1. “Critical Thinking in the Workplace”
The video clip “Thinking on the Job” in the Webtext this week illustrates the importance of critical thinking in work contexts.
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In addition, watch three short video clips from the series “Critical Thinking for Children” (all three can be found in the Instructor Insights for week 1). The videos are a bit funny, and may seem very simple, but simple is what we want in our class. The videos perfectly explain the gist of what critical thinking is, and what it means to be an un-critical thinker. We can be one or another at different moments of our lives….
·Explain what critical thinking is by concretely referring to the videos (don’t forget to provide references; you may also refer to the Webtext).
·Discuss a time in either your work or personal life in which you FAILED to apply critical thinking in a situation. What critical thinking skills have you failed to apply? What should you have done differently? What were the consequences of you not being a good critical thinker?
2. “Looking at the Other Side of the Coin”
- From the www.procon.org Website, select one (1) topic of your choice and read the Pro section and the Con section on the selected topic.
- In your own words, summarize the topic: what is the debate really about? What are the two sides of the debate? (Be thorough in your explanations; imagine you are talking to a 10 year old – that’s how thorough and clear you need to be.)
- State your position on the selected topic.
- List 3 best reasons supporting both positions in the debate.
- Determine the biases you experienced in your own thinking as you examined the reasons for and against your position. (Explain the meaning of the term ‘bias’ as well.)
- Describe your reaction to your experience of these biases.
3. “Understanding and Analyzing Arguments”
Read the Webtext material for week 3. Then, watch both videos provided in the Instructor’s Insights for Week 3. And finally, please respond to the following:
·Explain the meaning of the term ‘argument’ in logic. How does it differ from the second meaning of the term that we commonly use? (Don’t forget to provide your references! Make sure to carefully watch the videos and to refer to them!)
·Use the Internet to search for an example of an argument in the media, or present an argument you encountered in your daily life. Explain the example: what are the argument’s two parts? Is it a good argument? How can you assess it?
In your replies to classmates, discuss the classmate’s argument: is the argument well formulated? What should be changed? How can the argument be assessed?
4. “Fallacies and Errors in Sound Reasoning”
Please respond to the following:
·Explain the meaning of the term ‘fallacy’ in logic (review the material provided in Instructor Insights for Week 4; use reliable sources, and provide your references).
·Use the Internet to locate at least two (2) advertisements that exhibit any of the following fallacies: equivocation, false authority, ad hominem, appeal to ignorance, or bandwagon. Post the videos in the discussion. Next, identify and discuss the fallacy used in the selected advertisements: where exactly is the mistake of reasoning being committed?
·Remember that a fallacy is a faulty argument, so, in order to properly identify the fallacy you need to first identify the argument with its two crucial parts (what are those parts? review the material discussed in week 3 if you are not sure).
·Discuss the primary reasons why you believe that the advertisers have used the fallacy in question, and examine whether or not their use of this type of fallacy is effective.
5. “Identifying Misleading Information in an Argument”
Go over the three arguments below. (Don’t read your classmates’ posts until you are done with your own work.)
Then, choose TWO (2) of them.
In each case, identify the argument’s two parts: what is the conclusion? (There may be more than one conclusion in the passage; this means that you could identify more than one argument per passage.) What is or are the premises? (Each premise and each conclusion should be formulated in your own words; each of them must be a simple and complete declarative sentence.)
After you identify the argument, answer the following questions:
Is this a good argument? What’s misleading about it? Where is the reasoning mistake?
The following appeared in a local newspaper:
In the last school where Principal McArthur worked, he was known as very tough. The teachers resented him. Nobody liked him. He’d often call the teachers into his office and scold them for lateness, lazy work habits, and sloppy record-keeping. When Dr. McArthur arrives at his new position at the Willows High School next August, he will again create a hostile work environment.
The following appeared in promotional literature for a billboard company:
Bye Bye Baby Store installed a large billboard on the side of the 95 highway exit. Sales of baby items in the store increased 13% in the next fiscal quarter. Dr. Mark Baldwin, a local dentist, would like to increase the profits of his dental practice. All that needs to be done is installing an advertising billboard next to a highway exist and his patient load will increase tremendously.
The following appeared in a local newspaper:
Two weeks ago, 12 female college soccer players went to the Governor’s office. They wanted to protest budget cuts for intercollegiate women’s sports. In the state, there are about 30,000 female college athletes. Because only 12 women went to the protest, obviously most female athletes don’t care at all about the Governor’s funds for athletics. Therefore, there is no need for the governor to make any changes to his budget allocations.
When you reply to your classmates’ posts, help them in their analysis. Did they identify the argument in the right way? Is their assessment correct?