Watch what you think….

What you think is right may actually be wrong – here’s why

By Peter Ellerton

We like to think that we reach conclusions by reviewing facts, weighing evidence and analysing arguments. But this is not how humans usually operate, particularly when decisions are important or need to be made quickly.

What we usually do is arrive at a conclusion independently of conscious reasoning and then, and only if required, search for reasons as to why we might be right.

The first process, drawing a conclusion from evidence or facts, is called inferring; the second process, searching for reasons as to why we might believe something to be true, is called rationalising.

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Hume’s criticism of the design argument

Hume-Dialogues - Jeff Speaks

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Another resource for Fallacies of Reasoning

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Great resource and very accessible to students.

 

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Biased sample? Circular reasoning?

Discuss.

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Science and Conspiracy

A useful resource produced by NASA debunking claims that the moon landings were faked.

Debunking moon landing conspiracies

fake-moon-landing-set

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The Limits of Imagination

New Colour

Discuss

 

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What use Philosophy?

Science v Philosophy

Discuss.

 

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Truth Puzzles booklet

A useful teaching resource in deductive logic.  Booklet of logic puzzles.

Truth Puzzles

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Can We Choose To Believe Something?

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Discuss

 

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Honesty and Charity in Arguments

From NYTimes - By GARY GUTTING, The Stone

Link - As a philosophy professor, I spend much of my time thinking about the arguments put forward by professional philosophers. As a citizen (and an occasional columnist for The Stone), I also spend lots of time thinking about the arguments put forward by Democrats and Republicans on currently disputed political issues.

How to Argue About Politics – here’s the PDF

 

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A Useful Introduction to Critical Thinking Skills


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Analogy

Another analogy brought to you by Dilbert.

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Whose brain is it? Consciousness, free will and the brain.

If ‘I’ change ‘my’ mind?  Then where do ‘I’ fit in?


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The Tale of the Slave

Robert Nozick’s dangerous question.


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10 Philosophical Principles

From John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, Aristotle’s ‘mean’ philosophy to the principle of charity, here are the greatest principles of philosophy By JULIAN BAGGINI, Editor of The Philosopher’s Magazine

1. THE HARM PRINCIPLE

by JOHN STUART MILL, 1806-1873 Whenever legislation is proposed that limits our freedoms, someone will reach for Mill’s On Liberty and point to the passage that says, ‘The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.’ What could be clearer? Except it isn’t clear: it depends on what you mean by harm. Does hate speech harm minorities? Does sexist language harm women, by making them less credible in the eyes of society? Philosophical principles are like credit agreements: the headlines are convincing, but the small print catches you out.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1279320/Ten-greatest-Philosophical-principles.html#ixzz29Dt0oHSw

Here’s a pdf…  Ten of the greatest: Philosophical principles

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The Fallacy of Deepest Offence

Are all ideas equal? Not in the classroom

By Peter Ellerton, University of Queensland

There is a widespread belief amongst teachers that it is part of their duty of care, even a defining aspect of their professionalism, that all views expressed in the classroom are to be treated equally.

I take it as one of my first duties to challenge this. The right to have a view is indeed equally shared, but this is does not imply the same for the idea itself. If all ideas are equal, then all ideas are worthless.

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Philosophy Graduate Abilities

Data on the performance of Philosophy graduates. Click to enlarge.

   

More info here.  Note that the philosophy students perform outstandingly well in verbal and writing skills and are the best of the non-quatitative areas in quantitative reasoning.

 

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Fallacies Poster

A lovely job from http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/  please visit the site for interactive presentation.

Click to enlarge

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What Truth Doesn’t Mean

The truth, the whole truth and … wait, how many truths are there?

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Calling something a “scientific truth” is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it carries a kind of epistemic (how we know) credibility, a quality assurance that a truth has been arrived at in an understandable and verifiable way.

On the other, it seems to suggest science provides one of many possible categories of truth, all of which must be equal or, at least, non-comparable. Simply put, if there’s a “scientific truth” there must be other truths out there. Right?

Let me answer this by reference to the fingernail-on-the-chalkboard phrase I’ve heard a little too often:

“But whose truth?” Continue reading

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Can science answer questions about morality?

Sam Harris on TED

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