One of the hallmarks of the U.S., ideally, is that we tolerate diversity of ideas. Because of this, we have a long-standing tradition of tolerating a variety of religions, ideas, beliefs, and lifestyles in our public life. We understand that not everyone agrees with what everyone else believes or thinks. And we believe, nonetheless, that… Continue reading Should We Tolerate Everything?
I have a confession. In my young adult life, conspiracy theories were my hobby. One of my all-time favorite shows is the X-Files. The premise of the show is that there is a government conspiracy to hide the existence of extraterrestrials. Adventures with Conspiracy Theories I am still not totally sure if I believe in… Continue reading Do You Tend Towards Conspiracy Theories?
I am writing a series of posts on the ethics of abortion. You can read the first part in the series here in which I describe what ethics is; why abortion can be an ambiguous ethical issue; and why ethically ambiguous issues are difficult to think and talk about. I also explain the goal of… Continue reading The Ethics of Abortion, Part #2
Everyone can learn how to make a good argument. This post is about how to do that. An Experience with a Class I Teach Every semester (almost), I have a day that is the highlight of my semester. Yesterday, I had one of those days. One of the classes I am teaching this semester is… Continue reading How to Make a Good Argument
This post is about avoiding the argument pitfall of circular reasoning, and it is part of a series on thinking critically. You can find links to other posts in this series at the end of the post. When We Care A Lot about Issues If you are anything like me, you have issues you care… Continue reading Avoiding Argument Pitfall #3: Circular Reasoning
This post is one post in a series on thinking well. It is about an argument pitfall called hasty generalization. The more we are able to identify hasty generalizations, the more we are able to detect your own biases. How Thinking Well Helps Us When we learn to think well, it can help us to… Continue reading Argument Pitfall #2: Hasty Generalization
You have probably heard of the dangers of propaganda before. Propaganda is a misinformation tactic that some leaders use to control their follower's perception of reality and to shut down their critical thinking and conscience. Controlling Followers Leaders who use propaganda (I am going to call them P Leaders to stand for Propagandistic Leaders) usually… Continue reading How to Detect Propaganda
Most of us have heard the phrase think critically before, and most of us understand that thinking critically is important. We may even have a strong desire to improve our own critical thinking skills. Despite all of these good feelings and intentions, we may not have a very clear idea of what critical thinking is.… Continue reading Five Ways to Think More Critically (and How it Benefits You)
This is the third post in a series about learning to think well. You might like to read the first two posts here: What Does It Mean to Think Well, and Why Is It Hard Sometimes? Why Thinking Well is Worth It The first argument pitfall we are going to examine is an argument fallacy… Continue reading Ad Hominem: Argument Pitfall #1
Over Thanksgiving, I got to spend some time with my nephews, and I ended up having a philosophy conversation with my preteen nephew, J. I used to be a middle and high school teacher and have always loved preteens and teenagers. I find that when they become interested in a topic, they often have a… Continue reading On Mad Scientists, Identity, and the Ship of Theseus: A Philosophy Game with My Nephew