Critical thinking evaluating claims and arguments

Introduction When presented with an argument, we often rush to judgment, evaluating it before we fully appreciate it. This can be done through careful identification and reconstruction, the units you have just worked through. In this unit, we will discuss how to evaluate argument once we have reconstructed them. One evaluates arguments by assessing their quality, i.

Critical thinking evaluating claims and arguments

Claims, Reasons, Evidence Critical thinking means being able to make good arguments. Arguments are claims backed by reasons that are supported by evidence.

Argumentation is a social process of two or more people making arguments, responding to one another--not simply restating the same claims and reasons--and modifying or defending their positions accordingly.

Claims are statements about what is true or good or about what should be done or believed. Claims are potentially arguable.

Critical Thinking Worksite: Argument Evaluation

The rest of the world can't really dispute whether I liked the book or not, but they can argue about the benefits of liberal arts. Reasons are statements of support for claims, making those claims something more than mere assertions.

Reasons are statements in an argument that pass two tests: Reasons are answers to the hypothetical challenge to your claim: Liberal arts is best [claim] because it teaches students independent thinking [reason]; That was Newman's best [claim] because it presented the most difficult role [reason]; Global warming is real [claim] because the most reputable science points in that direction [reason].

Everyone should stop wearing seat belts [claim] because it would save lives [reason].

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If reasons do not make sense in the hypothetical challenge or the 'because' tests, there is probably something wrong with the logic of the argument.

Passing those tests, however, does not insure that arguments are sound and compelling.

Critical thinking evaluating claims and arguments

Evidence serves as support for the reasons offered and helps compel audiences to accept claims. Evidence comes in different sorts, and it tends to vary from one academic field or subject of argument to another.

Scientific arguments about global warming require different kinds of evidence than mealtime arguments about Paul Newman's movies.

Evidence answers challenges to the reasons given, and it comes in four main types: Specific instances include examples, case studies, and narratives.

Each can be an effective mode of building support for a reason or claim. In a public speech, they offer audiences a way to see an idea illustrated in a particular case. To be effective, specific instances need to be representative of the broader trend or idea they are supporting.

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With an example as evidence, someone arguing against seat belt use might say "Last year my cousin crashed her car off a bridge and would have drowned if she were wearing her seatbelt" as evidence the answer to "Why do you believe that?

An opponent might challenge whether this example was a representative one: In public speeches, statistics have the advantage of seeming objective, authoritative, and factual, but critical audiences will want to know about the sources and methods for determining your statistical evidence.

Testimony, or appeals to authority, come in two main types, eyewitness and expert. Eyewitness or first-hand testimonies are reports from people who directly experience some phenomenon.

If a speaker is arguing about toxic waste dumps, a quotation from someone living next to a dump would fall into this category. First-hand testimony can help give the audience a sense of being there.

Experts may also rely on direct experience, but their testimony is also backed by more formal knowledge, methods, and training. Supplementing the neighbor's account with testimony from an environmental scientist, who specializes in toxic waste sites, is an appeal to expertise.

When using testimony in arguments, you should always make sure the authority you are appealing to is in fact qualified to speak on the topic being discussed.Logic is the science of how to evaluate arguments and reasoning. Critical thinking is a process of evaluation which uses logic to separate truth from falsehood, reasonable from unreasonable beliefs.

Critical thinking evaluating claims and arguments

If you want to better evaluate the various claims, ideas, and arguments you encounter, you need a better understanding of basic logic and the . Critical Thinking skills and Logical Arguments Critical think is a branch of informal logic Critical thinking includes a variety of deliberative processes that assist in evaluating arguments and claims Claims also called statements or assertions Logical argument is form of reasoning.

The HEIghten Critical Thinking assessment is administered in a single minute testing session. Each test taker answers 26 questions. The item types include critical thinking sets, short arguments or informational passages, and sets that present conditions applicable to a fictional situation.

Logical and Critical Thinking The University of Auckland And that's how you evaluate arguments as a good critical thinker. How to evaluate an argument This video shows you how to evaluate arguments in a step-by-step manner: Identify .

When we evaluate something we continue the process of analysis by assessing the various claims and arguments for validity.

Critical Thinking Definitions Introduction When presented with an argument, we often rush to judgment, evaluating it before we fully appreciate it. This can be done through careful identification and reconstruction, the units you have just worked through.

One way we evaluate a message is to ask questions about what is being said and who is saying it. Critical Thinking. Critical Thinking skills and Logical Arguments Critical think is a branch of informal logic Critical thinking includes a variety of deliberative processes that assist in evaluating arguments and claims Claims also called statements or assertions Logical argument is form of reasoning.

Argument: Claims, Reasons, Evidence | Department of Communication | University of Pittsburgh