Abstract The relations between the development of logical thinking, role?taking and moral reasoning were investigated in a sample of 100 children, aged eight?14 years. Positive correlation was found between the three areas. There was a clear association between consolidated concrete operational thinking and Kohlberg's Stage 2 moral reasoning, and some evidence that, in order of development, logical thinking precedes role?taking, and role?taking precedes moral reasoning, at corresponding levels of conceptual complexity. Although many attained high scores in logical (...)thinking, showing consolidated concrete operational thinking, and, in some cases, formal operational thinking sub?stage 3 A and B, only five achieved conventional moral reasoning at Stage 3 (2). Perhaps moral reasoning will ?catch up? on logical thinking, but, if transitional formal operational thinking is necessary for conventional (Stage 3) moral reasoning, there are implications for moral education at the secondary level. (shrink)
This paper contains a preliminary investigation of an experimental, first-order logic with identity which encodes as an inference rule the faulty reasoning which Von Domarus (1944) suggested underwrote much of the bizarre thinking seen in certain forms of schizophrenia. I begin with a discussion of the "Von Domarus thesis," note its fate under statistical testing, and remark on its continued explanatory power in the hands of certain psychiatrists. I next discuss a proof calculus which contains a rule representing Von (...) Domarus reasoning — the phrenetic calculus — and present several nonstandard theorems which are provable in this system. In an appendix the phrenetic calculus is proven to be absolutely consistent, but unsound, yet complete. After a brief aside which addresses certain caveats and restrictions required in order to avoid rendering the calculus trivial, I close with a discussion of three of the nonstandard theorems, each of which are consistent in interesting ways with known schizophrenic cognitive deficits. (shrink)
To grasp the truth in traditional Chinese classics, we need to uncover the long obscured xiang è±¡ (image) thinking, which has long been overshadowed by Occidentalism. xiang thinking is the most fundamental thought of human beings. The logic of linguistics all comes from xiang thinking . Through conceptual thinking, people can understand Western classics on metaphysics, yet they may not completely understand the various schools of Chinese classics. The difference between Chinese and Western ways of (...) class='Hi'>thinking originated in the difference of the basic views developed in the Axial period . Since Aristotle, Western metaphysical ideas have all been manifested in substantiality, objectivity, and being ready-made, whereas Chinese Taiji, Dao, Xin-xing, and Zen were manifested in the non-substantiality, non-objectivity, and non-ready-made-ness of a dynamic whole. To grasp substance, rational and logical thinking such as definition, judgment, and reasoning is necessary. On the other hand, to grasp Taiji, Dao, etc., which is a dynamic whole or non-substances, xiang thinking , which is related to perception and rich in poetic association, is essential. History has taught us a lesson, i.e., when we opened the window to logical thought, we closed that of xiang thinking . We should remember the words of Xu Guangqi, i.e., To mingle harmoniously and understand thoroughly so as to excel. (shrink)
To grasp the truth in traditional Chinese classics, we need to uncover the long obscured "xiang" 象 (image) thinking, which has long been overshadowed by Occidentalism, "xiang thinking" is the most fundamental thought of human beings. The logic of linguistics all comes from "xiang thinking". Through conceptual thinking, people can understand Western classics on metaphysics, yet they may not completely understand the various schools of Chinese classics. The difference between Chinese and Western ways of thinking (...) originated in the difference of the basic views developed in the "Axial period". Since Aristotle, Western metaphysical ideas have all been manifested in substantiality, objectivity, and being ready-made, whereas Chinese Taiji, Dao, Xin-xing, and Zen were manifested in the non-substantiality, non-objectivity, and non-ready-made-ness of a dynamic whole. To grasp substance, rational and logical thinking such as definition, judgment, and reasoning is necessary. On the other hand, to grasp Taiji, Dao, etc., which is a dynamic whole or non-substances, "xiang thinking", which is related to perception and rich in poetic association, is essential. History has taught us a lesson, i.e., when we opened the window to logical thought, we closed that of "xiang thinking". We should remember the words of Xu Guangqi, i.e., "To mingle harmoniously and understand thoroughly so as to excel". /// 重新打开被西方中心论长期遮蔽的 "象思维" 是把握中国传统经典本真的 需要。"象思维" 是人类最本原的思维。语言逻辑部经过 "象思维" 孕育而产生。 用概念思维可以透彻解读西方形上学经典，却未必能透彻解读中国诸家经典。中西 两种思维的不同，源于在 "轴心时期" 产生的基本理念的不同。西方形上学理念从 亚里士多德以降均为不同实体，显示为实体性、对象性、现成性。而中国的太极、 道、心性、禅则显示为动态整体的非实体性、非对象性、非现成性。把握实体，需 要用理性的、逻辑的概念思维，如定义、判断、推理等。而把握动态整体或非实体 的太极、道等，则需要用悟性的、诗意联想的 "象思维"。历史的经验教训是:在我 们打开逻辑概念思维这扇窗户时，却错误地关闭了 "象思维" 这扇窗户。我们应记 住徐光启的箴言 "会通以超胜"。. (shrink)
A critical study of McPeck's recent book, in which he strengthens and develops his arguments against teaching critical thinking (CT). Accepting McPeck's basic claim that there is no unitary skill of reasoning or thinking, I argue that his strictures on CT courses or programs do not follow. I set out what I consider the proper justification that programs in CT have to meet, and argue both that McPeck demands much more than is required, and also that it is (...) plausible that this deflated justification can be met. Specitically, I argue that it is reasonable to expect transfer of learning for basic logical skills. Additional topics covered include: the relation ofliberal education to critical thinking, argument analysis, testing for CT, and the value of conceptual or linguistic analysis. (shrink)
In this paper I identify a fallacy. The fallacy is worth noting for practical and theoretical reasons. First, the rampant occurrences ofthis fallacy-especially at moments calling for careful thought-indicate that it is more pernicious to clear thinking than many of those found in standard logic texts. Second, the fallacy stands apart from most others in that it contains multiple kinds oflogical error (i.e., fallacious and non-fallacious logical errors) that are themselves committed in abnormal ways, and thus it presents a (...) two-tiered challenge to oversimplified accounts of how an argument can go bad. (shrink)
This paper is in two parts. Part I outlines three traditional approaches to the teaching of critical thinking: the normative, cognitive psychology, and educational approaches. Each of these approaches is discussed in relation to the influences of various methods of critical thinking instruction. The paper contrasts these approaches with what I call the “visualisation” approach. This approach is explained with reference to computer-aided argument mapping (CAAM) which uses dedicated computer software to represent inferences between premise and conclusions. The (...) paper presents a detailed account of the CAAM methodology, and theoretical justification for its use, illustrating this with the argument mapping software Rationale™. A number of Rationale™ design conventions and logical principles are outlined including the principle of abstraction, the MECE principle, and the “Holding Hands” and “Rabbit Rule” heuristics. Part II of this paper outlines the growing empirical evidence for the effectiveness of CAAM as a method of teaching critical thinking. (shrink)
Philosophers have devoted a great deal of discussion to the question of whether an inverted spectrum thought experiment refutes functionalism. (For a review of the inverted spectrum and its many philosophical applications, see Byrne, 2004.) If Ho?man is correct the matter can be swiftly and conclusively settled, without appeal to any empirical data about color vision (or anything else). Assuming only that color experiences and functional relations can be mathematically represented, a simple mathematical result.
Do we conduct our conscious propositional thinking in natural language? Or is such language only peripherally related to human conscious thought-processes? In this paper I shall present a partial defence of the former view, by arguing that the only real alternative is eliminativism about conscious propositional thinking. Following some introductory remarks, I shall state the argument for this conclusion, and show how that conclusion can be true. Thereafter I shall defend each of the three main premises in turn.
Main principles of the complex nonlinear thinking which are based on the notions of the modern theory of evolution and self-organization of complex systems called also synergetics are under discussion in this article. The principles are transdisciplinary, holistic, and oriented to a human being. The notions of system complexity, nonlinearity of evolution, creative chaos, space-time definiteness of structure-attractors of evolution, resonant influences, nonlinear and soft management are here of great importance. In this connection, a prominent contribution made to system (...) analysis and to a necessary reform of education and thinking by Edgar Morin is considered. (shrink)
This paper makes the case that when wishful thinking ill-founds belief, the belief depends on the desire in ways can be recapitulated at the level of perceptual experience. The relevant kinds of desires include motivations, hopes, preferences, and goals. I distinguish between two modes of dependence of belief on desire in wishful thinking: selective or inquiry-related, and responsive or evidence-related. I offers a theory of basing on which beliefs are badly-based on desires, due to patterns of dependence that (...) can found in the relationship between experiences and desires as well. This conclusion brings us a large part of the way to the conclusion that like beliefs, experiences can be ill-founded by depending on a desire. (shrink)
In Thinking without Words I develop a philosophical framework for treating some animals and human infants as genuine thinkers. This paper outlines the aspects of this account that are most relevant to those working in animal ethics. There is a range of different levels of cognitive sophistication in different animal species, in addition to limits to the types of thought available to non-linguistic creatures, and it may be important for animal ethicists to take this into account in exploring issues (...) of moral significance and the obligations that we might or might not have to non-human animals. (shrink)
As a philosophy professor, one of my central goals is to teach students to think critically. However, one difficulty with determining whether critical thinking can be taught, or even measured, is that there is widespread disagreement over what critical thinking actually is. Here, I reflect on several conceptions of critical thinking, subjecting them to critical scrutiny. I also distinguish critical thinking from other forms of mental processes with which it is often conflated. Next, I present my (...) own conception of critical thinking, wherein it fundamentally consists in acquiring, developing, and exercising the ability to grasp inferential connections holding between statements. Finally, given this account of critical thinking, and given recent studies in cognitive science, I suggest the most effective means for teaching students to think critically. (shrink)
This article discusses the history of the concepts of potential infinity and actual infinity in the context of Christian theology, mathematical thinking and metaphysical reasoning. It shows that the structure of Ancient Greek rationality could not go beyond the concept of potential infinity, which is highlighted in Aristotle's metaphysics. The limitations of the metaphysical mind of ancient Greece were overcome through Christian theology and its concept of the infinite God, as formulated in Gregory of Nyssa's theology. That is how (...) the concept of actual infinity emerged. However, Gregory of Nyssa's understanding of human rationality went still further. He said that access to the infinity of God was to be found only in an asymptotic ascension, as expressed in apophatic theology, and this view endangered the rationality of theology. Deeply influenced by the apophatic tradition, Nicholas of Cusa avoided this danger by showing that infinity could be accessed by symbolic representation and asymptotic mathematical reasoning. Thus, he made an immense contribution in making infinity rationally accessible. This endeavor was finally realized by Georg Cantor. This rational accessibility revealed discernible structures of infinity, such as the continuum hypothesis, and the cardinal numbers. However, the probable logical inconsistency of Georg Cantor's all-encompassing Absolute Infinity points to an intuitive understanding of infinity that goes beyond its rational structures – as in apophatic theology. (shrink)
This paper seeks to defend the following conclusions: The program advanced by Carnap and other necessarians for probability logic has little to recommend it except for one important point. Credal probability judgments ought to be adapted to changes in evidence or states of full belief in a principled manner in conformity with the inquirer’s confirmational commitments—except when the inquirer has good reason to modify his or her confirmational commitment. Probability logic ought to spell out the constraints on rationally coherent confirmational (...) commitments. In the case where credal judgments are numerically determinate confirmational commitments correspond to Carnap’s credibility functions mathematically represented by so—called confirmation functions. Serious investigation of the conditions under which confirmational commitments should be changed ought to be a prime target for critical reflection. The necessarians were mistaken in thinking that confirmational commitments are immune to legitimate modification altogether. But their personalist or subjectivist critics went too far in suggesting that we might dispense with confirmational commitments. There is room for serious reflection on conditions under which changes in confirmational commitments may be brought under critical control. Undertaking such reflection need not become embroiled in the anti inductivism that has characterized the work of Popper, Carnap and Jeffrey and narrowed the focus of students of logical and methodological issues pertaining to inquiry. (shrink)
After a brief outline of the topic of non-language thinking in mathematics the central phenomenological tool in this concern is established, i.e. the eidetic method. The special form of eidetic method in mathematical proving is implicit variation and this procedure entails three rules that are established in a simple geometrical example. Then the difficulties and the merits of analogical thinking in mathematics are discussed in different aspects. On the background of a new phenomenological understanding of the performance of (...) non-language thinking in mathematics the well-known theses of B. L. van der Waerden that mathematical thinking to a great extent proceeds without the use of language is discussed in a new light. (shrink)
I argue that entertaining a proposition is not an action. Such events do not have intentional explanations and cannot be evaluated as rational or not. In these respects they contrast with assertions and compare well with perceptual events. One can control what one thinks by doing something, most familiarly by reciting a sentence. But even then the event of entertaining the proposition is not an action, though it is an event one has caused to happen, much as one might cause (...) oneself to see a book by looking at it. I also discuss how this may support the view that thinking about the world is a source of information about it. (shrink)
For centuries, philosophy has been considered as an intellectual activity requiring complex cognitive skills and predispositions related to complex (or critical) thinking. The Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach aims at the development of critical thinking in pupils through philosophical dialogue. Some contest the introduction of P4C in the classroom, suggesting that the discussions it fosters are not philosophical in essence. In this text, we argue that P4C is philosophy.
This chapter takes up, and sketches an answer to, the main challenge facing massively modular theories of the architecture of the human mind. This is to account for the distinctively flexible, non-domain-specific, character of much human thinking. I shall show how the appearance of a modular language faculty within an evolving modular architecture might have led to these distinctive features of human thinking with only minor further additions and non-domain-specific adaptations.
Expressivists famously have important and difficult problems with semantics and logic. Their difficulties providing an adequate account of the semantics of material conditionals involving moral terms, and explaining why they have the right semantic and logical properties – for example, why they validate modus ponens – have received a great deal of attention. Cian Dorr  points out that their problems do not stop here, but also extend to epistemology. The problem he poses for expressivists is the problem of wishful (...)thinking. David Enoch  has claimed that expressivists can avoid wishful thinking, and offered a fairly detailed account of how. In this paper I explain the details of Enoch’s account, and why his reasoning fails in several different places. (shrink)
The concepts of autonomy and of critical thinking play a central role in many contemporary accounts of the aims of education. This book analyses their relationship to each other and to education, exploring their roles in mortality and politics before examining the role of critical thinking in fulfilling the educational aim of preparing young people for autonomy. The author analyses different senses of the terms 'autonomy' and 'critical thinking' and the implications for education. Implications of the discussion (...) for contemporary practice are also considered. (shrink)
The concept of population thinking was introduced by Ernst Mayr as the right way of thinking about the biological domain, but it is difficult to find an interpretation of this notion that is both unproblematic and does the theoretical work it was intended to do. I argue that, properly conceived, Mayr’s population thinking is a version of trope nominalism: the view that biological property-types do not exist or at least they play no explanatory role. Further, although population (...)thinking has been traditionally used to argue against essentialism about biological kinds, recently it has been suggested that it may be consistent with at least some forms of essentialism—ones that construe essential properties as relational. I argue that if population thinking is a version of trope nominalism, then, as Mayr originally claimed, it rules out any version of essentialism about biological kinds. (shrink)
The present study investigated whether individual differences between psychologists in thinking styles are associated with accuracy in diagnostic classification. We asked novice and experienced clinicians to classify two clinical cases of clients with two co-occurring psychological disorders. No significant difference in diagnostic accuracy was found between the two groups, but when combining the data from novices and experienced psychologists accuracy was found to be negatively associated with certain decision making strategies and with a higher self-assessed ability and preference for (...) a rational thinking style. Our results underscore the idea that it might be fruitful to look for explanations of differences in the accuracy of diagnostic judgments in individual differences between psychologists (such as in thinking styles or decision making strategies used), rather than in experience level. (shrink)
The way that critical thinking has been framed as aneducational objective has led, on the one hand, to itssuccessful saturation of educational discourse and, onthe other, to an equation of critical thinking withdemonstrable rhetorical skills. This essay suggeststhat both critical thinking and obstacles tosuccessful critical thinking are most commonly foundin the activities of everyday life. Humans deploycritical thinking in expressions of socialimagination, illuminations of our selves andrelationship, and in ethical choices and publicengagements. By reframing critical (...)thinking,educators may find ways to enrich its exercise both inand out of the classroom. (shrink)
We conducted an on-line survey to investigate the professor’s idea of “morality” and then to compare their moral thinking at the abstract level with their moral thinking in the real life situations by sampling 257 professors from the University of Novi Sad. We constructed questionnaire based on related theoretical ethical concepts. Our results show (after we performed exploratory factor analysis) that the professor’s idea of “morality” consists of the three moral thinking patterns which are simultaneously activated during (...) the process of their abstract moral thinking. We have identified these patterns in the following manner: deontological, formal and subjective pattern. In addition, our results show that of the three, the subjective pattern is more activated than the other two during their process of the moral thinking at the abstract level. We also discovered that there is a statistically significant difference between professor’s moral thinking patterns activation level at the abstract level and their moral thinking patterns activation level in the real life situation. (shrink)
This book covers all the material typically addressed in first or second-year college courses in Critical Thinking: Chapter 1: Critical Thinking 1.1 What is critical thinking? 1.2 What is critical thinking not? Chapter 2: The Nature of Argument 2.1 Recognizing an Argument 2.2 Circular Arguments 2.3 Counterarguments 2.4 The Burden of Proof 2.5 Facts and Opinions 2.6 Deductive and Inductive Argument Chapter 3: The Structure of Argument 3.1 Convergent, Single 3.2 Convergent, Multiple 3.3 Divergent Chapter 4: (...) Relevance 4.1 Relevance 4.2 Errors of Relevance Chapter 5: Language 5.1 Clarity 5.2 Neutrality 5.3 Definition Chapter 6: Truth and Acceptability 6.1 How do we define truth? 6.2 How do we discover truth? 6.3 How do we evaluate claims of truth? Chapter 7: Generalizations, Analogies, and General Principles 7.1 Sufficiency 7.2 Generalizations 7.3 Analogies 7.4 General Principles Chapter 8: Inductive Argument – Causal Reasoning 8.1 Causation 8.2 Explanations 8.3 Predictions, Plans, and Policies 8.4 Errors in Causal Reasoning (Three additional chapters – categorical logic, propositional logic, thinking critically about ethics – are available on the companion website.) -/- Special Features: -/- - The book takes a practice approach to learning how to think critically, so there are LOTS of exercises (within each chapter, focusing on discrete skills, and at the end of each chapter, focusing on more global skills in a cumulative fashion – thinking critically about what one sees, hears, reads, writes, and discusses). -/- - There is an extensive “Answers, Explanations, and Analyses” section that provides not just ‘the right answer’ but explanations as to why the right answer is right and why wrong answers are wrong; when the exercise is not a matter of providing an answer but of analyzing material, a detailed analysis is provided in this section; this feature is intended to help the student fully understand why some arguments are better than others (and why it’s not ‘just a matter of opinion’!). -/- - The regularly-appearing end-of-chapter “Thinking critically when you discuss” exercise is carefully graduated throughout the text, to gently lead students from sounding like a bad tv talk show to being able to hold an intelligent discussion. -/- - The regularly-appearing end-of-chapter “Thinking critically about what you write” exercise assumes almost no skill at the beginning and leads up to, in the last chapter, writing a 2,000 word position paper. -/- - A critical analysis template (a step-by-step approach to critical analysis) is presented in the first chapter and at the beginning of each subsequent chapter, and specific reference to it is made at the beginning of each end-of-chapter “Thinking critically about what you read” exercise (consisting of ten bits of increasing difficulty); this feature is intended to encourage the development of habitual, thorough analysis of arguments. -/- - Actual questions from standardized reasoning tests like the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, and GRE are included. -/- - Ancillaries include an instructor’s manual; a test bank; PowerPoint slides; downloadable MP3 study guides; and interactive flash cards. (shrink)
The ideal world semantics of standard deontic logic identifies our obligations with how we would act in an ideal world. However, to act as if one lived in an ideal world is bad moral advice, associated with wishful thinking rather than well-considered moral deliberation. Ideal world semantics gives rise to implausible logical principles, and the metaphysical arguments that have been put forward in its favour turn out to be based on a too limited view of truth-functional representation. It is (...) argued that ideal world semantics should be given up in favour of other, more plausible uses of possible worlds for modelling normative subject-matter. (shrink)
This chapter argues that our language faculty can both be a peripheral module of the mind and be crucially implicated in a variety of central cognitive functions, including conscious propositional thinking and reasoning. I also sketch arguments for the view that natural language representations (e.g. of Chomsky's Logical Form, or LF) might serve as a lingua franca for interactions (both conscious and non-conscious) between a number of quasi-modular central systems. The ideas presented are compared and contrasted with the evolutionary (...) proposals made by Derek Bickerton (1990, 1995), who has also argued for the involvement of language in thought. Finally, I propose that it was the evolution of a mechanism responsible for pretend play, circa 40,000 years ago, which led to the explosion of creative culture visible in the fossil record from that time onwards. (shrink)