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Critical Reasoning Analysis

Essay by   •  November 4, 2012  •  Case Study  •  1,832 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,266 Views

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Critical Reasoning Analysis

Part I.

This article as refined as it is, demonstrates how a well-developed line of thought can be reflected on paper. I am mindfucked as to how much emphasis and aggravation went into this analysis. Every time I think I had the correct approach to critically thinking about this paper, the more I felt I was off topic.

This article is taken as an excerpt from a larger work about Global Warming. The author's main argument is: trusting information in the face of uncertainty is essential for science. In the excerpt, he is defending the position of those that unanimously agree Global Warming exists by introducing specific elements that contribute to the thoughts from both sides, so that you can understand both sides of the argument. GRANTED, the article itself is a break down of how and why someone would question the unanimous decision of the collection of scientists that have come to that claim. The author is producing a "claim inside a claim". It isn't until you realize this and pull yourself out of it that you see it.

You really need to take into account everything the author has to say. The excerpt starts out by talking about the ignorance to what the affects of us as an industrialized society has had on the environment around us, and in return how that has then had an impact on our living situations. The affect is acid rain, and a hole in the ozone but more closely it's an imbalance in the universe.

He then refers to the idea of science. Naysayers question the expertise of scientists because that is what we naturally do, we question things. However, society has had an incorrect view of science all along. We believe that science gives us certainty from exact results, when in fact it doesn't. In this case, you can't test the future effects of fossil fuel burning because you can't prove the future, period. Evidence can't be applied.

This lets us introduce the idea of doubt, and when there's doubt, you question the validity of the subject, henceforth, naysayers of Global Warming. Keep in mind that he introduces specific ideas to allow the reader a deeper understanding of how things have become established as a basis of scientific knowledge (global warming exists). Science has always been associated with institutions; institutions that have brought together the most apt and knowledgeable people in one particular field. These scientists get together and provide a consensus of expert opinion based on the scrutiny of information. Scientific ideas must be supported by evidence to be considered scientific knowledge. It can be presented in standard argument form as:

A): Scientists try to find evidence to a scientific question of global warming

B): Science as an institution has found evidence of a hole in the ozone and acid rain

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C): The hole in the ozone and acid rain are caused by global warming

Further into the article he goes on to explain how you would still invoke the same type of trust to someone with an issue that is much closer to you. In essence, the idea of global warming not having a significant impact on your life on a micro level, is not enough to concern you and therefore you don't particularly care. But the point being made is that when you choose to make a decision that has a resounding impact on your life, you tend to be extra careful about it. But you still place your trust in someone you don't know, about a topic you don't know. The example is when you buy a house. You will invoke your trust to someone that is supposed to be (for all you know) an "expert" on title searches. For lack of time, money, or energy is just easier for you to get someone to do it for you. Whatever he comes back with you trust as a basis for your decision-making (much like a basis for scientific knowledge). The same principle can be applied to science and in this case, global warming. This argument can be represented in standard argument form as :

A): You place your trust in the information given to you by a title searcher to buy a house

B): Institutions place their trust in a scientist's research on global warming

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C): You can trust a scientist to provide evidence of global warming

As I mentioned before, the main argument is trust in the face of uncertainty is essential in science. These scientists after countless hours, energy, and money,

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