Mainp softvnncom

a connection between more than one idea. What we know is best thought of as a network of interrelated claims—a series of potential, unexpressed arguments and explanations in our heads and in what we read and observe. Hence, knowledge is about relationships: our reasoning compared to, drawn from, contrasted with, and generally taken together with the reasoning of others. One of the best ways to understand how 'finding things out' involves various analytical processes is to consider how questions (which can be used to guide our research) are, in fact,

It is usually thought that the key to scholarly, intellectual work is finding the answers. Well, it is not. Critical academic work about any topic is designed, first and foremost, to discover the right questions to ask; the answers come later, once those questions have been determined. While smart thinking is usually more pragmatic than the reflective work done by intellectuals, the same general rule applies in developing our analysis. Thinking first about questions is much smarter

We can understand the significance of questions by thinking about their relationship to the basic process of reasoning—the linking of claims. For example, if I ask 'Does the historical racism of white Australia towards Asians still interfere with Australia's diplomatic relations with Malaysia?', then I am tentatively making the claim 'the historical racism of white Australia towards Asians still interferes with Australia's diplomatic relations with Malaysia'. The answer to my question will, in effect, be a judgment of the acceptability or otherwise of this claim; the evidence that I gather and the arguments that I read and create in trying to answer the question become premises for my eventual conclusion (which either confirms or rejects that initial claim). A question, then, can be seen as a conclusion-in-prospect: a proposed relationship between ideas that needs to be tested. The question 'What caused Australia to become less reliant on the United Kingdom in economic and political terms following the Second World War?' is different in that it presumes that Australia did become less reliant and that the answers will show how that

So, questions are a way of unlocking and understanding the relationships between ideas. Although we might think of the answers that flow from them as being isolated, individual 'facts' (claims), it is much more accurate to characterise the answers as relations between claims and, within a claim, between ideas and/or events. To ask a question is always to call on some existing knowledge and to seek the connection between the answer and that existing knowledge. We want to develop these relationships so that they can form our claims, as well as the links between premises and from premises to conclusions, in our analytical structures. Every stage in the process of analysing an issue can be thought of as one of questioning or interrogating. Questions provide the underlying 'glue' that binds together the initial formulation of the topic or problem about which we are

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