By John Chaffee

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The Philosopher's method: pondering seriously approximately Profound rules inspires scholars to imagine like philosophers, assisting them to develop into extra complete serious thinkers and to increase the analytical instruments had to imagine philosophically approximately vital concerns. The textual content is made out of readings from significant philosophical texts, that are followed through remark from writer John Chaffee to steer scholars of their realizing of the subjects. prepared through questions principal to the most branches of philosophy, The Philosopher’s Way examines the tips of philosophers prior and present.

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Additional info for The Philosopher’s Way: Thinking Critically About Profound Ideas (5th Edition)

Example text

The word critical is also related to the word criticize, which means to question and evaluate. Unfortunately, the ability to criticize is often used destructively, to tear down someone else’s thinking. Criticism, however, can also be constructive—analyzing for the purpose of developing a better understanding of what is going on. You need to engage in constructive criticism as you develop your ability to think critically. The best way to develop a clear and concrete idea of the critical thinker you want to become is to think about people you have known who can serve as critical thinking models.

Which are clearer? Best supported? Have greater explanatory power? Are consistent with other beliefs we know to be true? Are most comprehensive? Why? As we will see in the next chapter, this ongoing process of comparing and contrasting, analyzing and synthesizing, is at the heart of the Socratic Method, a powerful approach developed and used by Socrates that is characterized by relentless questioning, clear definitions, dialectical analysis, and critical evaluation. It is the process by which we can disentangle complex issues and distinguish more informed ways of thinking from less informed.

We may find that our initial point of view changes as we work through the steps. The next section, “Understanding Arguments,” will help you evaluate the strength of your conclusions. Here is a sample response: After examining different points of view and critically evaluating the reasons, evidence, and arguments that support the various perspectives, my conclusion about free choice is that we are capable of making free choices but that our freedom is sometimes limited. For example, many of our actions are conditioned by our past experience, and we are often influenced by other people without being aware of it.

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