Chapter 16 “Critical thinking and moral arguments” focused on vital components of critical thinking and using them for making relevant assertions and hypotheses. Since philosophy plays a major role in establishing the ground for moral arguments and critical thinking, it is argued that the discipline can provide valuable skills necessary for guiding professional, personal, and social interactions. An interesting perspective was offered in terms of encouraging the target audience of the chapter to apply their knowledge not only for giving answers to exam questions but also for evaluating and assessing the meaning of different interactions that take place in everyday life. In my opinion, this perspective is very valuable because too many people forget that critical thinking is a skill that can be used continuously and in a variety of contexts ranging from the nursing practice to business relations (Papathanasiou, Kleisiaris, Fradelos, Kakou, & Kourkouta, 2014). This idea also aligns with the statement that education has intrinsic value and thus is much more important for justifying personal views meaningfully and coherently.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
When it comes to connections between moral reasoning and critical thinking, the two notions are often confused. It is mentioned that the latter involves the engagement of a thinker in rational deliberation, which implies the development of reasons to support an argument, the ability to be articulate when justifying one’s responses, as well as the effectiveness in conducting evidence analysis and empirical investigation. Moral reasoning is classified as a subset of critical thinking since it implies the application of ethical values and frameworks to a variety of topics and problems. Logic and rhetoric go hand-in-hand with moral reasoning because they provide a background to rational thought and enable thinkers to use effective tactics of persuasion. Also, formal, deductive, and inductive logic are given definitions to provide readers with background knowledge on the use of reasoning in their arguments.
Hume’s Principle of the Uniformity of Nature (PUN) is also discussed in the chapter. It implies that the laws of nature act in the present the same way as they did in the past, which means that it is possible that the future will resemble the past (Roca & Schuh, 2014). An example of the PUN principle is given in the chapter and involves the use of water samples. Thus, when one has tested numerous samples of water, the conclusion will remain the same, that water has the chemical structure of H2O. Therefore, when samples of water are taken in the future, the same chemical structure will be found. PUN also leads to the idea of circular reasoning that suggests that one cannot use the same premise for justifying what one is trying to prove (Roca & Schuh, 2014).
Roca and Schuh (2014) also discussed the notion of fallacy, which is defined as a wrongful belief, especially those that are based on illogical or unsound arguments. In logic, fallacies represent a certain failure in reasoning that makes an argument that someone makes invalid. Fallacies include a range of notions such as the appeal to authority, appeal to tradition, argument ad hominem, red herring, false dilemma, and others. Suggestions for addressing fallacies include attacking false arguments and not people who present them, staying away from emotion-driven reasoning, having respect for traditions and religions but recognizing that there is no ‘right’ tradition or belief, and addressing real issues.
Papathanasiou, I. V., Kleisiaris, C. F., Fradelos, E. C., Kakou, K., & Kourkouta, L. (2014). Critical thinking: The development of an essential skill for nursing students. Acta Informatica Medica, 22(4), 283-286.
Roca, O., & Schuh, M. (2014). An examined life: Critical thinking and ethics today. New York, NY: Pearson Education.