Explaining the Relationship between Logic and Critical Thinking

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Updated: Aug 18, 2023
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The definition of logic begins as the science that studies rational thought. The author explains that employing logical principles in our everyday lives can help us determine goals and accomplish them in a genuine way. Logic is divided into three sections: induction, which allows us to complete our daily activities (the author provides a perfect example of being in the dark and needing to turn on the light- we’ve learned from the past that flipping the switch turns the light on), deduction, which involves assumptions, and semantics, which is the study of words.

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On the other hand, we have critical thinking, which is less formal and less organized than logic. Critical thinking is vital in everything we do in our daily lives. It can help us become successful if we know how to think critically or lead to failure if we don’t use it properly.

Critical thinking is the analysis of a situation, facts, data, and evidence related to them in order to get a resolution to the problem. To understand the meaning of critical thinking, the author gives us an example of a car that does not start and how our first thought is not to take it to the mechanic or tear down the engine. Initially, a person analyses the situation, checks the gas, and then the battery. If these are not the problems, then the individual proceeds to take the car to the mechanic for a solution. After clearly understanding logic and critical thinking in Section 16.3, I learned about premises and conclusions which together form an argument. Premises are supporting details we use to support a position on an ethical issue or topic. The position we have on a certain issue or topic is the conclusion.

Paying attention to the tone of voice of a sentence can help you identify the conclusion. For example, the key words in English that can help you easily find the conclusion are “therefore,” “thus,” “consequently,” “hence,” “it follows that,” and “implications are.” Then we have fallacies, which are unacceptable ways of thinking or reasoning. In an informal fallacy, the premises (supporting details) do not support the conclusion. There are many different fallacies; here are some of them:

• Appeal to Authority Fallacy: This refers to arguing that something is true because it is stated by an authoritative source. For example, a commercial claims that using Colgate toothpaste is the best option for brushing because Jennifer Lopez claims it is the toothpaste she uses.

Appeal to Force: In this fallacy, you persuade someone to support a conclusion using violence, force, or threats. For example, when you ask your boss for a deserved raise and he responds that if your salary doesn’t work, he can quickly find someone else for your position.

Appeal to ignorance: This can take place in two forms. One is for lack of evidence being true, you assume it is false. For example, “I’ve never seen a purple rose; therefore, purple roses do not exist.” The second form is the opposite, arguing from the absence of disproof to the presence of proof. For example, “There is no evidence that purple roses do not exist; therefore, purple roses exist.”

• Appeal to pity or emotion: This involves an appeal to the emotions of another to prove your conclusion. For example, a commercial showing hunger in Africa before asking for donations.

• Appeal to religion: This happens when morality depends on God or religion. For example, some argue that a woman should stay with her husband, even if he mistreats her, solely because their religion does not support divorce. • Appeal to majority: Just because a majority believes in something, it doesn’t automatically become correct. Example: A group of people voting for a candidate solely because most others are doing the same.

Appeal Ad Hominem: This occurs when one reacts negatively to an argument due to the person delivering the argument. For example, consider a situation when a person makes an argument about abortion, and another individual responds, “The only reason you are against abortion is because of your religious beliefs.”

“Begging the Question” Fallacy: The claim is true, but you need to accept the premise to make it true. For example, “Studying is good because it helps you to learn. Therefore, everybody should study.”

Irrelevant conclusion, or red herring fallacy, occurs when you respond to an argument by bringing up a point that is not even under discussion.

Redirecting one argument to another with the intention of distracting the audience, for example: “I know I had to do my homework, but what can I do if my son was crying all day?” Fallacies are common mistakes we make in our arguments that take away the logic. It’s very important to understand fallacies in order to identify false statements and discern the truth in what we read or hear. Knowing a little about fallacies has made me realize I use fallacies frequently in my life, which probably does not help me express myself accurately. Reading this chapter made me agree that I am the kind of person who falls into the trap of the authoritative fallacy often; I tend to believe everything a person says simply because of the level of knowledge they have, or the authoritative source they represent, instead of considering the evidence first.

For example, my boss at work, whom I consider a person with vast knowledge in politics, made me think that President Donald Trump was going to be a great president for this country. Even though I consider myself a Democrat, I changed my opinion about Democrats without listening to the evidence. I believed in him because of the authoritative source. This is probably not the only fallacy I utilized in the past, but one of many. Another key point I agreed with in the reading was Gorgias’ belief that we often fail to express ourselves appropriately because we cannot use our words correctly.

In today’s world, where all we do is send text messages instead of talking directly with people, I believe his assertion is more than true. It often happens to me that a single word can completely cause a misunderstanding of an argument or lead a person to abandon it. According to the book, the best way to avoid equivocation is to clearly define the meaning of your argument, so everyone involved in the discussion has a clear understanding.

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Explaining The Relationship Between Logic And Critical Thinking. (2022, Aug 17). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/explaining-the-relationship-between-logic-and-critical-thinking/