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Required Resources
Read/review the following resources for this activity:

Textbook: Chapter 4, 5


Remember – these journal questions require more thinking than writing. Think about exactly what you are asked to do, and then write as economically as possible. 

For this journal assignment, answer each of the following prompts:

Link: Example of Layers of Why

Important Idea

Considering only the Introduction to Chapter 5, in terms of developing critical thinking and reasoning, what do you consider is the most valuable and important idea in that section? You can either summarize or directly quote the text; then, briefly explain why you find this idea important and valuable.

Critical Thinking

In Chapter 5, the section “Making Arguments” states: “In some ways applying our core critical thinking skills to analysis can be more difficult than offering an evaluative opinion. Analysis, like interpretation, is understanding at a deep level (p. 89)”

What concepts discussed in Chapter 4 might make analysis of a statement difficult – and why?


1. Why do you believe what you believe?

2. What is your “evidence”?

3. Test one of your beliefs by asking yourself, “Why?” As you answer each “why,” go down another layer – four layers will probably give you a good idea of why you believe what you believe.

4. Your product should show a well-reasoned and logical basis for your belief. Stay away from the big stuff, like believing in God, or who to vote for in the next election, and don’t look for sources – this is about what you believe and why you believe it. After all, this is only an 8-week course, and we can’t settle everything!

5. Click on the following link for an example of layers of why:


Don’t be tempted to skip steps. If you start with layer 5, you have just opened up a whole new line of “whys.” For example, why should everyone be afforded an opportunity to reach his or her highest potential? After all, for most of the history of the world, that has not been the case.

If you include references to outside sources (beyond the textbook), make sure you cite them properly.

Writing Requirements (APA format)

Length: 2 pages (not including title page or references page)

1-inch margins

Double spaced

12-point Times New Roman font

Title page

References page (as needed)

Running head: JOURNAL 1



PHIL 347- Critical Reasoning

August 31, 2020.


Critical Thinking

Critical thinking can be identified as the ability in which information can be analyzed to help make a logical judgment. Through critical thinking, one has the chance to evaluate unique sources to gather facts and data from the findings. Therefore, critical thinking enables one to pull logical meaning and eliminate the less significant details. As a result, one can make vital decisions when solving an issue.

Heart of The Matter

Heart of the matter is a scholarly work with the perspective to express the price that we all might pay for lack of potential to identify what other people want. The chapters indicates the conflict generated between individuals for misjudging each other’s ideologies and wishes. I would say that Heart of The Matter means a person’s ability to maintain freedom of action regarding practices done against them. The author of this work has tried to emphasize on primary concepts. That is the individualism concept and concept based on the ministry of fear. The latter can be described as a cruel concept as used in the article. Hence, the ministry of fear has been demonstrated by expressing how pity is used by the authors.

Pity has been expressed as a destructive aspect. Most importantly, love cannot exist where pity often revolves around. The individualism concept in the article can be described as the principle to remain independent. A person therefore can be said to be self-reliant. The concept favours social theory in which there is a state of control for individuals. The concept of individualism is vital when applied in critical thing. Perhaps, author would wish to apply the concepts since it helps everyone to pursue their objectives; thus, strengthening the society in which they live. Besides, the concept is necessary for critical thinking as it enables a person to take care of oneself and maintain the privacy of one’s affairs. In critical thinking, the concept of fear has been vital since it enables individuals to strongly face their problems. Therefore, the concept allows an individual to analyze life-based questions; thus, contemplating the most significant aspects.

Challenges and Insights

Based on reflections in the entire session, several challenges have emerged. Among the challenges include the complexity in determining the relevant themes expressed in critical thinking. Testing the skill in critical thinking evolved as a challenge as they are hard to predict and trace. Fear and individualism concept can be said to result in conflict if misinterpreted. However, the latter was not a major challenge as with adequate time they become easy to comprehend.

Luckily, both concepts can be vital in personal life. The concept of individualism can help in revealing a person’s skills in critical thinking (Hsu, 2019). This is achievable by relying on individual strategies to establish and never review individual plans. Also, the concept may be helpful as it helps one to make consistent and progressive moves when exercising skills in critical thinking. The concept of fear teaches a person to avoid disruptions that might limit the potential to utilize critical thinking.

The individualism concept boosts the idea that one can progress from their efforts. Therefore, it would be true to say that the concept of individualism helps one to have focus and dedication when making a family or community-based decisions. Through this, society confirms an individual’s achievements based on expressed values. The concept of fear plays as an internal alarm; thus, can keep one safe (Innes, 2017). With fear, a person remains aware of threats that might exist; thus, maintaining harmony in the community and protect family members.


Hsu, E. L. (2019). Individualism, identity, and social acceleration. In Routledge Handbook of Identity Studies (pp. 147-166). Routledge.

Innes, M. (2017). From fear to understanding. Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 470.


Running Head: Week two journal 1

Week Two Journal

PHIL347N-61344 : Critical Thinking

What I consider to be the most important and most valuable idea in the chapter 5 section of the text is the section where it stated that the “ to analyze exactly what peoples claims are and the reasons they use to establish them as worthy of acceptable”. What this section means to me is that we should use our core critical thinking skills to analyze issues or statements and the reasons for those statements before making a conclusion. We should think deep, analyze the situation or statement through thorough interpretation and understanding the context under which the statement was made and the real reasons the makers of those statements use to prove their statements. This is very important because many off are too quick to jump to conclusions and thereby too quick to react negatively or positively to peoples conclusions only to find out later that we got it all wrong because we did not really understand the persons decision or their reason for that decision.

The two concepts discussed in Chapter 4 that might make analysis of a statement difficult are

1. Problematic Vagueness: Vagueness simply means not clearly expressed or lack of certainty. Problematic vagueness is an aspect of a word or statement which has an imprecise meaning, or the meaning is unclear. In situations like this there is the tendency for us to misunderstand the statements or words and make wrong conclusions. You will need to really understand what is included or excluded from the statement to have a clear understanding of what the person is saying.

2. Problematic Ambiguity: Ambiguity means when an expression or a word has more than one meaning. Problematic ambiguity is an aspect of an expression or a word which has many or multiple meaning. This multiple meaning makes it difficult to really understand what exact meaning is implied in the statement in a given context and this usually results in misunderstanding the statement or what the speaker was actually saying. In times like this, the context and the purpose of the statement becomes really important.

This two concepts makes analysis of a statement really difficult and this is where critical reasoning becomes really important because we will need to think deep to try to understand the context under which the statement was made in other to understand clearly the real meaning of the words or expressions before we can make an accurate analysis.


I believe in things that I believe in because in some I believe it’s the right thing to do, I some I am thought to believe them from childhood and in some I am made to believe them because it is the law of the land.

In some of the things I believe in, I have evidence. For instance, I believe that everyone should get an education, and the evidence here is that I seen that people with education live better lives because they have a better income and so a higher standard of living. In some other things I believe in, I really do not have any evidence, for instance I believe in God because I have been thought from Childhood to believe that but I do not really have any evidence.

Test of What I believe

Layer 1: everyone should have a form of education

Layer 2: It is the right thing to do because people with education live a better life

Layer 3: I believe my last stamen is true because its an accurate description of what happens when people get educated. They get a better job with a better pay which increases their standard of living in so many ways such as medical care, quality of feeding and recreational activities which all leads to living a better life.

Layer 4: Getting an education is really important because the world has changed, and the focus now is on science and technology and one can only be part of this through education. Even the usual old jobs that involved minimal skills have all been digitalized and so one can only get these jobs if they are educated. Therefore, being educated gives you great opportunities for good jobs, good salaries and better standard of living which in turn makes you live a better life.


Facione, P.A., & Gittens, C.A. (2016). Think Critically (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson