Philosophy Critical Thinking

Philosophy Critical Thinking-66
Now, it's worth pointing[br]out that the red argument, though it's bad as it[br]stands, could be made a good argument with the addition of some background premise.

" And there are a lot of different things that she might say in response.

We're gonna talk about three possible answers she could give.

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.

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.

If he's really shy and[br]rarely goes to parties, then it's probable that he[br]won't be at tonight's party.

Similarly, the third reason[br]also gives you a good reason to believe that[br]Monty won't be at the party. I teach at Northern Illinois University, and this is an introduction[br]to critical thinking. And third, what's the difference between deductive and ampliative arguments? Well, fundamentally, critical thinking is about making sure that you have good reasons for your beliefs. So suppose that you and your friend are talking about who's[br]gonna be at tonight's party.In this lesson, we're gonna[br]talk about three things. And she says to you, quite confidently, "Monty won't be at the party." You're not sure whether[br]or not to believe her, so it would be natural[br]for you to follow up by asking, "Why do you think so?I'm not using it to indicate anything having to do with morality or ethics.So it's not morally right or morally good to believe something on[br]the basis of good reasons.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 fact that your[br]friend can't stand Monty and wants to have a good[br]time doesn't do anything to make it more likely[br]that Monty won't be there. In the purple argument,[br]though, the premises, if they're true, they guarantee[br]the conclusion is true. The truth of the premises[br]guarantees the truth of the conclusion, and so[br]in the purple argument, the premises do support the conclusion.First, she might say, "I can't stand him, and I want to have a good time." Second, she might say,[br]"Well, he's really shy, and he rarely goes to parties." And third, she might say, "He's in Beijing, and it's impossible to get here from[br]Beijing in an afternoon." The first response that she gives you does not give you a good reason to believe that Monty won't be at the party.The second reason,[br]though, is a good reason to believe that Monty[br]won't be at the party.So critical thinking is making sure we have good reasons for our beliefs, and so one of the essential[br]skills that you learn when you're studying[br]critical thinking is how to distinguish good reasons[br]for believing something from bad reasons for believing something.Now, it's worth saying something about how I'm using the term "good" here.


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