Before answering this week’s discussion prompt, complete The Graduate interactive scenario. You will notice that there are multiple arguments presented to influence your perspective on the issue confronted in the scenario. You confront arguments every day. In our digital age, however, they do not merely happen in face-to-face gatherings. Media and social media are often used to convey arguments. What aspects of what you have learned in this class apply to the analysis of such arguments? Keep these considerations in mind as you complete this week’s discussion. Your instructor will choose the discussion question and post it as the first post in the discussion forum. The requirements for the discussion this week are a minimum of four posts on four separate days, including responses to at least two classmates. The total combined word count for all of your posts for this discussion counted together, should be at least 600 words. Answer all the questions in the prompt, and read any resources that are required to complete the discussion properly. In order to satisfy the posting requirements for the week, complete your initial post by Day 3 (Thursday) and your other posts by Day 7 (Monday). We recommend that you get into the discussion early and spread out your posts over the course of the week. Reply to your classmates and instructor. Attempt to take the conversation further by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or responding to the posts that they make to you. Keep the discussion on target, and analyze things in as much detail as you can. For further instruction about how to address discussion prompts in the new format, view the key terms and discussion videos visible in the Week One Standard Form Arguments discussion. Be sure to check out the Critical Thinking Community online: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/content-is-thinking-thinking-is-content/958 Valuable Intellectual Traits: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/valuable-intellectual-traits/528 Though it has focused on arguments, this course is not merely designed to give skills and tools for creating arguments; it is designed to create critical thinkers. Critical thinking is not merely a set of tools, but a habit of mind based on carefully reasoning about what is true and how best to live. It is an approach to life based in careful thought (Vic Le vine, 2012). In other words, it is possible to use the lessons from this course to genuinely live better and smarter lives. This discussion is designed to explore some of the virtues of mind that one can develop as a result of developing the habit of critical thinking. Prepare: In addition to using the readings and scenarios of this course, take a close look at the web pages associated with the Foundation for Critical Thinking website. Reflect: Search within the website for the pages associated with the options below, and Reflect how each can help you to live a better life. Choose one of the four topics below and develop the ideas in the page into a plan for implementing it into your life more. Write: Choose one of the topics below from the Critical Thinking Community website and address the prompts underneath. Fundraising Authority CULTIVATE Purpose, Point of View, and Decisions Outline a problem that you currently face or have faced recently. Define the assumptions that you have about this issue. Explain your point of view, and outline the information that you have analyzed in relation to this problem. Finally, explain the implications that have arisen or will arise when you respond to this problem. How can critical thinking help you to address this problem in a healthier and more intelligent manner? (Here is a good example of such an approach: Steven Brookfiend on Critical Thinking [link to video: http://vimeo.com/65688214 ]). Valuable Intellectual Traits Of the valuable intellectual traits listed in the online readings from this week, identify three of them that you can further strengthen. Explain the traits, and then describe how you will attempt to implement actions in your life that will maximize those intellectual virtues. How can each of them make your life better? Will you be more likely to find truth by developing them? Open-Minded Inquiry Using the online reading “Open-minded Inquiry,” identify what you consider to be the three most important attributes that one must have as he or she approaches problems. Explain why you think these attributes are the three most important, and describe examples from your own life, or from the lives of those you know, in which people failed to display those attributes. How will learning this virtue improve your life and relationships with others? Will it help you to find more truth? The attachment below is only an FYI instructor-created handout. For this particular discussion board, students should carefully explore the Critical Thinking Community website for all kinds of instructive resources.
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