Critical Thinking Study Question Collaboration Page

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Chapter 1: Thinking about Thinking

What are some of the opportunities and obstacles of trying to become a better critical thinking in the information age?

How has the progress of research and "knowledge work" contributed to and complicated the pursuit of truth?

Review the principles of fair interpretation.

Understand the difference between Conversational Interpretive Strategies and Rationale Engagement Strategies and be prepared to apply them in particular cases.

Chapter 3: Sherlock’s Logic – Deductive and Inductive Inferences in Everyday Reflection

Understand and explicate the terms and phrases such as:

Within categorical logic, understand and apply terms such as: contradictories, contraries, subcontraries, subalterns.

Within propositional logic, understand the main components of the logical system (claims or propositions, connectives, parentheses, brackets, and braces), the five main valid argument patterns, and how the valid argument patterns determine validity.

In propositional logic, apply the valid argument patterns to simple formalized arguments to determine validity.

From the part of the chapter on induction, describe the difference between inductive argument structures and deductive ones. In what situations would one choose inductive reasoning over deductive? What is a hasty generalization?

Explain the nature and structure of analogical arguments. How do they persuade?

Chapter 4: Tell me Why . . .Or How . . . Explanation and Causation in Reflective Practice

Give examples of the wide range of types of explanatory questions.

What are the main features of good explanations?

What are the competing explanatory accounts of the redness of Mars?

What’s the difference between a “why” question and a “how” question?

Do explanations need to connect to “ultimate purposes”? Be prepared to present both points of view.

Can you see “causation”?

What’s the difference between a necessary and sufficient condition?

Identify four of Mill’s methods and be prepared to explain each.

What is “inverse” and “direct” variation?

What is a “correlation coefficient”?

What is the fallacy of “complex cause”? “common cause”?

Chapter 5: “We Don’t Get Fooled Again” – Uses and Misuses of Numerical and Statistical Information

What are some of the difficulties that people face when trying to use and discuss numeric and statistical information?

What is “innumeracy”?

Idenify the main kinds of problems understanding and thinking about numeric and statistical information, including problems of context, large numbers, compounding, linearity, baseline, surveys and sampling, odds, probability, correlation, and cause.

Why is it that wasting a billion dollars might not be such a big deal for the Federal Government?

Identify and explain these terms: representative sample, depressive realism, sample space, sampling error, the law of large numbers, gambler’s fallacy, bell curve, multiple regression analysis,

What is the Sports Illustrated jinx? Do you think it’s real? Why or why not?

Chapter 6 – The Way Up is the Way Down – Thinking Through Complexity.

Give an example of how sciences simplify things to build models and be prepared to say something about the limits of a simple model of causality.

What is network theory?

What does “six degrees of separation” mean?

Complex systems: inerrelatedness, 1965 New York City power outage (sig. of), coupling/decoupling.

Be prepared to give your own examples of complex networks.

Buffering, redundant systems, pos/neg feedback (examples of).

The Beer Game (sig. of), Partner system for police (sig. of).

Political ideologies as clusters in a political network.

Gottman’s work, significance, critical variables, Intransparency.

Dorner’s work. Characteristics of good managers

Chaos vs. Complexity. Characteristics of chaotic system. The weather.

Practical lessons from chaos theory for critical thinking.

Thin-slicing. Sig. of.

Intuition, sig. and problems of.