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 Critical Thinking
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Thinking Critically, Seventh Edition
John Chaffee et al.

*Some of these glossary definitions have been adapted and reproduced by permission of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Many computer and Web-related definitions have been contributed by Jason Snart, College of DuPage.

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paradox A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true.

passionate Capable of, having, or dominated by powerful emotions; in critical thinking, a strong desire to understand and always striving to see issues and problems with more clarity.

perceiving Actively selecting, organizing, and interpreting what is experienced by the senses.

perceptual meaning A component of a word’s total meaning that expresses the relationship between a linguistic event and an individual’s consciousness.

personal experience In critical thinking, one of the four categories of evidence.

perspective Point-of-view or vista.

pop-up window An Internet browser window that suddenly appears on the screen, usually intrusively. Pop-ups usually contain advertisements, though some pop-ups notify users of information about the site they are currently visiting.

post hoc ergo propter hoc “After it, therefore because if it”; refers to situations in which, because two things occur close together in time, an assumption is made that one causes the other.

pragmatic Dealing or concerned with facts or actual occurrences; practical.

pragmatic meaning A component of a word’s total meaning that involves the person who is speaking and the situation in which the word is spoken. Also known as situational meaning.

precision The state or quality of being specific, detailed, and exact.

prediction The act of stating, telling about, or making known in advance, especially on the basis of special knowledge. OR Something foretold or predicted; a prophecy.

premise A proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn.

principle A plausible or coherent scenario that has yet to be applied to experience.

prioritize To organize things in order of importance.

process analysis A method of analysis involving two steps: (1) to divide the process or activity being analyzed into parts or stages, and (2) to explain the movement of the process through these parts or stages from beginning to end.

process relationship In critical thinking, a relationship based on how aspects of the development of an event or object relate.

procrastinate To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness; to postpone or delay needlessly.

properties Qualities or features that all things named by a word or sign share in common.

psychological Of, relating to, or arising from the mind or emotions.