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Critical and Creative Thinking

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Assumptions and Fallacies

Mark Harris

Critical and Creative Thinking

July 1, 2012

Brenda Davenport

Axia College of University of Phoenix

What are assumptions?

Assumptions: To take something for granted, to expect that things will be a certain way because they have in the past or because you want them to be that way (Ch 10 p. 186). A natural occurrence in thinking that takes place in everyday life. Assumption will places you on unsteady ground and is leading. An assumption opens the door to flaws in one's action and judgment. Even though that in making everyday assumption, like the lights will work and the water will run out of the faucet, there is an equal chance that they may not work but very reasonable assumptions to make. I think that assumption are the same way, they may and may not be valid. It is a risk not worth taking.

How do you think assumptions might interfere with critical thinking?

Assumption can effect critical thinking by leading you to think one thing and blocking you from the truth or facts. They will stop you from fully investigating the facts and the possibilities that something else be factual. It will stop you from making sure that your ideas are explained in detail so that their understood. Assumption can also hinder you in evaluating and refining your ideas. You should always make a special effort to identify assumptions you may not have detected previously. The reason is not only that unexpected outcomes can cause you embarrassment but also, and more importantly, that what you take for granted you will not examine critically. Assumptions obstruct the evaluation process (Ch. 10 p. 185-186). It is the small assumption that are made that goes unnoticed. Critically evaluation is a process that is not to be missed and in doing so will eliminate any unnecessary evaluation that could mislead information.

What might you do to avoid making assumptions in your thinking?

The best approach to take in avoiding assumptions while thinking is to challenge my thoughts. Always think of what if's to every situation. I think that to every approach there is another approach. I have to keep in mind to ask myself questions that will aid in avoiding assumption along the way. Some example questions are, will others familiar with the problem or issue share in my enthusiasm in the issue. Small imperfections in ideas will not affect people's acceptance of it. This idea should be clear to others now that it is clear to me. Will everyone should accept this idea especially those who will gain from it (p. 186). What will also be helpful in the critical thinking process to avoid assumptions is to stay open minded and not always think from one perspective only but think from outside in. Critics every thought so that flaws and assumptions can be detected.

What are fallacies?

Fallacies are dirty tricks of those who want to gain an advantage. They are stratagems for gaining influence, advantage, and power (p.50). It is a deceptive or misleading argument, a sophism. In logic esp. a flaw, material or formal, which vitiates a syllogism. Also sophistical reasoning, sophistry. A delusive notion, an error, esp. one founded on false reasoning. Also, a condition of being deceived, error. Sophistical nature, unsoundness (of arguments); erroneousness, delusion. To be a human thinker is often to be a "self-deceived" thinker hence a "fallacious" thinker. However, to think of ourselves as believing what is false (or as defending and justifying prejudices, stereotypes, and misconceptions) is a painful thought. The human mind has developed ways to protect itself from pain (p.6). Fallacies are defense mechanisms that deny or distort reality. Fallacies



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