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Critical Thinking: Basic terms

Let’s put the tools in the toolbox. Commit these to memory, start applying them, and you’ll start some keen thinking:

Fact: a statement that can be verified.

Opinion: what someone thinks, believes, or wishes.

When you state your opinion, there are four types:

Judgement evaluates, using evidence and reasoning.

Advice recommends, usually based on judgement.

Generalization is sometimes true, depending on degree: all, some, none, most, many.

Personal taste or sentiment is what you like.

(I suggest a sentence mnemonic: Japanese Animals Grazing Peacefully.)

Gladiator was a terrible movie for swordfighting aficionados” is judgement.

“You should go to college” is advice.

“Men have more upper body strength” is generalization.

“My favorite color is __________________” or “I’ll take the Pepsi” is personal taste.