Thinking Critically

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Thinking Critically. Claims. Making. &. Fallacies. Thinking logically…. Historically, l aw has not been ‘evidence based’ Good/Bad: S upernatural Codified morality. Rested on claims about…. people actions consequences. Logic (Greek, logos). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Thinking Critically

  • Thinking CriticallyClaimsMaking&Fallacies

  • Thinking logicallyHistorically, law has not been evidence basedGood/Bad: SupernaturalCodified moralityRested on claims about.people actions consequences

  • Logic (Greek, logos)An assessment of claims that is accomplished according to principles of validityPrinciples of validity : Claims about biology statements about living things

    Claims about economics statements about economic institutions

    Claims about crime & punishment statements about human action/behaviour & institutions of social controlSocial sciences (e.g. sociology, psychology, history)Law

  • Informed Logic...to separate strongfrom weak arguments, to develop your own opinions based on evidence and careful reasoning, and tosort through and make sense of a confusing mass of information.

  • ClaimsArguments: begin withone or more premises, which are facts that the argument takes for granted as the starting point (assumptions). Then a principle of logic is applied in order to come to a conclusion.

  • The ClaimUniversity professors feel their first-year students are less mature, rely too much on Wikipedia and "expect success without the requisite effort," says a province-wide survey to be released today.

  • Evidence: Evaluate...What evidence does the author present tosupport the argument(s)? Does the authoroffer enough evidence?More than 55 per cent of Ontario's faculty and librarians surveyed believe students are less prepared for university than even three years ago

  • Assessing Validity of Claims (Logic)In this case, many students agree with their profs. "I think it's a fair assessment," said first-year Ryerson journalism student Annie Webber. "I'm addicted to Wikipedia."In fact, many post-secondary institutions have had to create catch-up courses to help those who are struggling."It wasn't a shock for me I'm aware of what's happening out there," said Brian Brown, a University of Windsor visual arts professor. He also heads the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, which oversaw the online survey of about 2,000 professors and university librarians out of the province's 15,000

  • Alternative ArgumentsCan you think of alternative arguments that theauthor has not considered?

  • AssumptionsDespite what the survey actually measured (feels or opinion) this article tells a story that claims first year students are ill prepared (lazy)..but for what?The article assumes:Ill-prepared = using Wikipedia/lazy

    Ontario is an ideal learning environment

    13% (2000/15,000) of the prof/library admins in Ontario is representative of the opinions of prof/library admins in Canada. (It is not)

    professors and librarians are expertscan assess the difference working conditions not taken into account

    a few undergraduate students as experts (quote)

    programs are developed to fix students & not in response to things like disinterest caused by classroom overcrowding (for example).

  • Evidence for THAT claim is insufficient.However: some professors in Ontario DO indeed FEEL students are ill prepared (survey), but that does not mean that they are. Misuse of quotations/expertsIssue of validity (article)

    Fallacies (which we will talk about next)While we have not disproved this claim (it MAY be true) , but we have used critical thinking (logic) to demonstrate this article has NOT provided a series of logically consistent statements backed up by valid evidence about undergrad preparedness.

    Is there a crisis is lazy undergrads?

  • Theories vs. HypothesisTheories: a series of logically sound claimsthat have been supported through evidencemeets the criteria of a particular audience.thatHypothesis: A claim about a socialphenomena that has not been supported yet(might be a valid claim, but not supported sufficiently/empirically)

  • Types of FallaciesFlawed logical statements

  • Ecological FallacyYou make conclusionsabout individuals based only on analysis of group (aggragate) data.Italian School of Thought

    The parking disorder of those people who live downtown Ottawa

  • Exceptional Fallacy

    You reach a group conclusion on the basis of exceptional casesAll the ismsEugenicsMoral HygieneMovement

  • Ad HominemAttacking the person,instead of the argument.

  • Argument fromAuthorityYes consensus ofprofessional opinion is important, but speaking from authority does not make something true.

  • Deborah Landry, a University of Ottawa criminology professor, is on the fore front of graffiti research in Ottawa. She suggests considering the Mural programs likeCrime Prevention Ottawas Paint It Up programas a possibly more viable alternative.

  • Teleological FallacySomething is caused bythe ultimate effect that it has, or the purpose that it serves.

    Intelligent Design

    AntiquityThe Witch BurningsProtestant Work EthicSocial Contract Theory

  • Variable may berelated, but they not necessarily cause/effect.areClassical PeriodContemporary SocialPositivismConfusing correlation (or coincidence) with causation

  • TautologyCircular reasoning: theconclusion is its ownclaim.EugenicsMoral HygieneBiological Positivism

  • We are proposing measures to bring our laws into the 21st century and to provide the police with the lawful tools that they need, Mr. Toews said to the MP for Lac-Saint-Louis, Quebec. He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.False Dichotomy

  • Appeal to Emotion (fear)Red HerringAlmost every hypothesis that is short on evidence.

    Social phenomena that involves fears about the poor, vulnerable & racialized populations

  • Evaluate for InconsistencyApplying criteria orrules to one argument, opinion or claim, but not to others.~LombrossoCognitive Dissonance:people react strongly when they find that their actions do not fit with the opinions they hold.

  • Logic Practice BAD SIGNS, Ken Gray 1. Take 10 minutes to read through the article.2. Together, can you locate:~main claim~some of the assumptions~evaluate the evidence~identify fallacies ~offer an alternative explanation (claim)Recession Uncovers an Ugly Canadian Truth: We Have Too Few Cops, Too Many Robbers