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The discussion question : The first four chapters of Is That True? (ITT) clarifi

by | Sep 30, 2021 | Sociology | 0 comments


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The discussion question : The first four chapters of Is That True? (ITT) clarifies the concept of critical thinking and several underpinnings of social science, including the elements of an argument, everyday arguments, and the logic of the social sciences. We are introduced to grounds, warrants, and conclusions and why anecdotes are considered weak evidence. Best (2021) explains that facts require social agreement, which is why different facts may exist among different groups and at different times throughout history. Simply claiming something to be a fact does not end the debate. More importantly, we come to understand the logic of social sciences and causal explanations. The beauty of social science is that the search for knowledge is never-ending because “the evidence is never perfect; is it always subject to critical evaluation” (Best, 2021, p. 37). share two “big ideas” that were new or insightful for you. Explain why these were significant and how you related to them. Identify something you didn’t understand well or that you had questions about. Be sure to use in-text citations when appropriate and page numbers so others can easily find the passages you’re discussing! My answer to the discussion: Is That True? Critical thinking can be elaborated as assessing or judging an argument to see whether it is conclusive enough (Chapter 2, p. 8). Critical thinking is therefore used in evaluating a statement that asserts something to be the case since critical thinking is about evidence. Facts and evidence are important. Nonetheless, it’s similarly important to be able to recognize the evidence’s basis and the connection between the proofs, which is where critical thinking comes in. When thinking critically, it is important to consider three aspects which are the grounds that provide basic information, the warrants that justify drawing some conclusion, and the conclusion itself. It is worth noting that warrants are implicit in the sense that if the person arguing and those who hear it share the same values, it may seem unnecessary to spell out the argument’s warrants. One insightful idea that I learned after reading the book is that it is important to recognize facts from assumptions since assumptions may hinder us from thinking critically as we may be convinced that the false ‘facts’ are indeed true (Chapter 2, p.11). I found this perceptive because I realized that in most discussions people tend to assume that assumptions are facts. For instance, Christians may argue that Jesus is the son of God the creator, but Islam will think otherwise. Both would be convinced that they are right due to strongly held beliefs. Another issue I found insightful is the use of ad hominem arguments which focus on the person who has said something, rather than what has been said (Chapter 3, p. 18). I find this sensible since using ad hominem arguments poses the danger of closing off the listener from whatever ideas the person may be presenting. It is therefore important to listen and find evidence before making a conclusion, rather than disagreeing with a statement because it was said by a person with whom you probably disagree. Most people find it as a seductive line of thinking because it seems to excuse us from taking our opponents seriously, which is not right. This is similar to regarding a claim as a myth since by doing so, it gives a listener no need for reasoning. As such, critical thinking involves judging the quality of evidence. My classmates posts: 1- Betzabe Avila:There were actually many ideas in this reading that stood out to me. I think the first chapter was a great way to express in words what it means to think critically. In my college experience, professors have always put emphasis on thinking critically. This idea may come new to many but as the text mentions, it is a tool we use in our everyday life. The text states, “this book views critical thinking as a set of tools for evaluating claims…we encounter claims all the time in conversations, in what we read, in the media, indeed, on pretty much every occasion we connect with other people, and we’ve all had to learn to interpret those claims”(page 2). I also liked the idea that was mentioned that although we like to stay in the comfort of assuming we already know something, we should question. When we consider our assumptions may be wrong, we can think critically. 2- Emily Reynoso: One “big idea” that was insightful to me was that “evidence is almost never complete or perfect” (Best, 2021, p. 16). For me, I get so caught up in trying to find the best evidence that proves my argument that I forget that evidence isn’t perfect. Evidence is used to support a claim and is key to have a successful argument, but it is also important to note that evidence can change over time and might not give the bigger picture. This comment made the think about cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. We can conclude based on our observations at that time, but we can also build on the results over time.Another insightful idea that I learned from the reading was that metaphors might misdirect us (Best, 2021). This statement was insightful because I’ve always seen metaphors as a helpful tool when making an argument. After all, they allow the audience to grasp a better understanding. However, I learned that metaphors “can discourage thinking critically about the claim being made” (Best, 2021, p.23). I never considered that there was a problem with metaphors simplifying a complex claim. I’ve seen this as helpful because they keep the audience’s attention and allows the presenter to draw similarities between claims.When reading the nonspuriousness section, I was a little uncertain about why we can never declare that a relationship is nonspurious (Best, 2021). I understand that “it is possible for a critic to argue that some other factor may explain the relationship between what we think is the cause and what we consider the effect of that cause” (Best, 2021, p. 34). However, wouldn’t that diminish the importance of evidence? If there will always be another argument to assess, then wouldn’t some evidence become insufficient? If so, then we can’t say that a claim or argument is a fact. I’m confused about the technicalities of each argument. If anyone can explain it to me, I would greatly appreciate it. write reply… For your TWO peer replies (click the reply button in the author’s post), engage with the author by elaborating, comparing or contrasting, sharing counterpoints, or drawing connections to specific sociological concepts or theories. This is an opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking, so avoid simplistic replies that mainly repeat Best or your classmate’s contributions. Try to bring something new, insightful, or provocative to the discussion! You want to further the conversation by adding new ideas, information, or perspectives. It’s OK to play “devil’s advocate”, just let others know so we’re all on the same page. Be sure to use in-text citations when appropriate and page numbers so others can easily find the passages you’re discussing! Write about 10-11 sentences paragraphs.


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