This is the type of course that can change your view on things.Students’ critical-thinking skills do improve in college. How could philosophy majors not be leaving most others in the dust?Well, an argument is a set[br]of statements that together comprise a reason for a further statement.
And the best way to be[br]rational in this way is to form beliefs only when you find good reasons for them.
Okay, that leads us to[br]our second question: What is an argument?
the ability to think critically about such a broad array of domains is not well represented by any general skill (e.g., analyzing arguments), and therefore critical thinking ability is best conceptualized as domain-specific.
I teach at Northern Illinois University, and this is an introduction[br]to critical thinking. And third, what's the difference between deductive and ampliative arguments? Well, fundamentally, critical thinking is about making sure that you have good reasons for your beliefs. So suppose that you and your friend are talking about who's[br]gonna be at tonight's party.
We're gonna talk about three possible answers she could give.
First, she might say, "I can't stand him, and I want to have a good time." Second, she might say,[br]"Well, he's really shy, and he rarely goes to parties." And third, she might say, "He's in Beijing, and it's impossible to get here from[br]Beijing in an afternoon." The first response that she gives you does not give you a good reason to believe that Monty won't be at the party.
In this lesson, we're gonna[br]talk about three things. And she says to you, quite confidently, "Monty won't be at the party." You're not sure whether[br]or not to believe her, so it would be natural[br]for you to follow up by asking, "Why do you think so?
" And there are a lot of different things that she might say in response.
The difference is comparable to a student whose critical-thinking skills start at the 50th percentile and, after four years in college, move up to the 72nd. So I looked at the study, “Does College Teach Critical Thinking?
A Meta-Analysis,” by Christopher Huber and Nathan Kuncel (Minnesota), in The current evidence on differences between majors is inconclusive.