Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 9 THINKING CRITICALLY IN THIS CHAPTER YOU WILL LEARN: What it means to think critically, and why it is important What facts and opinions are, and."— Presentation transcript:
CHAPTER 9 THINKING CRITICALLY IN THIS CHAPTER YOU WILL LEARN: What it means to think critically, and why it is important What facts and opinions are, and why it is important to be able to distinguish between them What inferences are, and why it is important to make logical inferences
What is thinking critically, and why is it important? Thinking critically is thinking in an organized way about material in order to evaluate it accurately. To think critically, you can use the skills of: Distinguishing between facts and opinions Drawing logical inferences and conclusions
What are facts and opinions, and why is it important to be able to distinguish between them? Fact: Something that can be proved to exist or to have happened. Opinion: Something that cannot be proved or disproved; a judgment or belief. When an author includes opinions, it is important for you to evaluate these opinions, because not all opinions are valid or useful. Although opinions cannot be proved, they can be supported by valid reasons and reasonable evidence.
An opinion is valuable if it is well-supported. Well-supported means that the author presents facts and logical reasons for the opinion that he or she holds. Well-supported opinions can be as important and as useful as facts. Opinions represent judgments, beliefs, or interpretations.
Words and phrases that indicate that the author is presenting an opinion: In our opinion Many experts believe Many people think that It seems likely This suggests In our view In the opinion of Perhaps Apparently It seems It appears Presumably One possibility is One interpretation is
Words that indicate value judgments: wealthy successful fascinating effective humorous pleasant greatest best worst excellent interesting beautiful
To distinguish between facts and opinions when reading critically, ask yourself the following questions in this order: Can the information in the statement be proved? If so, it is correct information, and therefore, a fact. Can the information in the statement be disproved? If so, it is simply incorrect information. Is the information in the statement something that cannot be proved or disproved? If so, it is an opinion. (If it is an opinion, consider how well-supported it is.)
If a statement can be proved it is a fact (valuable information) can be disproved it is incorrect information (of no value) cannot be proved or disproved it is an opinion which will be a well-supported opinion (valuable) poorly supported or unsupported opinion (of no value)
When the statement is opinion, ask yourself these additional questions: Is the opinion well-supported? (That is, is it based on valid reasons and plausible evidence?) If so, it is a valuable opinion. Is the opinion poorly supported or unsupported? If so, it is of little or no value.
What are inferences, and why is it important to make them? Inference: A logical conclusion based on what an author has stated. A critical thinker understands not only what an author states directly, but also what the author suggests or implies. Inferences go beyond what the author states, but they are always based on what the author has said. A logical conclusion is a decision that is reached after thoughtful consideration of information the author presents.
If you are thinking critically as you read, you should ask yourself, “What logical inference (conclusion) can I make, based on what the author has stated?” To make an inference, the reader must deduce, or reason out, the author’s meaning.
Things to keep in mind when thinking critically: Facts and opinions may or may not appear together. Authors sometimes present opinions in such a way that they appear to be facts. There are other critical thinking skills that can also be used to evaluate written material. Detecting an author’s bias (the author favors one side of an issue over the other) Recognizing propaganda techniques Recognizing fallacies Recognizing illogical arguments or support
AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD KNOW: What it means to think critically, and why it is important What facts and opinions are, and why it is important to be able to distinguish between them What inferences are, and why it is important to make logical inferences