Elements of Reasoning

Topics: Critical thinking, Thought, Logic Pages: 4 (1303 words) Published: October 21, 2010
Nosich’s “The Elements of Reasoning” and Elder’s “The Standards for Thinking” both focus on various techniques people can adopt to become better critical thinkers. According to Nosich, two conditions must exist to be considered critical thinking: the thinking must be reflective and it must meet high standards. These two conditions lead us into the eights elements of reasoning presented in the readings.

The first element focused on is “Purpose,” which includes objectives, goals, your desired outcome, intention, and function. The purpose serves as a center for asking relevant and reflective questions regarding the topic at hand. In Paper #1, the purpose of my writing was to inform outsiders as to what I expected to gain from the Essence of Enterprise class. The first sentence of the paper explicitly states what the aim of the class is, leading into the various aspects focused on that are necessary to becoming a good decision maker.

The next element of critical thinking is the “Question at Issue.” This involves clearly stating the issue at hand and specifically identifying the areas of concern in your reasoning. In this stage you must determine if the question at hand is reasonable and relevant, as well as understand the requirements for solving the problem. When beginning the last paper, the question at issue revolved around what exactly the class will focus on and how the students will benefit. I was able to provide various details from the class syllabus as well as the various readings on leadership and teamwork that would help benefit all the students involved. I started by asking myself what the intention of the class was and how the curriculum would be focused. From there I moved on to the specific elements involved, such as the Edge Weekend and the Oxford Readings.

We then move on to the next element of reasoning, which is identifying the assumptions behind critical reasoning. This involves delving into the background of the issue and recognizing...
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