Critical Thinking Unit 1 (F501)

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OCR AS level critical thinking unit 1 overview

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Critical Thinking Unit 1 (F501)
1 A: the language of reasoning
1.1 recognising arguments, conclusions and reasons
1.1.1 Argument: an attempt to persuade a reader (or listener) to accept something. An argument must have a conclusion and at least one reason.
1.1.2 Conclusion: the conclusion of an argument is a statement of something that the writer (or speaker) wants the reader (or listener) to accept based on the reasons given.
1.1.3 Reason: a statement that aims to persuade the reader to accept a conclusion.
1.1.4 Claim: a statement or judgement that can be challenged (not supported by reasoning)
1.1.5 Argument indicator words
1.1.5.1 Reason
1.1.5.1.1 because, as, since, due to, such as
1.1.5.2 conclusion
1.1.5.2.1 therefore, so, thus, it follows that, consequently, should, ought
1.1.6 because/therefore test
1.2 Counter-assertions, counter-arguments, hypothetical reasoning and assumptions
1.2.1 Counter-argument: an additional argument that is against what the conclusion seeks to establish. The writer normally presents the counter-argument in order to dismiss it.
1.2.2 Counter-assertion: a reason that would support an opponent's argument
1.2.3 indicator words: although, despite this, however, it has been said, contrary to this, on the other hand, some may argue
1.2.4 Hypothetical reasoning: looks at the consequences that might occur if something were the case. Usually using form 'if this... then that...'. Indicator phrases include: if, provided that, on condition that, given that...then...'
1.2.5 assumption: a missing reason in the argument. The writer accepts the assumption, but has not stated it. The assumption is essential for the conclusion to be drawn
1.3 Identifying evidence and examples
1.3.1 Fact: information that can be verified and that is held to be true
1.3.2 Factual claim: a statement or judgement based on information that can be verified and that is held to be true
1.3.3 Evidence: something that is used to develop or support a reason. Evidence is often in the form of numerical data, an estimate, or a factual claim
1.3.4 Example: something which is used as evidence because it is characteristic of the same kind of things or because it can serve to illustrate a principle
1.4 Analysing and evaluating reasoning
1.4.1 Evaluating how well evidence/reasons support conclusions
1.4.1.1 relevant? Representative? Reliable?
1.4.1.2 comprehensive
1.4.1.3 large and relevant sample size
1.4.1.4 random sample
1.4.1.5 Use PEA (P: the reasoning is weak/strong because... E: quote from text, A: why this evidence supports your point
1.4.1.6 consistent
1.4.1.7 factual error?
1.4.1.8 hypothetical?
1.4.1.9 overdrawn
1.4.1.10 contradictory?
2 B: Credibility
2.1 Credibility criteria
2.1.1 credibility: whether someone's claims or evidence can be believed
2.1.2 Plausibility: whether or not a claim or piece of evidence is reasonable
2.1.3 RAVEN
2.1.3.1 Reputation
2.1.3.1.1 can be negative or positive
2.1.3.1.2 previous performance, behaviour, actions
2.1.3.1.2.1 not always a reliable basis for future actions
2.1.3.2 Ability to see/perceive
2.1.3.2.1 eye-witness
2.1.3.2.2 hearsay
2.1.3.3 Vested interest
2.1.3.3.1 usually financial
2.1.3.3.2 can occasionally strengthen the argument
2.1.3.3.2.1 e.g. giving true account of events to maintain a job
2.1.3.4 Expertise
2.1.3.4.1 skills
2.1.3.4.2 experience
2.1.3.4.3 training
2.1.3.4.4 specialist knowledge and judgement
2.1.3.5 Neutrality (bias)
2.1.3.5.1 impartial
2.1.3.5.2 no reason to favour one side over another
2.2 Assessing credibility of individuals, organisations, and documents
2.2.1 credibility of the writer
2.2.1.1 credibility criteria
2.2.2 plausibility of the writer's claims
2.2.3 how far the article or report is balanced account
2.2.4 draws on relevant sources
2.2.5 credibility of the source organisation
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