Logical Critical Thinking

And when you notice things like that, when you distinguish between good and bad reasons for believing something, you're exercising your[br]critical thinking skills.

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So "Monty's really shy" is premise one, "Monty rarely goes to[br]parties" is premise two, and the statement that[br]those premises give you reason to believe, we call[br]the argument's conclusion.

A good argument is one[br]in which the premises give you a good reason for[br]the conclusion, that is, the premises make the[br]conclusion likely to be true.

She's given you two statements, "Monty's really shy" and[br]"Monty rarely goes to parties," which together comprise[br]a reason for believing that Monty won't be at the party.

The statements that are the reason, we call the argument's premises.

Well, an argument is a set[br]of statements that together comprise a reason for a further statement.

Logical Critical Thinking

So, for example, we can consider one of your friend's responses[br]before as an argument.Similarly, the third reason[br]also gives you a good reason to believe that[br]Monty won't be at the party.If he's in Beijing, and[br]it's impossible to get here from Beijing in an afternoon,[br]then it's guaranteed that he won't be at the party.In that case, we say that the argument supports the conclusion.Good arguments support their conclusions, and bad arguments don't[br]support their conclusions.And here I can explain a[br]little bit more about why.If you consider what the[br]red argument's premises say, that your friend can't stand Monty, and she wants to have a good time, and think about their relationship to the conclusion of the argument, you'll see that those[br]statements don't make that conclusion any[br]more likely to be true.The very best reasons for a belief make it certain, they guarantee it. Well, the reason that critical thinking is important is because,[br]since we're rational, we want our beliefs to be true.Rational people want to have true beliefs, and they want not to have false beliefs.Now, it's worth saying something about how I'm using the term "good" here.I'm not using it to indicate anything having to do with morality or ethics.

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