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What is logical and critical thinking?

Watch Tim Dare and Patrick Girard explain what critical thinking is and what problems a course in critical thinking might address.

We are constantly being given reasons to do and believe things: to believe that we should buy a product, support a cause, accept a job, judge someone innocent or guilty, that fairness requires us to do some household chore, and so on. Assessing the reasons we are given to do or believe these things calls upon us to think critically and logically. Perhaps surprisingly, however, people are not very good at thinking logically and critically. No matter how clever or educated we are, or what our walk of life is, we are all rather easily led astray by common psychological obstacles or reasoning fallacies.

In the subsequent steps for this week, we begin to recognise some common obstacles to logical and critical thinking:

  • Confirmation bias – when we tend to only consider what we have already experienced.
  • Heuristics – mental shortcuts we use to simplify decision making.
  • Framing – when how we are presented with a problem affects the way we see it.
  • Common fallacies – some common ways that we use reasoning that are not logical or critical.
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Logical and Critical Thinking

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