The goal of this book is to improve your logical-reasoning skills. Your logical-reasoning skills are a complex weave of abilities that help you get someone's point, generate reasons for your own point, evaluate the reasons given by others, decide what or what not to do, decide what information to accept or reject, explain a complicated idea, apply conscious quality control as you think, and resist propaganda. Your most important critical thinking skill is your skill at making judgments─not snap judgments that occur in the blink of an eye, but those that require careful reasoning.
You are not reasoning logically if, when you want a gorilla suit for a Halloween party, the first thing you do is search for the word "Gorilla" in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book, and the problem here is not that you used a telephone book instead of the Internet.
High-quality reasoning is called logical reasoning or critical thinking. Logical reasoning skills can be learned and improved. It is not a case of "Either you're naturally good at it or you’re not." Rather, every student is capable of reasoning well, and everyone is capable of improvement. The opposite of logical reasoning is uncritical thinking, examples of which are fuzzy thinking, believing what somebody says simply because they raise their voice, and narrowly thinking about a problem without bringing in the most relevant information.
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