Inadequate definitions of critical thinking

There’s widespread misconceptions and inadequate definitions floating around concerning critical thinking and logic.

There’s widespread misconceptions and inadequate definitions floating around concerning critical thinking and logic.

Some people who believe they can think critically have fallen into the trap of using formal and informal logical fallacies as if they were valid arguments all too easily; in other words, they entirely omit the logic part of critical thinking and logic.

I was once given a rather abbreviated definition of critical thinking and logic: distinguishing fact from opinion, evaluating evidence, considering various points of view, and questioning assumptions. That is not even close to a complete definition, and it completely left out discerning logical fallacies. The simplified definition then becomes a straw man fallacy when used to support an argument.

If that definition is all that people think critical thinking and logic is about, it’s grossly inadequate. It isn’t enough to teach people to question assumptions. It has to be done the right way, such as, whether the assumption is based on how a person feels instead of, and contrary to, cold hard facts; identifying a claim made by people who have no expertise in the topic as a fallacious appeal to authority; or correctly identifying all propaganda, regardless of its place on the political spectrum, and recognizing that it’s basically a fallacious appeal to emotion on a large scale.

Oversimplified definitions of critical thinking must be expanded, and both formal and informal logical fallacies must be included when teaching it.

 

April J. Gibson

Duncan

Just Posted

Hometown Hockey visits the home of the Big Stick

Cowichan hosts Rogers broadcast and accompanying festival

North Cowichan raising stink over foul odours

Smell from Chemainus facility an issue for years

Find Your Fit at WorkBC tour in Duncan Jan. 23

Event to be held at Cowichan Secondary School

Cowichan wrestling camp kicks off New Year

Camp attracts wrestlers from Valley, Victoria and Mainland

VIDEO: It’s Hometown Hockey time in Cowichan!

See our videos and pictures by our reporters from the big event at The Stick.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Most Read