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Build bridges The reason for reasoning

  • Cyrus G.
  • May, 2019
  • 217
  • Logic log Philosophy

THE BASIS OF ALL LOGICAL THINKING IS ‘SEQUENTIAL THOUGHT’

Aside from food, water, and shelter, the one thing that a person will most need in life is an education. Of those four necessities, education is the only one that can help ensure a person’s consistent ability to provide himself or herself with the other three. Unfortunately, the importance of logical thinking skills is underestimated in education, and training in logical thinking skills is therefore grossly neglected.

Logical thinking is the process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion. Problems or situations that involve logical thinking call for structure, for relationships between facts, and for chains of reasoning that ‘make sense’.

In his book Brain Building, Dr. Karl Albrecht says the basis of all logical thinking is ‘sequential thought’. This process involves taking the important ideas, facts, and conclusions involved in a problem and arranging them in a chain-like progression that takes on a meaning in and of itself. To think logically is to think in steps.

Logical thinking skills give learners the ability to understand what they have read or been shown, and also to build on that knowledge without incremental guidance. Logical thinking teaches students that knowledge is fluid and builds upon itself.

Logical thinking is also an important foundational skill of math. ‘Learning mathematics is a highly sequential process,’ says Dr. Albrecht. ‘If you don’t grasp a certain concept, fact, or procedure, you can never hope to grasp others that come later, which depend upon it. For example, to understand fractions you must first understand division. To understand simple equations in algebra requires that you understand fractions. Solving “word problems” depends on knowing how to set up and manipulate equations, and so on.’

Training in logical thinking encourages learners to think for themselves, to question hypotheses, to develop alternative hypotheses, and to test those hypotheses against known facts.

It has been proven that specific training in logical thinking processes can make people more ‘smart alecks’. Logical thinking allows a child to reject quick answers, such as ‘I don’t know,’ or ‘this is too difficult,’ by empowering them to delve deeper into their thinking processes and understand better the methods used to arrive at a solution and even the solution itself.

At Edublox (online tutor) we understand the importance of training learners to think logically. Our programme is made up of a string of exercises to teach logical thinking. The exercises have been carefully graded and gradually become more and more challenging.

As you may know, arguments are a fundamental part of the law, and analysing arguments is a key element of legal analysis. The training provided in law school builds on a foundation of critical reasoning skills. As a law student, you will need to draw on the skills of analysing, evaluating, constructing, and refuting arguments. You will need to be able to identify what information is relevant to an issue or argument and what impact further evidence might have. And you will need to be able to reconcile opposing positions and use arguments to persuade others.

The Central Superior Services’ (CSS) logical reasoning questions are designed to evaluate your ability to examine, analyse, and critically evaluate arguments as they occur in ordinary language. These questions are based on short arguments drawn from a wide variety of sources, including newspapers, general interest magazines, scholarly publications, advertisements, and informal discourse. These arguments mirror legal reasoning in the types of arguments presented and in their complexity, though few of the arguments actually have law as a subject matter.

Each logical reasoning question requires you to read and comprehend a short passage, then answer one question (or, rarely, two questions) about it. The questions are designed to assess a wide range of skills involved in thinking critically, with an emphasis on skills that have proven to be central to legal reasoning.

These skills include:

a) recognising the parts of an argument and their relationships

b) recognising similarities and differences between patterns of reasoning

c) drawing well-supported conclusions

d) reasoning by analogy

e) recognising misunderstandings or points of disagreement

f) determining how additional evidence affects an argument

g) detecting assumptions made by particular arguments

h) identifying and applying principles or rules

i) identifying flaws in arguments

j) identifying expla...

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