When it comes
to thinking, the use of reason to figure out things is
considered highly valuable and even necessary. So we're
going to devote some time to discussing this topic, beginning,
as we often do, with a definition.
1. the process of thinking about something in a logical way in
order to form a conclusion or judgment
2. the ability of the mind to think and understand things in a
Two Types of Reasoning: Deductive and Inductive Reasoning
When it comes
to Critical Thinking and trying to see reality, there are two
important ways of reasoning that enable us to infer realities about the world around us.
Complementing each other, they both
are important and useful in problem solving, in science, and in our ongoing quest for valid understandings
reasoning that moves from general to specific. Sometimes this is called the
“top-down” approach because the researcher starts at the top
with a very broad spectrum of information and they work their
way down to a specific conclusion.
Research: This sort of reasoning usually starts with a
theory from which a hypothesis is developed then either
confirmed, or disconfirmed via data collection and
Logic: this form of
reasoning is best seen in that form of reasoning called a
Major premise: All men are
Minor premise: Socrates is a man.
Conclusion: Socrates is mortal.
Both premises are known to be
valid, by observation or historical facts. Because the two
premises are valid, the conclusion
must be valid as well.
Reasoning: reasoning works the opposite way, moving from specific
and theories. This is a
“bottom up” approach. A scientific researcher would begin with
specific observations (data), then look for possible patterns,
arrive a an hypothesis to research and conclude with some form
An example would be: Jill and
Bob are friends. Jill likes to dance, cook and write. Bob likes
to dance and cook. Therefore it can be assumed he also likes to
go to the brief introduction to thinking and feeling
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