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PREFACE—Critical Thinking by Larry Wright

 

Articulate Reasoning versus Inarticulate Reasoning

 

 Reflective Articulateness

 

The Focus on Articulation

"Before we can evaluate reasons we must understand them. Before we can give reasons we must know what needs to be said. In both of these tasks, our competence tapers off dramatically as we get away from familiar matters and congenial perceptions. A major task of this text, therefore, will be to raise the reader’s level of reflective articulateness, to expand the range within which he or she can give, grasp and evaluate reasons." (Wright, ix)

Before we can evaluate reasons we must understand them.

Before we can give reasons we must know what needs to be said.

In both of these tasks, our competence tapers off dramatically as we get away from familiar matters and congenial perceptions.

 A major task of this text, therefore, will be to raise the reader’s level of reflective articulateness, to expand the range within which he or she can give, grasp and evaluate reasons.

 

What is an Argument?

Reasons

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View

Reason—The gas gauge reads empty.

Reason—The car stopped running.

Reason—I don’t remember filling up recently.

View—The car is out of gas.

 Evaluating arguments: determining if the view is warranted by the reasons given.

Evaluation: In most circumstances, a car that has stopped running, the gas gauge reading empty, and not remembering filling up recently warrants the view the car is out of gas.

 

Difficulties of Reasoning

 General Goals of the Text

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The Concept of a Paraphrase

1. For next time read, pp. 3-16 of the Wright text.

2. Pay particular attention to the italicized words or phrases.

3. Become familiar with the following terms:

a. paraphrase

b. context—the two general ways

c. Type II Reading

d. Bare-Bones Paraphrase

e. Padding and related—background, setting, repetition, illustration, definition, and the other categories of padding. (Wright, p.13)

4. Pay particular attention to the Cholera passage and related paraphrases.

5. Notice the change in terminology from ‘bare-bones paraphrase’ to just ‘paraphrase’ on p. 14.

6. Notice the two general kinds of padding categories: different kinds of background and different kinds of detail to omit. (Wright, p.13)