Top ten fallacies in critical thinking

These are the Top 10 Logical Fallacies:

Top ten fallacies in critical thinking

Critical thinking is a powerful tool, and a discerning mind is aware of how our innermost feelings shape our perception of the world. But all too often, and with few exceptions, we find ourselves falling into a common trap: First and foremost, a desire to follow reason and evidence wherever they may lead is what sets critical thinkers apart.

This desire, teamed with a systematic approach to problem-solving, a natural inquisitiveness, even-handedness, and competent reasoning, generates a framework from which the critical mind can work.

Identify the problem at its root Identification of the problem is where critical thought begins. Here is it important to unpack the problem: As an example, take the issue of environmental destruction: But the actual problem is something else.

Top 10: Critical Thinking Cheat-Sheet

The problem originates in our way of life, and the systems by which we live: The relationships of cause Top ten fallacies in critical thinking effect here, put simplistically, are that the more we consume, and the more of us there are to consume it, the more we will trash our planet.

At this stage at we consider what the problem is that we need to tackle, what our goal is, and the steps we will take to determine how to reach our goal.

Top ten fallacies in critical thinking

Returning to our environmental destruction problem as an example, our way of life is identified as the problem, and our goal is to identify a different way of living that would not cause destruction.

From here it is sensible to frame the problem as a question, as this assists in cultivating the methodical mindset essential to tackling the problem with integrity. Gather and organize relevant information The information-gathering stage is an obvious one, but one that is so often evaded.

With the wealth of information that is likely to be available, it is vital to organize it so that it can be interpreted and evaluated effectively. This is the stage at which we are concerned only with facts: Categories will emerge as we discover information, and this will guide us in organizing it so we can put it to practical use.

Before we move on to interpreting our information, a couple of side-trips are necessary… 4. Recognizing these assumptions and values enables us to uncover hidden biases. Challenging our assumptions and values is a vital step toward perceiving reality as is, and we especially need to challenge those assumptions that stem from dominant ideologies that are invisible and embedded in the received wisdom.

An example of a commonly held assumption is that in order to live in harmony with our environment we will need to develop technologies that produce what we want with less impact. This stems from what Ozzie Zehner refers to as a productivist worldview — a set of values that holds that in order to live more sustainably we need to produce less damaging things, as opposed to producing fewer things, or things that last longer.

If we recognize these assumptions and values for what they are, and open ourselves up to challenging them, we may find that alternative possibilities become available.

In order to find useful information, we are going to need to know where to look, which requires information literacy — a skill that takes practice and integrity to acquire. This starts with a list of criteria with which to dismiss a source. Recognize logical relationships Logic is a vital component of critical thinking, but we humans are heavily disadvantaged in that our minds tend to favour information that supports our pre-existing biases, rather than being naturally inclined toward logical reasoning.

Logic is a skill that requires effort and discipline, and can lead you to wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night suddenly aware that everything you thought you knew could actually be completely wrong! This is where we can start to have some fun. Returning to our example of how to live in harmony with our environment, we can expect to be faced with a wide array of information hopefully categorized by now pertaining to various aspects of sustainable living.

We need to consider what each piece of data means for any given aspect of our way of life — whether it supports maintenance of the status quo or indicates changes, and what kind of changes are indicated. We humans are rationalizing creatures — not necessarily rational per se.

Perhaps we have cause and effect the wrong way round; perhaps we are focusing too much on one cause and failing to note other causes; perhaps the cause is not a cause at all, but just something that occurs in tandem. This conclusion misses the point that it is the reduction of CO2 from burning coal that has the desired effect — therefore it is necessary to quit coal regardless whether it is replaced, or what with.

A critical thinker realises that at all times we are interpreting information, both before and after the problem is solved. The conclusion itself is interpreted, and so we can misunderstand our own findings.

However, there is another step that must be taken for the integrity of critical thinking to stand firm: Nothing can be sacred. Reconstruct patterns of belief based on wider experience Reality does exist — but not necessarily in the way I think it exists. Ultimately we do not know what is real or how reality functions.

We humans think in symbols, languages, models, and numbers, and we assign names and functions to things that are merely personally and socially processed representations of what we think reality is. We try to get as close to the truth as we can, but since the picture is never the same as the real thing, we never quite get it.Top Ten.

Argument Mapping online tutorials in argument mapping, a core requirement for advanced critical thinking. The Skeptic's Dictionary - over definitions and essays.; The Fallacy Files by Gary Curtis. Best website on fallacies.

Top ten fallacies in critical thinking

Apr 12,  · "Top 20 Logical Fallacies" (in alphabetical order) 1. Ad hominem An ad hominem argument is any that attempts to counter anothers claims or conclusions by attacking the person, rather than addressing the argument itself.

Fallacies in critical thinking. Logical fallacies are errors that occur in arguments. In logic, an argument is the giving of reasons (called premises) to support some claim (called the conclusion.

Although it may not be intuitive for many of us, critical thinking isn’t rocket science either, and it’s a tool that belongs in any discerning thinker’s kit. Here’s SHIFT’s cheat-sheet of ten top tips to crank up your critical thinking a notch or two. Apr 12,  · The 20 top logical fallacies - For critical thinking and scientific evaluation «Reply #8 on: 28/11/ » God, I don't know the types - it may not even be six.

Is "The Top 10 Logical Fallacies" a logical fallacy? Prove your answer. Play the "I Spy One-a-Day" challenge: Watch the news, read internet, listen to people around you. Find one fallacy around you each day; compete with family & friends.

Write a Top 10 list on any subject where you find logical fallacies.

Top Critical Thinking Cheat-Sheet | SHIFT magazine