Critical Thinking

Critical Thinker
Someone who uses
specific criteria to
evaluate reasoning,
form positions, and
make decisions.
Argument
A conclusion
about an issue that is
supported by reasons.
Conclusion
A position
taken about an issue, also
called a claim or an opinion;
in deductive reasoning, the
inference drawn from the
major and minor premises;
in research, the meaning and
significance of the data as
interpreted by the researcher.
Issue
The question or
subject under discussion.
Reasons
Statements of
evidence given to support
conclusions.
Assumptions
Beliefs,
usually taken for
granted, that are based
on the experiences,
observations, or desires
of an individual or
group.
Values
Beliefs, ideals, or
principles that are considered
worthy and held in high
regard.
Value Assumptions
Beliefs
about what is good and
important that form the basis
of an individual’s opinion on
issues.
Value Conflicts
Beliefs
about what is good and
important that form the basis
of an individual’s opinion on
issues.
Value Prioritization
The process of choosing the
most important values in an
issue.
Morales
Principles that
distinguish right from wrong
behavior; see also ethics.

Ethics

Standards of conduct
re?ecting what is considered
to be right or wrong behavior.
Libertarianism
A belief
system in which behavior is
considered ethical when it
allows for one’s individual
freedom and does not restrict
the freedom of others.
Utilitarianism
A belief
system in which behavior is
considered ethical when it
promotes the greatest general
happiness and minimizes
unhappiness.
Egalitarianism
A belief
system in which behavior
is considered to be ethical
when equal opportunities and
consequences apply to all
people.
Religious Values
An ethical
system based on spiritual truth
and the principles of loving
God and loving one’s neighbor.
Prima Facie Values
A
system of universal ethical
principles, such as honesty
and respect for others, that
are considered to be self-
evident and obvious to rational
individuals of every culture.
Ideal Value
A value
considered to be right
and good.
Real Value
A value
considered to be right and
good that is acted upon in
one’s life.
Role Exchange Test
A test
for ethical decision making
that involves empathizing
with the people affected
by an action that is being
considered.
Universal consequenses test
A test for ethical
decision making that focuses
on the general consequences
of an action under
consideration.
New Cases Test
A test for
ethical decision making that
asks whether a decision is
consistent with decisions that
would be made in similar,
harder cases.
Higher Principles Test
An ethical test by which one
determines if the principle
on which one is acting is
consistent with a higher or
more general principle that
one accepts.

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