Logical or Critical Reasoning

What is logical or critical reasoning?

Logical or critical reasoning is the process of evaluating and analyzing information to arrive at a sound conclusion. It involves the ability to identify and understand the relationships between different pieces of information, and to apply the rules of logic to draw conclusions.

Logical reasoning is based on the principles of formal logic, which is a system of rules for reasoning correctly. Logical reasoning is used to draw conclusions that are logically necessary from the premises. In other words, the conclusion must be true if the premises are true.

Critical reasoning is a broader term that encompasses all types of reasoning that are used to evaluate information and make judgments. Critical reasoning involves the use of logical reasoning, but it also includes other skills such as the ability to identify and evaluate biases, to recognize logical fallacies, and to identify and address assumptions.

Why is logical or critical reasoning important?

Logical or critical reasoning is important for a number of reasons. It allows us to:

  • Evaluate information and make informed decisions
  • Identify and avoid logical fallacies
  • Recognize and challenge biases
  • Think more critically and effectively about the world around us

Logic and the Study of Arguments:

  • An argument expresses an inference, which is a logical connection between the premises and the conclusion
  • Premises provide evidence, reasons, and grounds for the conclusion
  • The focus of logic is primarily on the logical goodness of arguments

Critical Thinking:

  • Critical thinking involves understanding the logical connections between ideas, identifying, constructing, and evaluating arguments
  • It is not simply about accumulating information but also about deducing consequences, solving problems, and seeking relevant sources of information
  • Critical thinking should not be confused with being argumentative or critical of other people, as it can also play a role in cooperative reasoning and constructive tasks

Inference:

  • Inference is the process of drawing a logical conclusion based on background information, asking questions, making predictions, and reviewing the work
  • Reasoning is the process of using existing knowledge to draw conclusions, make predictions, or construct explanations

Types of Reasoning:

  • Deductive reasoning uses theories and beliefs to rationalize and prove a specific conclusion
  • Inductive reasoning is a logical process based on experiences, observations, and facts to evaluate a situation and make a general assumption

Critical Thinking Skills:

  • Analyzing information and making objective judgments
  • Gathering information and determining which pieces apply to the subject based on deductive reasoning
  • Evaluating the facts related to a matter and drawing realistic conclusions
  • Properly analyzing a situation and coming up with a logical and reasonable conclusion

Example : 

1. Read the following passage and answer the question based on the information provided:

Passage: "Many business offices are located in buildings having 2-8 floors. If a building has more than 3 floors, it has a lift." If a building has 5 floors,

which of the following must be true?

a. The building has a lift.
b. The building does not have a lift.
c. The building has 2 floors.
d. The building has 10 floors.

Answer: a. The building has a lift.

Explanation: According to the given information, if a building has more than 3 floors, it has a lift. Since the building in question has 5 floors, which is more than 3, it must have a lift.

2. Read the following passage and answer the question based on the information provided:

Passage: "Abhay correctly remembers that Kavita's birthday is before 23rd while after 15th. Yasir correctly remembers that Kavita's birthday is after 20th while before 25th."

On which of the following dates does Kavita's birthday definitely fall?

a. 16th
b. 19th
c. 21st
d. 24th

Answer: c. 21st

Explanation: According to Abhay, Kavita's birthday can be on 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd. According to Yasir, Kavita's birthday can be on 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. Therefore, the only date that satisfies both Abhay's and Yasir's statements is the 21st.