Understanding how fallacies, critical thinking and decision making techniques are all linked together. What is a logical fallacy? According to the Webster dictionary (1996), a fallacy is a false notion. A statement or argument based on a false or invalid inference. Fallacies can be divided into two different groups; the first one is the fallacy of relevance where the premises are irrelevant to the outcome. The other is fallacy of insufficient evidence, where the premises may be relevant to the outcome but does not have enough evidence to support that outcome. Relevance can be described in three different categories; 1. It can be positively relevant- where it supports a certain statement. 2. It can be negatively relevant-where a statement goes against another statement. 3. It can be logically irrelevant-where it does and does not support the statement (Bassham, 2002).
After reading over the different fallacies, I have decided to pick the following three since I believe they happen more than not without anyone noticing they are doing it. Attacking the person- this fallacy falls under fallacy of relevance where one may attack the arguer rather than the argument itself. However not all personal attacks are fallacies, to be considered a fallacy, (1) an arguer rejects another person's argument and (2) the arguer attacks the person who offers the argument rather than considering the merits of the argument. The other two fallacies I have chosen, falls under the fallacy of insufficient evidence. They are inconsistency- inconsistency or self-contradicting between two statements that are logically incompatible with each other. This fallacy usually occur when the arguer asserts inconsistent premises, asserts a
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premise that is inconsistent with the conclusion or argues inconsistent conclusions. The final fallacy I have chosen is questionable cause; this fallacy is committed when we identify a cause for an occurrence or a fact that is true without sufficient evidence. There are three common questionable cause fallacies; 1. the post hoc, ("after this, therefore because of this"). This is committed when an arguer assumes something happened because of something else without proper evidence. 2. mere correlation, this is committed when the arguer assumes that because something always happen when another thing happens without proper evidence and believe the two situations will always occur together. 3. oversimplified cause, which is the most common, is committed when the arguer assume without evidence that something happened because of something else using that as the sole source when other factors can be considered (2002).
What is critical thinking? Taken from (Greek), critical- is to choose, to decide and thinking- is to contrive, to plan, to view, to imagine or to hold an opinion (Bateman, 2003). There are four components of critical thinking: 1.The study of logic, logic can be deductive or inductive, it basically depend on when one start to think; at the point of general principle or at the point of collected data. Critical thinking involves the formulation of thoughts and the alignment of thoughts into what we call correct reasoning. 2.Problem-solving observation, it you want to know how to do something right, follow the expert. If you want to do something wrong, following the one who never gets it right. When observing, one should keep in mind the following How it all comes together 3
questions and upon completion of the observation, you (the observer), will have a refined sense of critical thinking with problem-solving skills. A.How did you define the problem
B.Where was the focus
C.What are some alternative solutions
D.What aspects was noted
E.What resources were used
F.What was the methods used
3.Reading and writing; knowledge is necessary for critical thinking, you can also develop general skills and skills of...