In the video “Evidence in Argument: Critical Thinking,” we are told, “When facts are given to us, we need to look at how those facts are presented….what has the author done with them” (Evidence in Argument, 2009).
Facts can be used to show something that may or may not be true, so it is up to us, as critical thinkers, to determine if there is evidence for the conclusions that are being proposed. This video shares some questions we need to consider:
• How has the author used the evidence?
• What else do we need to know? (What else should the author have told us?)
• Are there other ways of interpreting the evidence?
• What conclusions have been put forward and is there evidence for the conclusions? (Evidence in Argument, 2009)
We have all heard the phrase “Research shows” followed by a lot of numbers and data used to support some claim. For example, research shows that 4 out of 5 dentists recommend X brand of toothpaste.
Think about the questions above. Which one do you think is most important in considering evidence in arguments and why?
Evidence in argument: Critical thinking [Video file]. (2009). Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=18566&xtid=49816