Assumptions and Fallacies
What are assumptions? How do you think assumptions might interfere with critical thinking? What might you do to avoid making assumptions in your thinking? *
An assumption is something we take for granted. We assume our beliefs to be true and use them to interpret the world about us. We humans naturally and regularly use our beliefs as assumptions and make inferences based on those assumptions. We must do so to make sense of where we are, what we are about, and what is happening. Assumptions and inferences permeate our lives precisely because we cannot act without them. We make judgments, form interpretations, and come to conclusions based on the beliefs we have formed. At first glance, assumptions may not seem like they belong in the critical thinking process. However, your assumptions are a key factor because they give you quite a bit to think critically about! In your critical thinking, you need to take any assumptions you have and question them as you try to substantiate them or unsubstantiated them. With critical thinking and assumptions, it's also important to understand what an inference is and how it relates to the entire process. Inference a conclusion you come to in your mind based on something else that is true or you believe to be true assumption part of your belief system. Something you don't question. Your mind takes for granted that your assumption is true your beliefs (assumptions) cause you to come to conclusions (inferences). Your inferences then cause you to act accordingly. *
What are fallacies? How are fallacies used in written, oral, and visual arguments? What might you do to avoid fallacies in your thinking? *
* A fallacy is a flaw in logic, where the argument, answer, or result given does not match the evidence as set out. For example if I say, Mary is not a good person because she eats steak and vegetables. The explanation as to why she is not a good person is...
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