Clear Thinking

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an presentation which i have given.... i hope it will help others in future

Text of Clear Thinking

Learning Objective of this topic

Analyze thinking process. Describe how to think clearly and logically. Explain creativity. Identify common fallacies in everyday language

We are the product of our thoughts?????????????

Change your thoughts and you change your world. Thought makes the whole dignity of man, therefore endeavor to think well, that is the only morality.

What is Thinking ?Thinking encompasses all of the mental activities associated with concept- formation, problem solving , intellectual functioning, Creativity, complex learning, memory and imagery .

Convergent thinkingIt is, Logical, Analytical and predictable thinking It is most useful when we have information that can be handled logically.

Divergent thinkingIt is characterized by a process of moving away' in various directions, a diverging of ideas to encompass a variety of relevant aspects. This kind of thinking is frequently associated with creativity since it often yields novel ideas and solutions.


He is a bad journalist because he is a bad man. Young people are more immoral in their behavior than older people. Ahmar is bound to be intelligent because he is always reading. The Pakistanis are the best people in the world.

Having just arrived in Ohio, I saw a white squirrel. All Ohio Squirrels are white. One day Ali wakes up with a fever. A few hours later he finds red spots on his skin. he concludes that the fever must have caused the red spots. His friend insists that the spots and the fever are caused by some microbe. Ali laughs at this and insists that if he spends the day in a tub of cold water his spots will go away.

No one can deny the justice of our cause. He mixes with criminals, therefore he is a criminal himself. Cricketers are superior people Tyson is a cricketer . Tyson, therefore, is a superior person.

Characteristics of clear thinking

Determinism Empirical evidence Objectivity

Some fallacies in common thinking

A fallacy is a technical flaw which makes an argument unsound or invalid. Arguments which contain fallacies are described as fallacious. They often appear valid and convincing; sometimes only close inspection reveals the logical flaw.

AD HOMINEM ARGUMENTS attack on your opponent personally instead of arguing against his or her position.

Example: Azhar's objections to capital punishment carry no weight since he is a known criminal. You claim that atheists can be moral--yet I happen to know that you abandoned your wife and children."

. VICIOUS CIRCLE you assume what you want to prove Example: Of course the Bible is the word of God. Why? Because God says so in the Bible. IRRELEVANCIES arguing a point by arguing everything else.

All children should have ample attention from their parents. Parents who work full-time cannot give ample attention to their children. Therefore, mothers should not work full-time

COMMON BELIEF: This fallacy is committed when we assert a statement to be true on the evidence that many other people allegedly believe it. Being widely believed is not proof or evidence of the truth. Example: Of course Mr X was guilty in surrey palace. Everybody knows that.

DUBIOUS AUTHORITY appeal to an expert who is not expert in the area of concern. ATTACKING A STRAW MAN refuting real arguments with silly example. Example: Those who favor gun-control legislation just want to take all guns away from responsible citizens and put them into the hands of the criminals.

ATTACKING A STRAW MAN refuting real arguments with silly example. Example: Those who favor guncontrol legislation just want to take all guns away from responsible citizens and put them into the hands of the criminals.

ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY or FALSE ANALOGY: An unsound form of inductive argument in which an argument is based completely or relies heavily on analogy to prove its point. Example: This must be a great car, for, like the finest watches in the world, it was made in Switzerland.

PITY AND OTHER EMOTIONAL APPEALS I am a single parent, solely responsible for the financial support of my children. If you give me this traffic ticket, I will lose my license and be unable to drive to work. PSEUDO QUESTIONS: questions that lead to nowhere, Example .How is the mind related to the body?

CHANGING MEANING PREJUDICED ARGUMENTS Example: Jim Bakker was an insincere Christian. Therefore all Christians are insincere."

APPEAL TO IGNORANCE or Ad ignorantium. Arguing on the basis of what is known and can be proven. If you can't prove that something is true then it must be false (and vice versa). Example: You can't prove there isn't any ghost, so there must be one.

FALSE DILEMMA (often called the either/or fallacy because the argument nearly always includes the words "either... or..."). This fallacy assumes that we must choose between two opposite extremes instead of allowing for other possibilities, especially for the possibility of choosing an alternative between the extremes. Example: Women need to be either brilliant or beautiful to survive in this world.


CONDEMNING WHOLE CLASS FOR A CHARACTERISTIC POSSESSD BY SOME. Example: Jim was an insincere Christian. Therefore all Christians are insincere."

Benefits of critical thinking

Good critical thinking skills bring numerous benefits such as: improved attention and observation more focused reading improved ability to identify the key points in a text or other message rather than becoming distracted by less important material

improved ability to respond to the appropriate points in a message knowledge of how to get your own point across more easily skills of analysis that you can choose to apply in a variety of situations

Thinking Critically

Be skeptical Watch the definitions Beware of overgeneralization Redefine problems Use fractionation Consider the opposite Take the perspective of another person

Some factors which inhibits our ability to think clearly and logically Emotions

Narrow-mindedness Cynicism Nave optimism Skepticism Agnostic attitude