Chapter 8 Notes
Chapter 8 Notes HNRS 2010
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Clark on Saturday September 26, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HNRS 2010 at Bowling Green State University taught by Dawn Shinew in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Critical Thinking in OTHER at Bowling Green State University.
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Date Created: 09/26/15
Asking the Right QHBStiOIlS Chapter 8 How good is the Evidence Intuition Personal Experience Case Examples Testimonials and Appeals to Authority Beliefs that can be conclusions reasons or assumption are referred to as factual claims The first question you should ask about a factual claim is Why should I believe it The next question is Does the claim need evidence to support it If there is evidence your next question is How good is the evidence Rather than asking whether they are true ask whether or not they are dependable We want to ask Can we count on such beliefs The major difference between claims that are opinions and facts is the present state of the relevant evidence How do we determine dependability Ask yourself questions like What is your proof How do you know that s true Where s the evidence Why do you believe that Are you sure that s true Can you prove it People sometimes react to requests for evidence with anger or withdrawal Usually because they are embarrassed because they realize without evidence they should have been less assertive about their beliefs We encounter factual claims that are Descriptive conclusions Reasons Descriptive assumptions Before we can believe the assumptions and thus the reason we want to ask How well does evidence support the assumption There are three instances in which we will be most inclined to agree with a factual claim 1 When the claim appears to be undisputed common knowledge 2 When the claim is the conclusion from a wellreasoned argument 3 When the claim is adequately supported by the solid evidence The quality of evidence depends on the kind of evidence it is Knowing the kind of evidence tells us what questions we should ask When used appropriately each kind of evidence can be good evidence Always keep in the back of your mind that no evidence will be a slam dunk that gets the job done conclusively When we use intuition to support a claim we rely on common sense or gut feelings or on hunches When a communicator supports a claim by saying common sense tell us or I just know that it s true she is using intuition as her evidence Intuition refers to a process in which we believe we have direct insights about an excellent example of System 1 Fast Thinking A major problem with intuition is that it is private others have no way to judge its dependability Consequently we must be very wary of claims backed up only by intuition Sometimes hunches are not blind just incapable of explanation As critical thinkers we want to find out whether claims relying on intuition have any other kinds of evidential support Some key phrases to look for that should alert you to such evidence are I know someone who In my experience I ve found A single personal experience or even an accumulation of personal experiences is not enough to give you a representative sample of experiences Personal experiences often lead to us to commit the hasty generalization fallacy A person draws a conclusion about a large group based on experiences with only a few members of the group A frequently used kind of evidence is the use of a detailed catchy description of or story about one or several individuals or events to support a conclusion We call such descriptions case examples these examples emotionally involve their audiences Case examples are often compelling to us because of their vividness and their interesting details It makes it easy to visualize They distract us from paying close attention to their value as evidence and from seeking other more relevant research evidence Sometimes case examples can be useful even if they aren t good evidence They make it easier for people to relate to an issue and take more interest in it Testimonials use a special kind of appeal to personal experience called personal testimonials They are a form of personal experience in which someone provides a statement supporting the value of some product event or service The endorsement lacks any of the information we would need to decide just how much we should let it in uence us We should pay little attention to these testimonials until we find out much more about the expertise interests values and biases behind them The following problems with testimonials should make us especially wary of trusting them Selectivity Omitted information Personal Interest The Human Factor When communicators appeal to authorities or experts They appeal to people who they believe are in a position to have access to certain facts and to have special qualifications for drawing conclusions from the facts It should be obvious that some appeals to authority should be taken much more seriously as evidence than others Some authorities are much more careful in giving an opinion than others However authorities are often wrong and they often disagree We need to ask Why should we believe this authority How much expertise training or special knowledge does the authority have about the subject about what he is communicating Is this a topic the person has studied for a long time Or has the person had extensive experience related to the topic You should be more impressed by an authority who is a primary sourcesomeone having firsthand involvement with relevant eventsthan by a secondary source Among the factors that can in uence how evidence is reported are Personal needs Attitudes Ideologies Prior expectations Values General beliefs Theories We cannot expect any authority to be totally unbiased We should not reject a claim simply because we suspect that the authority s personal interests may interfere with her fairness When we go online virtually everyone becomes a potential authority because people are free to claim whatever they wish Thus you need to look for signs that testimonials and appeals to authority are trustworthy and not a scam Clues that a site may not be dependable include Lack of dates associated With postings An un professional look to the site Claims that are vague sweeping and emotional A totally one sided View The absence of a primary source eVidence Presence of hearsay eVidence Numerous reasoning fallacies When you identify problems With intuition personal experience case examples testimonials and appeals to authority as eVidence you have the proper basis for hesitating to accept the conclusion based on that eVidence
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