Philosophy / Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

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Autor:  anton  05 November 2010
Tags:  Critical,  Thinking
Words: 735   |   Pages: 3
Views: 458

Critical Thinking Essay

PHL 251: Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking Essay

Metaphors

Yosemite National park is my favorite place to recharge my batteries. The road through Yosemite Valley is like 5th Avenue in Manhattan, the granite monoliths tower above like skyscrapers on either side. The sun glistening on the water of Yosemite falls creates a radiant diamond shimmer flowing to the earth. Half Dome stands watch, grasping the last glimpse of the setting sun while the valley below has passed into slumber. My favorite thing to do is to awaken early after a newly fallen snow and see the blanket that covers the landscape like a fluffy down comforter.

Language and Language Diversity

Language plays a vital role in the ability to think critically, language is used to describe, inform and persuade. It is the vehicle we use to convey our thought to others. Without it, thinking might exist but not critical thinking. Language provides the means or tools to communicate clearly and effectively. The variety of language provides the ability to be descriptive in multiple ways to convey meaning to others. It enables humans to communicate through multiple avenues if one is not understood. Language opens up the mind giving it the ability to think logically. Language diversity provides the ability to back up a thought process. In having a large vocabulary a person is able to validate a point using descriptive language. Words are powerful and care must be taken in distributing a message as subtle nuances can be lost by listeners. This can lead to faulty critical thinking since the true meaning was not absorbed by the listeners.

Language and the Expression of Thoughts

Language can empower thoughts through expression. The ability to express thoughts is improved by increasing vocabulary. In increasing our vocabulary, the skill to verbalize complexity is increased. Being able to think complex thoughts, new language can be created to give deeper meaning to previous terms or define new ones. Language can also be a hindrance to expression. For example a person may have difficulty explaining a subject matter to a child if they do not relate it to the child's terms. It is difficult to make a jump in understanding of many new words at one time. The meaning can be lost in a child because his vocabulary is not as large and therefore his understanding of expression is not great. If however, one was to describe something using a word that was new to the child then defining its parameter with other words the child knows a greater meaning can be understood.

Persuasion

Persuasion is what we use to try to convince others to our way of thinking about a particular subject. Critical thinking is an integral part of persuasion. To persuade, a person must think of the topic logically and be able to explain their point of view. Then the must use persuasion to defend that logical process. A great tool for persuasion is the use of metaphors. Metaphors can create visual images that a person can connect with. Also a metaphor can connect properties that may not have been previously associated. Emotions also play a critical role in persuasion. Humans have figured out that they can garner sympathy for an argument by exploiting emotions. Advertising agencies use pictures, colors and music to tap into the emotional side of the consumer. Positive and negative definitions can be attached to a term to affect its meaning by creating emotional appeal.

Conclusion

Language is not critical thinking, but rather a tool of critical thinking. Using language we can describe thoughts and experiences through communication. This communication creates a community that fosters critical thinking. We can inform others through the use of expression. We use language to express ourselves in different ways both as individuals and as a community. Persuasion is a very powerful tool of language as it may influence critical thinking. Persuasion in our culture has become pervasive in that advertisers are preying on our emotions without regard for our wellbeing. Persuasion can also be positive in building alliances when conveying thought processes used in critical thinking. Without language critical thinking might not exist and it certainly would not be the power force it is today.



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