking and Language 4 benefit that can force others to truly think outside the box and consider the subject matter in question. We have to think critically or we face making grave decisions that can affect us long-term. Thinking outside the box can bring innovative, unique ideas whether it’s in the workplace or classroom. The real challenge is applying critical thinking to everyday life and asking others to rise to the occasion. Kirby and Goodpaster state, “Our thinking is confined within the language that is “running” in our brain. Language is the interpretative medium for the input—the remembering, sorting, creating, judging, and deciding—and language also dramatically shapes those processes. Without language our cerebral cortex, able to conceptualize the universe, would drape around our lower brain like clothes on a mannequin” (Kirby and Goodpaster, 1999).
Lorrie Graham 08/29/06 Reference List
Brent Muirhead PHL 251 Thinking and Language 5
Bibikova, Anastasia and Kotelnikov, Vadim (2006). Ten3Business-Coach: Managing Cross-Cultural Differences. Retrieved August 24, 2006 from www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/crosscultural_differences.html. Kirby, Garry R. and Goodpaster, Jeffery R. (1999). Critical Thinking: Language Our Thinking Medium, p. 1-17. Retrieved August 18, 2006, from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection.