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A Critical-Thinking Tool To Help Us Make Good Decisions and Stay True In All Our Thinking
A Critical-Thinking Tool To Help Us Make Good Decisions and Stay True In All Our Thinking

A Critical-Thinking Tool To Help Us Make Good Decisions and Stay True In All Our Thinking

In making good decisions at work and at home, in judging people at work and at home, in learning abstract ideas, we need a process. We need a format, a structure, and some standards to make sure we think efficiently, stay connected to reality, and stay committed to the truth. We need logic.

Logic, after all, developed out of the human need — needs we have every day and across our lives — to judge other people and to figure out how the world works. Logic tells us how to put concepts together to stay committed to reality as we know it: via perception and experience. Logic developed out of wisdom to help us know what was right and what was wrong, what was true and what was false.

So here is a sample structure. If we have a judgement or claim, then we have an abstraction, which we know is true only if we can trace it back to the evidence of the senses: to perception and experience of the real, objective world. We should be able to provide reasoning for a claim, which means we should be able to support it by less abstract claims, which are supported by still less abstract claims, and all of which are each and in total supported by evidence: claims should be backed by evidence and logically prior claims.

This logical structure gives us a standard and process to use so we don’t get carried away by mistake or error — or, especially, by prejudice, unsupported idea, or emotion.

How this structure will be used will depend on each particular claim, some of which will require just this structure, some of which will require less, but most of which will require a lot more.

It’s a great tool for personnel and people of all sorts: managers, subordinates, superiors, teachers, students, detectives, researchers, engineers, etc. Coworkers can use it when discussing or debating some option at work. Subordinates and superiors can require it whenever making personnel decisions or claims about work performance. Engineers and scientists can use it in assessing scientific hypotheses and claims. Lawyers and defendants can use it to sketch out a case. Students can use it to assess understanding, and teachers to clarify context students must have to logically grasp some idea or concept (as opposed to memorizing it, or to having some hazy half-confusion).

I will have to write up some examples of its use.

Here is a pdf and a Word document that you could use, or could modify to meet your needs for a particular claim. And those who are good at aesthetics and presentation can take this formatting and turn it into better-crafted diagrams.

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