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Review of Lesson 1

What is critical thinking?


What are standards of critical thinking?
What are benefits of critical thinking?
What are major barriers to critical thinking?
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Lesson 2

RECOGNIZING ARGUMENTS
CONTENTS
1. Statements
2. Non-statements
3. Arguments
4. Non-arguments
- A statement is a sentence that can be viewed as either
true or false.
- Ex:
- International University is in Thu Duc District.
- International University is the best choice in HCMC.
- International University is accessible only by bus from
downtown.


1. STATEMENTS
1. On what date do we study Critical Thinking?
2. Critical Thinking always gives us a headache.
3. Hi, my dear IUers.
4. Dont come to class late next time!
5. A good score for Critical Thinking guarantees good scores for other
subjects.
6. Please do some reading before each class meeting.
7. IU has many soft skills clubs.
8. Lets submit our assignments before the deadline.
9. Register IE4 before AE1.
10. A TOEFL iBT of 61 is a requirement at IU.
11. Oh dear. I failed Critical Thinking again!

ACTIVITY: WHICH OF THESE ARE STATEMENTS?
1. On what date do we study Critical Thinking? Question
2. Critical Thinking always gives us a headache.
3. Hi, my dear IUers. Greeting
4. Dont come to class late next time! Command
5. A good score for Critical Thinking guarantees good scores for other
subjects.
6. Please do some reading before each class meeting. Request
7. IU has many soft skills clubs.
8. Lets submit our assignments before the deadline. Proposal
9. Register IE4 before AE1. Instruction
10. A TOEFL iBT of 61 is a requirement at IU.
11. Oh dear. I failed Critical Thinking again! Exclamation

ACTIVITY: WHICH OF THESE ARE STATEMENTS?
2. NON-STATEMENTS
Questions
Greetings
Commands
Requests
Proposals
Instructions
Exclamations

Task: Statements or non-statements?
1. Capital punishment is wrong.
2. Do you say we stop at the next station?
3. Great!
4. Please print your name legibly.
5. Turn off your engine when waiting to pick up your kids. Idling longer
than 10 seconds uses more gas than restarting the car.
6. What a boy!
7. Ill have a cheese burger, please.
8. Happy New Year!
9. Yuck!
10. Be nice to your kids. Theyll choose your nursing home.
Only statements are used in arguments.
Lets have a look at this argument.
I ate a hamburger this morning and now Im having a
stomachache. Obviously, the hamburger is not fresh
any more.

Visibly, an argument consists of:

Premise(s): I ate a hamburger this morning and now
Im having a stomachache.
Conclusion: Obviously, the hamburger is not fresh any
more.

3. ARGUMENTS
- An argument is a claim defended with reasons.

- Visibly, an argument is often composed of one or more
premises and a conclusion.



evidence including reasons,
examples, facts, figures, etc.

belief(s) or principle(s) taken
for granted

inferences drawn from evidence
and assumptions
1. Premise:
(Support)

2. Assumption(s):
(Warrant)

3. Conclusion(s):
(Claim)
ASSUMPTIONS (IN)VISIBLE ELEMENT OF ARGUMENTS
Now look at the argument again.
I ate a hamburger this morning and now Im
having a stomachache. Obviously, the
hamburger is not fresh any more.

What does the speaker assume?

Expired food causes stomachache.

Practice: Find the premises, conclusion, and
assumption(s) in the following argument.
Nguyen Ha Dong spent some days developing Flappy Bird and
earned 1 billion VND each day. Ill double time developing
Floppy Bird and Ill surely earn 2 billion VND each day!


Practice: Find the premises, conclusion, and
assumption(s) in the following argument.
Magic Mirror: You dont have
a girlfriend. So dont hang
out on Valentine.
WHAT ASSUMPTIONS ARE THERE?
1. There are fewer than 70 students in our class today. Students
should not have registered for the course if they dont want to
attend.
2. You should be careful with your possessions when youre on
the bus. I lost my laptop on the bus last month.
3. Giving students a fail grade will damage their self-confidence.
Therefore, we should not fail students.
4. There is nothing wrong talking on a mobile phone during
lectures. Other students do it quite often.
5. Killing an innocent person is wrong. Therefore, abortion is
wrong.
6. Homosexuality is wrong because it is unnatural.
7. It is important for IU students to attend every single class in
every course they sign up for.

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KEY POSSIBLE ASSUMPTIONS
1. All absent students today are dropouts.
2. There are thieves on buses.
3. Students self-confidence is closely related to high scores.
4. What most people do is not wrong.
5. The fetus (unborn babies in the first few months) is a person.
6. What is unnatural is wrong.
7. Dropping out of any class in the signed up causes problems
for students.

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Be critical with nonstatement-looking sentences
1. You should quit smoking. Dont you realize
how bad it is for your health?

2. Do not read beauty magazines. They will
make you feel ugly. (Mary Schmich.)
1. You should quit smoking. Dont you realize how bad
it is for your health?
This rhetorical question is in fact a statement: Smoking is
bad for heath.
2. Do not read beauty magazines. They will make you
feel ugly. (Mary Schmich.)
This imperative is in fact a statement: You should not read
beauty magazines.
Be critical with nonstatement-looking sentences
Identifying

premise indicators and conclusion indicators
1. Having fun can be the spice of life but not its main course, because when it is
over, nothing of lasting values remain. (Harold Kushner)

2. Since effective reasoning requires reliable information, its important to be
able to distinguish good sources and trustworthy experts from less useful
ones. (Drew E. Hinderer)

3. Women are not by any means to blame when they reject the rules of life,
which have been introduced into the world, seeing that it is men who have
made them without consent. (Michel de Montaigne)

4. To know that God exists in a general and confused way is implanted in us by
nature, inasmuch as God is mans beatitude. (Saint Thomas Aquinas)
Now look at these arguments
PREMISE INDICATORS
since because as for

seeing that given that considering that

inasmuch as in view of the fact that

as indicated by judging from on account of
Now look at these arguments
1. You want people to be honest with you, so be honest with them.

2. Sorrow is merely a state of mind and may not be warranted by the
circumstance. Hence whether or not you feel sad over something is all in the
mind. (Lie Zi)

3. Your life is what your thought make it. That is why it is important for all of us to
guard our minds from unhealthy habits of thinking, habits that hold us back
from what we could be accomplishing. (Tom Morris)

4. As our birth brought us the birth of all things, so will our death bring us the
death of all things, Wherefore it is as as foolish to weep because a hundred
years from now we shall not be alive, as to weep because we were not living a
hundred years ago. (Michel de Montaigne)
CONCLUSION INDICATORS
therefore wherefore thus so

hence as a result that is why

accordingly it follows that for this reason

this shows/implies/suggests that

we may infer that this being so

Now lets look at this argument.
I cant be completely responsible for my life. After all, there are
many factors outside my control, people and forces that create
obstacles and undermine my efforts. And we are subject to
pressures and inuences from within ourselves: feelings of
greed, fear of death, altruistic impulses, sexual compulsions,
need for social acceptance, and so on. (John Chaffee,
emphasis omitted)

Not all arguments contain premise/conclusion indicators.
PRACTICE


premises, conclusions, and assumptions
Identify 3 elements in these texts

1. IU had another twin building at the end of 2013. Students can
organize more events on campus now.

2. Ho Da, Stone Lake, now belongs to IU and security will be
improved in this area. There will be more class outings and
dates of UI students there.

3. Students tend to choose international universities or to study
abroad though these programs are more costly. They will have
better job opportunities.

4. Mary always gets As for her tests. Her straight As show that
she really has good study habits.
5. Higher speed limits will be permitted on the highway. This will
result in more needless deaths.
6. Sarah ought to try out for the volleyball team. Shes a great
basketball player.
7. Joe couldnt have been involved in the crime. He was sitting
with me in Taco Bell when the crime was committed.
8. Since an adult chimpanzee is more intelligent that a one-year-
old human, the life of my chimpanzee has more value than the
life of your one-year-old human.


Identify 3 elements in these texts
In years past, professional baseball players lifted
weights less but were also injured less often during
games. Obviously, the more an athlete lifts weights,
the more likely they get injured.

Activity: Identify three elements
1. Evidence: - Pro. baseball players lifted weight less;
- They got injured less
3. Conclusion: If athletes lift weight more, they
are more likely to get injured.
In years past, professional baseball players lifted weights less but were also injured
less often during games. Obviously, the more an athlete lifts weights, the more likely
they get injured.

What is the assumption of the argument?

(A) The increase in baseball injuries is due to a factor other than weightlifting.
(B) The activities of baseball players represent those of athletes as a group.
(C) Most baseball injuries today result from too much weight-lifting.
(D) There is no proven correlation between how much athletes lift weights and how
likely they are to be affected by injury.
(E) Weightlifting has always been common practice for professional athletes.
The correct answer is (B).
Activity: Identify three elements
ACTIVITY: IDENTIFY THE ELEMENTS OF AN ARGUMENT
According to a nationwide demographic study, more and
more people today are moving from suburbs to downtown
areas. To boost our profits, therefore, we should relocate our
business from Thu Duc District to District 1 or District 3.
Evidence : Trend of moving downtown

Conclusion : Moving downtown will boost profits.

Assumption : People moving downtown are
potential customers.



4. WHAT IS NOT AN ARGUMENT?
Lets consider these texts.
1. There was a heavy storm last night. Hundreds of
houses were destroyed and 20 people were killed.
2. The economy of Viet Nam will develop drastically this
year.
3. If swimming is not taught at school, more and more
young students will get drowned.
4. The housing market in Vietnam is on a decline. For
example, Hoang Anh Gia Lai apartments cannot sell
well even at greatly discounted prices.
5. I ate because I was hungry.
What is not an argument?
1. Reports
2. Unsupported assertions
3. Conditional sentences
4. Illustrations
5. Explanations

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FURTHER PRACTICE
Practice: Find the premises, conclusion, and
assumption(s) in the following argument.
A company CEO:
After experiencing disappointing sales results in the spring, we
analyzed the sales data to determine how our company can
boost our sales for the fall season. Sales data for our retail
stores in April and May showed that during this period, we sold
50 percent more pink sweaters than sweaters of any other
color. With this result, I conclude that our company should
develop a whole line of pink clothes for the fall season.
Practice: Find the premises, conclusion, and
assumption(s) in the following argument.
The alligator is found in nature only in the coastal
wetlands of North America. Unfortunately, because of
urban expansion and industrial development, the
coastal wetlands of North America are disappearing at
a rate of 100,000 acres per year. With only two million
acres of coastal wetlands left on the continent, it is
inevitable that the alligator will become extinct within
20 years.
Task: Creative thinking
Now lets step out the book into your world:
Make some arguments of your own containing
premise/conclusion indicators. Identify the
possible assumptions.