Assumptions Critical Thinking

Assumptions Critical Thinking-74
When you identify someone’s assumptions, look for both kinds.An premise in the sample article is the statement that “the stranded were poor, black, disproportionately elderly” (paragraph 5).You can analyze your own assumptions in the same way that you analyze others’.

When you identify someone’s assumptions, look for both kinds.An premise in the sample article is the statement that “the stranded were poor, black, disproportionately elderly” (paragraph 5).

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To keep things simple, I’ll usually refer to “assumptions.” But most of the time, when talking about assumptions I’m talking about the special subset of assumptions called premises—the ones that are needed to prove the thesis.

Assumptions can be either explicit (directly stated) or implicit (not directly stated but implied).

At that point you assume no further proof is needed.

The trick is knowing when to stop, which points do not need proof.

This handout discusses assumptions using a sample article about environmental racism and Hurricane Katrina.

(It’s the same article used in the handout on writing a paragraph outline.) All arguments require assumptions.

This handout discusses different types of assumptions and gives examples.

But first, a definition: All arguments—all attempts to prove something—require assumptions.

So you need assumptions, but you also need to be careful with them. We begin with the thesis—the point we want to prove.

Know what they are, test them to be sure you think they’re valid, and try to use only those that your reader is likely to share. Then, we list points we would have to prove in order to prove the thesis. That process could go on forever—but at some point you have to stop.

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