WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

Revisiting critical thinking

  • Rationality: relying on reason rather than emotion; requiring support; ignoring claims without support; following claims and support where it leads; being more concerned about finding the best explanation than about being right; analyzing apparent confusion; and asking questions.
  • Metacognitive self-awareness: weighing the influences of your own motives, biases, assumptions, prejudices, and ideologies. For example, about which of your assumptions are you most skeptical?
  • Open-mindedness: evaluating all reasonable inferences; considering a variety of possible viewpoints or perspectives; remaining open to alternative interpretations; accepting new explanations because they explain the evidence better, are simpler, or have fewer inconsistencies; accepting new priorities in response to re-evaluation of the evidence; and not rejecting unpopular views out of hand.
  • Judgement: recognizing the relevance and merit of alternative assumptions and perspectives and recognizing the with of evidence and support
  • Discipline: precise, meticulous, comprehensive, and exhaustive; resisting manipulation and irrational appeals; avoiding snap judgments.

I’ve highlighted the reason/emotion distinction, because I think it’s a problem — or, rather, an opportunity — to think about how we construct argumentative, persuasive, and invitational forms of rhetorical discourse.