Saturday, February 13, 2016

Some Communicative Errors in Thinking

Causal Fallacy
This error is assuming that since events A and B happen together, event A is the cause of event B (or vice versa).
Another example of causal fallacy is that, since event B follows event A, event A is the cause of event B.
To prove that event A causes event B is a lot harder than simply finding that events A and B happen together or in sequence.
Inadequate Selection of Examples
It is normal to find evidence to back up an argument.  Nevertheless, if we don’t consider the opposing examples, our argument could still fail since we didn’t take all sides into consideration.
A tautology basically consists in saying the same thing twice, but giving this a sense of argumentation simultaneously.
Unjustified Extension of Evidence Value
The evidence drives us to create a hypothesis that later needs to be proven.  The proving step can be long and requires additional evidences, but in the end we expect the acceptance or refusal of the proposed hypothesis.
Authoritative Argument
It is very easy to say, in an argument, that X is true because professor Y said so.  Such adherence to authority is dangerous and is worth doubting.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

Inductive Thinking
Mankind’s thinking derives itself in great part from the surrounding world.  From experiences we can infer what the world is like.  Gradually, as more and more experiences are acquired, many groups them into categories, general concepts, laws, etc.  We reach these general principles through inductive reasoning.
It is said that the rule of generalization reached by succession of observations is acquired via inductive reasoning.  Therefore, an inductive conclusion is based in the accumulations of cases that prove it.  We rely on repeated events as the test for future events.  It is very important to note two characteristics of inductive thinking:
·         Inductive reasoning is neither true nor false
It is simply more probable as we find more things to prove it.
·         Inductive reasoning is based on the verification of the acts
Deductive Thinking
During deductive reason we try to test laws and generalizations for personal interest.
As a result, deductive testing has the following characteristics:
·         Well formulated deductive reasoning is always valid since it is an exclusively logical argument
·         Deductive reasoning is not bound by evidence
·         When accepting or declining deductive reasoning, we only consider their logical aspect.  If it is logically correct, then the deductive argument is correct
Inductive and deductive reasoning, combined both types of argument can be given together, and it is important when each one has been used.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Guide to formulating questions

Formulating questions before reading a text helps you to transform into an active reader. That is why it is convenient to come up with questions before studying, so you may set an intention. Here are some of the ways to ask those questions:

Think of questions that may not be answered by a simple “yes” or “no”, or by a single word or date.

Asking questions that begin with:

· Why?
· How?
· What is the relation between…?
· What were the causes?
· What were the consequences?
· How did this influence that?

Some suggestions to have in mind:

-Asking a question for every paragraph or every two paragraphs.
-Writing your questions on the side of page next to where the answer is found.
-At the end of the text, ask a general question that may link all the questions you asked in this process.

How to elaborate a scheme?

Making a scheme implies organizing your ideas according to their relevance, from the most important to the least important.

Main idea à Detail
Theme or main idea à Detail

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ways to Think Better

·         Understand all tests and theories
·         Look for assertions without proof
·         Consider alternative proof
The proposed proof is forcibly selective.  Verify that it is a good selection through:
·         A list of proof used to back up the case
·         Another list of arguments that seem to contradict and conflict the proposed proof
·         Finally, comparing lists (I) and (II), decide if the argumentation and the proof need to be modified or not

Observe Proper Examples
Take the Argument to its Last Conclusions
Avoid Emotional Words and Sentences
The use of emotional words and sentences should be avoided since they will color and modify the events and proof in your argumentation.
Consider the Topic of Proof from all Possible Angles
Each problem should be focused from all possible angles as to avoid deformation by using only one point of view.
Problem Resolution
Resolving issues is probably the only method that can be used both to learn and auto evaluate what they have studied.  Since the resolution of a problem implicates the application of knowledge and ability, it serves to automatically test your ability to recognize what you have learned.
Analyzing the Problem
The first step in resolving a problem is understanding what the problem consists of.
Tentative Solution
There is no one concrete way to solve problems.  Ideas on methods of how to do this come from various paths and are invariably, in some sense, just guesses and intuitions.

The Solution to the Problem
When you find what seems to be the solution, you should take note very carefully.  Redact it in a logical way and very carefully justify each step that leads you to finding it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

10 tips on how to understand and highlight better

· Start with enthusiasm
· Pre-set achievable goals before starting the reading. (For instance: “I’ll attentively read and highlight these two pages”.
· Read the titles before imagining or beginning to understand what this is about.
· Transform all titles into questions and highlight the possible answers in the text.
· Generally, what is written in Bold is important.
· Highlight all the words you think are essential. These words alone can give meaning to a whole paragraph.
·  Don’t highlight articles such as “the” and “a” or adjectives qualifying the key words.
· Stare at the pictures attentively, or any other graph, illustration or photograph (these tend to clarify ideas).
· When you encounter a word you don’t know, search in the dictionary or try to understand its general meaning by reading the whole paragraph.
· Understand that your opinion or point of view is very important when it comes to comprehend what you are reading.