Books On Critical Thinking And Reasoning
As with the word "critical," the word "argument" has a particular meaning when applied to critical thinking. In logic, an argument is a claim or conclusion supported by premises.
In other words, an argument is a claim combined with some reasons for accepting the claim.
It's no good knowing the principles of logic and evidence if you aren't committed to using them to seek the truth.
Someone who knows all the principles of reasoning, but can't be bothered to use them--or worse, uses them in dishonest ways--isn't a good critical thinker.
Similarly, someone who knows the rules of logic, but doesn't have any skill in applying them (Glaser's third trait), isn't a good critical thinker either.
Like most stills, critical thinking takes practice and dedication as well as knowledge.
If I say, "I think smoked meat is bad for you, because studies show it's carcinogenic", I've made an argument.
There's a claim ("smoked meat is bad for you") as well as a reason, or premise, supporting it ("there have been studies"). But in ordinary language, premises often come after the conclusion, or may even be unstated.
Confirmation bias is one of the main causes of the fake news phenomenon in recent years, and we talk about it in our fake news programs here at DPL.First, the word "critical" doesn't mean "negative", but something more like "evaluative".To think critically is to evaluate beliefs, claims and decisions carefully, to make sure they're supported by logic and evidence.One fallacy that's always popular on social media and talk radio is the ad hominem fallacy (Latin for "to the person"), where people focus on personal characteristics of the person making the argument, rather than the logic of the argument itself.Another fallacy that's popular these days is the tu quoque (you too) fallacy, which is sometimes called whataboutism: (Your party has politicians who lie, therefore it's OK if ours do).
Another bias that makes people fall for fake news is in-group bias, which makes us quick to find fault with people outside our group or political tribe, while ignoring faults within our own group.