Critical Thinking (finished).txt

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Critical Thinking (finished).txt
2014-12-20 15:12:03

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  1. Argument
    An attempt to persuade a reader (or listener) to accept something. An argument must have a conclusion and at least one reason.
  2. Conclusion
    The conclusion of an argument is a statement of something that the writer or speaker wants the reader/listener to accept based on the reasons given.
  3. Reason
    A statement that aims to persuade the reader to accept a conclusion
  4. Claim
    A statement or judgement that can be challenged.
  5. Argument indicator
    A word or short phrase that helps the reader to identify the elements of an argument.
  6. Counter Argument
    An additional argument that is against or counter to what the conclusion seeks to establish. The writer normally presents the counter argument in order to dismiss it.
  7. Counter Assertion
    If the writer presents a reason that would support an opponents argument, rather than a counter argument, then the writer is making a counter assertion/claim.
  8. Hypothetical claim
    A claim in the form ' If this...then that...' Hypothetical claim indicator words and phrases include; if, provided that, on condition that, given that, then.
  9. Assumption
    This is missing reason in an argument. The writer accepts the assumption but has not been stated. The assumption is essential for the conclusion to be drawn.
  10. Reverse Test
    A strategy for checking whether an assumption is needed by an argument, by asking yourself if the argument would work with the assumption reversed.
  11. Fact
    Information that can be verified and that is held to be true.
  12. Factual claim
    A statement or judgement based on information that can be verified and that is held to be true.
  13. Evidence
    Something that is used to develop or support a reason. Evidence is often in the form of numerical data, an estimate or a factual claim.
  14. Example
    Something which is used as evidence because it is characteristic of the same kind of things or because it can serve to illustrate a principle.
  15. Credibility
    Whether someones claim or evidence can be believed.
  16. Plausibility
    Whether or not a claim or piece of evidence is reasonable.
  17. Witness
    A person who saw or heard an event.
  18. Source
    A person, organisation or document providing information or evidence.
  19. Witness Statement
    A report by someone who has actually seen or heard an event.
  20. Criteria
    Standards, measures or benchmarks against which something can be measured.
  21. Ability to perceive
    A source's ability to use any of the five senses to assess an event or situation.
  22. Eye witness
    Someone who provides evidence based on first hand experience.
  23. Hearsay
    Evidence based on second hand information from another source, who may have interpreted it.
  24. Corroboration
    Confirmation of or support for evidence given by one source by another source.
  25. Inconsistency
    When evidence or an argument contains two claims which cannot both be correct at the same time.
  26. Bias
    Tendency to be prejudiced against or in favour of certain beliefs or people who engage in particular activities. This gives a motive or subconscious reason to lie, misrepresent or distort information or evidence, eg, by being selective in what is reported in order to blame someone else or support strongly held beliefs.
  27. Neutrality
    Being impartial, having no reason to favour either side in a dispute or difference of opinion.
  28. Vested interest
    Personal interest, usually financial, in a state of affairs or in an organisation leading to the expectation of personal gain from a favourable outcome.
  29. Motive
    Factor that may cause a person to act in a particular way.
  30. Expertise
    Skills, experience and training that give someone specialist knowledge and judgement.
  31. Reputation
    What is generally said or believed about the character of a person or organisation.
  32. Intermediate Conclusion
    A conclusion that is formed on the way to the main conclusion. The intermediate conclusion is supported by reasons and gives support to/acts as a reason for the main conclusion.
  33. Main conclusion
    A word or short phrase that helps the reader to identify the components of an argument.
  34. Infer
    To draw a conclusion; to consider what is implied by evidence. To decide what the next step is; what can be supported by the evidence or reasons.
  35. Principle
    A general principle or rule is a guide to action which can be applied in a range of circumstances, beyond the immediate context of the argument. There are different kinds of principles, legal rules, medical ethical guidelines, business or working practices. Principles may be used in an argument as reasons, conclusions or assumptions.
  36. Contradiction
    This is a special form of inconsistency. Ideas or facts which are contradictory say exactly the opposite things.
  37. Ambiguous
    A word or phrase is ambiguous if it can have more than one meaning and it is not clear which meaning is intended in a particular context.
  38. Evaluate
    Judge whether the argument or reasoning is strong or weak.
  39. Appeal
    A reference to something or someone, in order to persuade an audience to accept a conclusion.
  40. Appeal to authority
    Referring to an expert witness or recognised authority to supporta claim.
  41. Appeal to popularity
    A form of argument hich justifies a conclusion by its popularity.
  42. Appeal to tradition
    A form of argument that supports a conclusion by saying it is traditional or has always been done this way.
  43. Appeal to history
    A form of argument that supports a prediction about the future with a reference to the past.
  44. Appeal to emotion
    A form of argument that attempts to support a conclusion by engaging the audiences emotions rather than by giving reasons.
  45. Flaw
    A fault in the pattern of reasoning that weakens the support given to the conclusion of an argument.
  46. Two Wrongs dont make a right
    A flaw that attempts to justify one harmful thing on the basis of another, different harmful thing.
  47. Tu quoque
    An attempt to justify an action on the basis that someone else is doing it.
  48. Hasty Generalisation
    Draws a general conclusion from insufficient evidence.
  49. Sweeping Generalisation
    A generalisation that moves from some or many to all, creating a stereotype. It may sometimes move back to one individual again.
  50. Unwarranted assumption of a casual relationship/causal flaw
    Reasoning that assumes a causal connection without good reason, oversimplifies causal relationships or confuses cause and effect.
  51. Confusing correlation and cause
    Assuming thatbecause one thing happens before another, or two things happen together, one causes the other. However, there may simply be a correlation - a relationship between two things which happen at the same time but where neither causes the other. Post Hoc is a special form of confusing correlation and cause. In a post hoc flaw, the reasoning follows the pattern; A happens before B. Therefore A causes B.
  52. Restricting the options
    Presents a limited picture of choices available in a situation in order to support one particular option.
  53. Slippery Slope
    Reasons from one possibility, through a series of events that are not properly or logically linked, to an extreme consequence.
  54. Circular Argument
    An argument in which one of the reasons is the same as the conclusion, or an argument in which you have to assume that the conclusion is right in order to for the reasons to make sense.
  55. Confusing Necessary and sufficient conditions
    An argument that assumes that a necessary condition is also sufficient or that assumes a sufficient must also be necessary.
  56. Attacking the arguer (ad hominem)
    A form of reasoning that dismisses an opposing view by attacking the person putting forward that view rather than by addressing their reasoning.
  57. Straw Person
    This flaw misrepresents or distorts an opposing view in order to dismiss it.
  58. Conflation
    Bringing together two or more different concepts and treating them as the same thing.
  59. Arguing from one thing to another
    A form of reasoning which uses a reason about one thing to support a conclusion about something different.
  60. Analogy
    A form of argument that uses parallels between similar situations to persuade the audience to accept a conclusion.
  61. Strong conclusion
    A conclusion that is very specific and tightly defined.
  62. Weak Conclusion
    A conclusion that is not so specific or tightly defined.
  63. Verify
    To confirm if something is true, accurate or real.