Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pick one concept or idea from any point in the semester that you found useful or interesting.

The concept I found useful and the most interesting of the semester is fallacies. The thing I will  most remember about this class is fallacies. At first the concept of fallacies was very confusing but towards the end of the semester I finally got to understand the. As I mentioned in the first post I can now notice  fallacies every where from the TV or at school. I like how there are many kinds of fallacies and people can relate to them. One of the fallacies that hear a lot is appeal to common belief. This is when everyone is forced to believe in something just because everybody else is. For example everyone likes the Lakers so you should like them too. Another one that is interesting is appeal to pity because I see a lot of this in commercials. I see a lot of political ads posting appeal to pity. Overall fallacies were the most important thing I learned.

What was your favorite thing about this class? What was your least favorite thing about this class? How can this class be improved?

One of my favorite things about this class was the amount of time we had to do class assignments. The time was very flexible especially for blogs. I liked how we had to do the blogs in twelve hour intervals because it always kept me on track to do my homework. I also like how we were given a lot of time to do the group papers. We were given plenty of time to do the three group assignments. I also like how we did group reports instead of individual reports because it was much easier to complete the assignments. My least favorite thing about this class was not having an actual class to go to since some of the concepts were very confusing. Also it was hard for our group to get together. One of the ways this class can be improved is if the class meets at least once in the middle of the semester so that students that need help can ask questions.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What have you learned over the semester?

Overall I learned a lot over the semester. There are so many things I learned that I might forget a lot of the concepts. At the beginning it looked like a lot of the concepts were going to be very easy and simple to understand. As the semester progressed a lot of the concepts became harder to understand. Overall I learned a lot especially about fallacies. I never heard of fallacies before and it looked very interesting. At first I found it difficult to understand because the book did not use great examples. After reading other peoples examples from their blogs I finally got to understand them. Another concept that was interesting was appeal to emotion. After learning about this I realized that appeal to emotion was a part of our everyday lives. I notice it everywhere especially in TV commercials. Although though I learned about so many concepts, I still don't fully understand some of the concepts.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cause and Effect in Population

One of the interesting concepts that we have not talked about was cause and effect in population. According to Epstein, cause and effect in population is when given the cause, there's a higher probability that the effect will follow than if there were not the cause. There are three kinds of ways to find evidence. First way is through a controlled experiment. In a controlled experiment there is one group that is administered the cause and one who is not, which is called the control group. Another way to find evidence is through an uncontrolled experiment: cause to effect. In this case we start from a suspected cause and see if the effect follows. The last way is an uncontrolled experiment from effect to cause. In this experiment we start with the effect in the population and try to account for how it got there. The example the book used was on smoking cigarettes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mission Critical Website

I found the mission critical website to be very helpful. It is neatly organized and easy way to understand certain concepts of critical thinking. This is the kind of website that I'm looking for because it talks about most of the concepts. It has  the definition for most of the concepts that we learned about. Not only does it give a definition, but it gives good examples as well. Another thing that I liked about it was the explanations of fallacies. Fallacies was one of  the few concepts that I had trouble understanding. After looking at the many fallacy links, it gave me a better understanding of fallacies. The fallacy links gave a lot of good and clear examples.  I also like how there is exercises that can help you out. One of the exercises I found interesting was the 40 fallacy review exercises. I like how it wanted you to identify what kind of fallacy each sentence was. Overall this website was very informative.

Cause and Effect

The cause and effect website was useful in showing a great example of causal arguments. The example was very clear and explained a lot about causal arguments. Although the website was very detailed, it was still kind of confusing. It was like they were explaining too many things at one time. I think it would have been better if the website explain the concept of causal arguments first then show an example. This website still taught me about causal argument. In order to determine the strength of the causal argument, it has to rely on three factors. According to the website, we must first see 'how acceptable or demonstrable the implied comparison is." In others we must see if there is a similarity between the circumstances. Second, we must see "how likely the case for causation seems to be". Lastly we must see "how credible "only significant difference" or "only significant commonality" claim is. Overall the website was helpful but I didn't understand it enough to get what the full concept is all about.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Judging Analogies

One of the concepts that we have not discussed is judging analogies. In order to judge analogies we have to make sure that the comparisons of both arguments share some similarities so we could find one general meaning from both sides.  In order to evaluate an analogy Epstein  explains that we must first check if it is in fact an argument and if there is a conclusion. After that we have to check if there is a comparison. Then we have determine what the premises is from both sides of the comparison. We also have to see if there is any similarities. After finding the similarities we have to check if they can be premises. There also needs to be a general principle that covers both sides of the argument. After that we must determine if the general principle really applies to both sides and see if the differences matter. Lastly we must see if the argument is strong or valid and to make sure if it's good.