Critical Thinking Unit 2 Revision Booklet (OCR)- Updated PDF format

A small guide to help with critical thinking unit 2- none of the work is my own, it is taken off of a website which is mentioned in the booklet. I have just put it into a printable format for you.

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Preview of Critical Thinking Unit 2 Revision Booklet (OCR)- Updated PDF format

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OCR Critical
Thinking
Unit 2: Assessing and
Developing argument-
Revision booklet
http://www.criticalthinking.org.uk/
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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Page 2

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Elements of an arguement:
Conclusions
Reasons
Intermediate Conclusions
Assumptions
Counter-Arguments
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…read more

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Conclusions
The conclusion of an argument is the main point that it is trying to get you to accept. Youll 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 "in conclusion".
The Therefore Test
A test that can help you to identify the conclusion of a passage is the ,,therefore test.…read more

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For example, the argument "The college address is the same street as Im standing on; therefore, the college
must be nearby" assumes that the street isnt very long. If the street is long, then the college could be on it but
still miles away.
The Negative Test
To test whether something is assumed by an argument, you can use the negative test. This involves inserting the
opposite of the alleged assumption into the argument and seeing if it still makes sense.…read more

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Reasons
Indicator words for reasons include the following: "because"; "as"; "since"; "in order to"; "otherwise".
Sometimes authors enumerate their reasons, writing "First, ...", "Second, ...", "Third, ..." etc., which can also
help in their identification.
Counter-Arguments
Counter-arguments can be given away by phrases like "some might argue that", "it has been suggested that", or
equivalent phrases. The main giveaway for counter-arguments, though, is that the reason(s) cited count against
the authors conclusion rather than for it.…read more

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Alternatively, it may be that people have been consistently getting it wrong in the past. In either case, using
history as a model for future would be a mistake.
Example
At the start of the 2006 Premiership season, some might have argued, "Under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea have
been unstoppable in the Premiership; the other teams might as well give up on the league now and concentrate
on the Cup competitions.…read more

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Example
"People who dont practice regularly always fail music exams. Ive practiced regularly though, so Ill be all
right."
Not having practiced regularly may be a sufficient condition for failing a music exam, but it isnt necessary.
People who have practiced regularly may fail anyway, due to nerves, perhaps, or simply a lack of talent.
Correlation not causation
The correlation not causation fallacy is committed when one reasons that just because two things are found
together (i.e.…read more

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We need to be careful with such arguments.
In order for a set of evidence to support a general conclusion, the evidence must meet certain conditions. For
example, it must be drawn from a sufficient number of cases, and the specific cases must be representative. The
more limited or unrepresentative the evidence sample, the less convincing the argument will be.
Arguments that base conclusions on insufficient evidence commit the generalisation fallacy.…read more

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Straw man
Straw Man arguments are arguments that misrepresent a position in order to refute it. Unfortunately, adopting
this strategy means that only the misrepresentation of the position is refuted; the real position is left untouched
by the argument.
Examples
"Christianity teaches that as long as you say ,,Sorry afterwards, it doesnt matter what you do. Even the worst
moral crimes can be quickly and easily erased by simply uttering a word. This is absurd.…read more

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