Critical Thinking Unit 2 Booklet

A printable booklet containing useful information on the unit 2 critical thinking exam.

Note: None of the work presented in this booklet is by the person who made it. It is simply information off of the website- http://www.criticalthinking.org.uk/ that has been cut and pasted into a condensed, printable form so that you are able to revise when a computer is not available.

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OCR Critical
Thinking
Unit 2: Assessing and
Developing argument-
Revision booklet

http://www.criticalthinking.org.uk/



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Elements of an arguement:

Conclusions

Reasons

Intermediate Conclusions

Assumptions

CounterArguments

Indicator Words

Flaws and appeals:

Logical Fallacies

Ad Hominem

Appeal to Authority

Appeal to History

Appeal to Popularity

Circularity

Confusing Necessary and Sufficient Conditions

Correlation not Causation

Inconsistency

Generalisation

Restricting the Options

Slippery Slope

Straw Man

Tu Quoque

Weak Analogy






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Conclusions

The conclusion of an argument is the main point that it is trying to get you to accept. You'll often (but not
always) find this statement either at the beginning or the end of a passage. It may be indicated by a word such as
"therefore", "thus", or even…

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For example, the argument "The college address is the same street as I'm standing on therefore, the college must
be nearby" assumes that the street isn't very long. If the street is long, then the college could be on it but still
miles away.
The Negative Test
To test whether…

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"Ad hominem" is Latin for "against the man". The ad hominem fallacy is the fallacy of attacking the person
offering an argument rather than the argument itself.
Ad hominems can simply take the form of abuse: e.g. "don't listen to him, he's a jerk". Any attack on irrelevant
biographical details…

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Example

"Pretty much everyone believes in some kind of higher power, be it God or something else. Therefore atheism is
false."

Circularity

Circular arguments are arguments that assume what they're trying to prove. If the conclusion of an argument is
also one of its reasons, then the argument is circular.…

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seem compelling, but it's important to consider other possible explanations before concluding that one thing
must have caused the other.

Example

"Since you started seeing that girl your grades have gone down. She's obviously been distracting you from your
work, so you mustn't see her anymore."


Inconsistency

An argument is…

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"Smoking isn't bad for you my grandad smoked thirty a day for his whole life and lived to be 92."

"Estate agents are well dodgy. When we moved house... [insert horror story about an estate agent inventing
fake offers to push up the sale price]."

Restricting the options

We are…

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Examples

"Christianity teaches that as long as you say `Sorry' afterwards, it doesn't matter what you do. Even the worst
moral crimes can be quickly and easily erased by simply uttering a word. This is absurd. Even if a sinner does
apologise for what they've done, the effects of their…

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