English and Literature
Submitted By handminga
Week 1: Introduction to Critical Thinking
This week, Madam Aznur started our learning by explaining about the differences between the critical thinking and creative thinking. Critical thinking is a cognitive activity-associated with using the mind and basically is using by the left brain, while creative thinking is using by the right brain.
Being the type of person that likes to read about any argument or debate about some matter especially when it comes to economics and politics, I can confidently say that critical thinking is the most important subject I’ve ever offered in my academic life. My abilities to recognize technique used to make certain position more appealing, reflecting an issue in a structured manner, drawing conclusion, synthesizing information and presenting a point of view were a complete joke. Having all these disabilities, I believe critical thinking, as a subject, is the best thing has happened to my academic life. I intend to attentively to study this subject and allow it to have an impact on my academic and social life.
Week 2: The Basic Structure of Argument During week 2, I’ve learned about the basic structure of an argument. Argument can be simply defined as a series of statements used to persuade someone of something. There are two main components in argument, which are the premise and the conclusion.
We also learned about proposition. Proposition is a declarity and it can be either true or false. We also have been taught about statement: how to qualify a sentence as a statement and how to declare and how to determine whether the statement is true or false.
Besides, we also learned how to differentiate the statement, whether it is serve as a conclusion, premises or support. I've been told that premises have one or more statement while a conclusion needs to support another statement. From this topic, I discovered that there are 2 types of question. The first one is "interrogative question", it is when a person asks you something but intends to solicit some info from you. The other type is "rhetorical question". It is when the person intends to solicit your agreement or to motivate u to take some action.
Week 3: The Roles of Supporting Statements
This week, we proceeded on roles of supporting statements and focused on how to make people more assured with our premise. We started with 4 types of definitions, which are lexical, precising, stipulative, & persuasive definition. For every definition we need a supporting argument.
Next, we learned about assumption. Assumption is always implicit. The assumption has been categorized into two; value & reality. Value is about what is good and wrong and reality is focusing on what is true and false.
Next, we learned on how to make a premise more acceptable. Its about reference to authority and to be acknowledge as an authority, the person must have knowledge, experience & qualification.
Lastly, we have an anecdote. An anecdote is an interesting story about the real incident
Week 4: The Need for Precision Language
A crucial part of critical thinking is to identify, construct, and evaluate arguments. In everyday life, people often use "argument" to mean a quarrel between people. But in logic and critical thinking, an argument is a list of statements, one of which is the conclusion and the others are the premises or assumptions of the argument.
To give an argument is to provide a set of premises as reasons for accepting the conclusion. To give an argument is not necessarily to attack or criticize someone. Arguments can also be used to support other people's viewpoints.
If you want to find a good job, you should work hard.
You do want to find a good job. So, you should work hard.
The first two sentences here are the premises of the argument, and the last sentence is the conclusion. To give this argument is to offer the premises as reasons for accepting the conclusion.
A few points to note:
* To improve our critical thinking skills, we should develop the habit of giving good arguments to support our opinions. * To defend an opinion, think about whether you can give more than one argument to support it. Also, think about potential objections to your opinion, e.g. arguments against your opinion. A good thinker will consider the arguments on both sides of an issue.
Week 5: Validity and Good Argument
“Yesterday, I spent my time after dinner watching my favorite TV series, CSI Miami. Today’s show was about the mystery of a politician’s murder. At one part in that show, Lt. Horatio arrested the politician’s assistant after the police have found out from one of the witness that the assistant has a tense relationship with his boss in past 3 months. The assistant is now suspected to be the murderer. However, the suspect denies the charge because he said he was away to overseas when his boss died in Miami. So, the politician could not been killed by him. Although the suspect denies it, the investigator always knows better his tactic. The suspect killed his boss on the day before he flew to overseas and at last he was found guilty for killing the politician.”
……………………………………………………………………………………………… The argument from the suspect above is not valid. It is possible that the premises are true and yet the conclusion is false. Perhaps the suspect killed the politician on Monday, and he went to overseas on Tuesday. There is also the possibility that the politician died on Wednesday. A valid argument is an argument with no possible invalidating counter examples. Also, with valid arguments, it is impossible to have a false conclusion if the premises are all true. Obviously, valid arguments play a very important role in reasoning, because if we start with true assumptions, and use only valid arguments to establish new conclusions, then our conclusions must also be true.
P1 : The suspect was in overseas when his boss died in Miami.
C : The boss could not have been killed by the suspect.
Week 9: Thinking Critically about Media
During this week, I discover how to think critically about our media. First of all according to Basham (2008), mass media include all print and electronic media intended to inform, entertain, or persuade large audiences, and include news broadcasts, talk shows, radio shows, newspaper, magazines, and advertisement. Also included in this definition are sitcoms, movies, books, fliers and posters. The selection of issue is one of the main subtopic about media. One method used to attract and entertain viewers is called sensationalism; more interesting stories are chosen over less exciting but perhaps more newsworthy ones. Besides, sensationalism can be defined as a type of editorial bias in mass media in which events and topics, such as politics and religion, in news stories and pieces are over-hyped to increase viewership or readership numbers. Sensationalism may include reporting about generally insignificant matters and events that don't influence overall society and biased presentations of newsworthy topics in a sensationalist, trivial or tabloid manner. Now, I would like to share my experience three months ago when I was watching a talk show, Nona on TV3. At the beginning of the show, they displayed some part of the clip that shows our first Malaysian astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor’s two-year old daughter who already learns how to swim. I was very excited to watch the clip so I sat in front of the TV but unfortunately, I need to wait almost an hour because the clip is shown at the end of the show. One presumed goal of sensational reporting is to increase or sustain viewership or readership, from which media outlets can price their advertising higher to increase their profits based on higher numbers of viewers or readers. Sometimes this can lead to a lesser focus on objective journalism in favor of a profit motive, in which editorial choices are based upon sensational stories and presentations to increase advertising revenue. Additionally, advertisers tend to have a preference for their products or services to be reported positively in mass media, which can contribute to bias in news reporting in favor of media outlets protecting their profits and revenues, rather than reporting objectively about stated products and services.
Week 11: Application of Thinking II
This week, we have finally learned our last topic which is the second part of application of thinking. In this topic, I am very interested with the application of six thinking hats. This application is a strategy devised by the world-known expert in creative thinking, Sir Edward de Bono. It requires students or teachers to extend their way of thinking about a topic by wearing a range of different ‘thinking hats’. During my tutorial session, Madam Aznur has randomly picked six of us to form a meeting group to discuss on what ice-cream flavor that children love the most. Each one of us needs to represents each one of the six colors of hats. Basically, the main idea is to have the group only wear one hat at a time when considering a problem. Next, I was given the opportunity to put on the white hat. A person wearing the white hat always provides facts, figures and objective information. So, I need to give all data or statistic information that I know so that everyone in the meeting will understand better. The person next to me, Hadi is given the green hat. The green hat is the symbol of vegetarian or grass (fertile and growing). It is the growth of creative thinking resulting in generating new ideas. Also, the green hat wearer is looking for lateral thinking ideas, or maybe new hypothesis and possibilities. Thereafter, the blue hat wearer is something like a bird’s eye view of the thinking process and to look from a higher and wider perspective to see whether you are addressing the right issue. This hat wearer also operates as the thought chairman and organizer, or controls of the other hats. Next, the fourth person was given the yellow hat. The person who wears the yellow hat looks for all the potential benefits that can flow and positive aspects of why something will work. It also permits vision and dreams. Besides, it is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. In other words, yellow hat always help you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult. Now, let’s talk about the black hat wearer. Using the black hat thinking, we need to look at all the bad points of the decision cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not work. This is important because it actually highlights the weak points in a plan. Moreover, it allows us to eliminate them, or even to alter them. Finally, the last type of hat is the red color hat. Wearing the red hat, you need to look at problems using intuition, gut reaction and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally. The red hat also represents anger. It gives full permission to a thinker to put forward his or her feelings on the subject at the moment. In conclusion, six thinking hats is a good technique for looking at the effects of a decision from a number of different points of view. The technique also helps, for example, persistently pessimistic people to be positive and creative.