# Critical Reasoning

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1 – Deductive arguments are top-down, working from general principles to specific cases. Inductive reasoning, on the other hand, is bottom-up, working from specific observations and looking for patterns that lead to a general conclusion. Your career path in healthcare and health-related fields will present many problems that will require critical reasoning. Think about potential issues or even issues you have already encountered. Determine what type of critical reasoning – inductive or deductive – best suits the situation – or do you need both? If you are short on ideas, use one of these scenarios as a starting point:

· Suppose you are on a committee that has to decide whether to cut nursing staff or social services staff. How would you approach the problem?

· Suppose your hospital suddenly sees an enormous increase in emergency room patients, and you are on a committee to investigate the problem and relieve pressure on the ER. How would you approach the problem?

2 – Deductive categorical reasoning is demanding. Its forms are rigid, but they are rigid with a reason; deductive categorical arguments are intended to prove the conclusion. If the premises are true and the conclusion logically follows, you have no choice but to accept the argument. The categorical syllogism is like a piece of machinery, the parts working together to produce a result – in the case of the categorical syllogism, the truth of the conclusion.

For the initial post, address all of the following:

· Explain how the machinery of the categorical syllogisms works.

o Why two premises and one conclusion?

o Why only three terms?

o Why only four standard forms?

o When and where, in your private life or your work life, would you want to use this type of reasoning?

· Look at “One Step Further” at the end of Chapter 6 or choose from Exercise 6.22, examples 1, 5 or 7. Translate one of the arguments there into a categorical syllogism.

Reference For the examples

Jackson, D. & Newberry, P. (2016). Critical thinking: A user’s manual (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.

3 – Read the following argument examples in this activity.

Argument 1
Dick and Jane have insured their house and cars with Farmer’s Mutual for 10 years. During this time, they filed only one claim for \$500, and the premiums have risen 100%. Two weeks ago, while backing out of the garage, Jane damaged the right fender. They didn’t fix it, and yesterday, while Jane was parked at the supermarket, someone hit the right side of the car, damaging everything but the right fender. When Jane checks the insurance policy, she discovers that while the supermarket accident is covered, the damaged right fender is not.

Jane says, “Let’s claim that all the damage happened at the supermarket. It’s only fair. The insurance company has made thousands of dollars from our premiums alone, not to mention all the other people they insure, so they’ll hardly miss the few thousands that their repairs will cost. Many of their friends have done the same – included items that were not part of actual collision damage. It’s unlikely that they we will be discovered, because the fender could easily have been damaged in the collision.”

Argument 2
In a world where medical resources are in ever-shorter supply, allocation of those resources is becoming an issue. Critical care units (ICU) put heavy demand on hospital resources. Adult medical intensive care units (MICU’s) are often occupied by elderly patients in the final stages of chronic illnesses. Neonatal ICU’s, however, are reserved for premature infants that need critical care in the first few days of life. Surveys of mortality rates in relation to amount of care for both units show that on a cost/benefit basis, outcomes for NICU patients are statistically better than those for MICU patients. Since hospitals should prioritize outcomes, it is clear that resources should be allocated more heavily to the NICU.

Using the examples in the introduction of this activity, address the following:

1. Briefly analyze each argument as follows:

o State the issue and the conclusion.

o For each argument, analyze the argument:

§ State if it is deductive or inductive.

§ Explain how the argument follows the form of an inductive or deductive argument.

o Reference words, phrases, the structure of the argument, or any other facts or observations you believe support your claim.

2. Diagram the argument.

Writing Requirements (APA format)

· Length: 1-2 pages total (not including title page or references page)

· 1-inch margins

· Double spaced

· 12-point Times New Roman font

· Title page

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