Critical Thinking - a primer.

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Critical Thinking - a primer.

Postby mnkcarp » Wed May 09, 2012 9:47 pm

This is not meant to condescend to anyone in any way, it is just a good, solid reminder of what kind of thinking is most productive, and I think it highlights what should be a goal for discussions in The Podium section. A bit of personal humility and willingness to consider ideas is a good thing!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OLPL5p0fMg[/youtube]
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Postby GreenDay » Thu May 10, 2012 1:10 am

shouldn't there be a more asiany-looking person in there to balance the diversity?
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Re: Critical Thinking - a primer.

Postby Bogey » Thu May 10, 2012 4:12 am

mnkcarp wrote:This is not meant to condescend to anyone in any way, it is just a good, solid reminder of what kind of thinking is most productive, and I think it highlights what should be a goal for discussions in The Podium section. A bit of personal humility and willingness to consider ideas is a good thing!


Amen, Your Royal Pointyness
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Postby Bogey » Thu May 10, 2012 4:51 am

Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, who just lost a primary election to a Republican opponent who claimed that Lugar was not rigidly conservative enough:
“All my life, I have believed in the Republican principles of small government, low taxes, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and trade expansion.… Unfortunately, we have an increasing number of legislators in both parties who have adopted an unrelenting partisan viewpoint…. Legislators should have an ideological grounding and strong beliefs identifiable to their constituents…. But ideology cannot be a substitute for a determination to think for yourself, for a willingness to study an issue objectively, and for the fortitude to sometimes disagree with your party or even your constituents.… Too often bipartisanship is equated with centrism or deal cutting. Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle. One can be very conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset. Such a mindset acknowledges that the other party is also patriotic and may have some good ideas. It acknowledges that national unity is important, and that aggressive partisanship deepens cynicism, sharpens political vendettas, and depletes the national reserve of good will that is critical to our survival in hard times.”
The Packers lunatic fringe is more visible because of sheer numbers. The Packers have one of the largest fan bases in all of sports. If the fringe percentage is the same as with other teams, then we end up with larger volumes of nut jobs. - JustJeff
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Postby Lord Ben » Thu May 17, 2012 2:00 am

http://www.philosopher.org/en/Socratic_Method.html

I've always been a fan of these general guidelines for forum discussions. The whole article is best but this is one of my favorite parts:
What distinguishes the Socratic method from mere nonsystematic inquiry is the sustained attempt to explore the ramifications of certain opinions and then offer compelling objections and alternatives. This scrupulous and exhaustive form of inquiry in many ways resembles the scientific method. But unlike Socratic inquiry, scientific inquiry would often lead us to believe that whatever is not measurable cannot be investigated. This "belief" fails to address such paramount human concerns as sorrow and joy and suffering and love. (BEN: Politics, Football, etc)


A few more bits:

It is virtually impossible in many instances to know what we believe in daily life until we engage others in dialogue. Likewise, to discover our philosophical views, we must engage with ourselves, with the lives we already lead. Our views form, change, evolve, as we participate in this dialogue. It is the only way truly to discover what philosophical colors we sail under. Everyone at some point preaches to himself and others what he does not yet practice; everyone acts in or on the world in ways that are in some way contradictory or inconsistent with the views he or she confesses or professes to hold.

In the course of a Socrates Café, they may be confronted with an array of hypotheses, convictions, conjectures and theories offered by the other participants, and themselves - all of which subscribe to some sort of dogma. The Socratic method requires that - honestly and openly, rationally and imaginatively - they confront the dogma by asking such questions as: What does this mean? What speaks for and against it? Are there alternative ways of considering it that are even more plausible and tenable?

At certain junctures of a Socratic dialogue, the "forcing" that this confrontation entails - the insistence that each participant carefully articulate her singular philosophical perspective - can be upsetting. But that is all to the good. If it never touches any nerves, if it doesn't upset, if it doesn't mentally and spiritually challenge and perplex, in a wonderful and exhilarating way, it is not Socratic dialogue. This "forcing" opens us up to the varieties of experiences of others - whether through direct dialogue, or through other means, like drama or books, or through a work of art or a dance. It compels us to explore alternative perspectives, asking what might be said for or against each.

Keep this ethos in mind if you ever, for instance, feel tempted to ask a question like this one once posed at a Socrates Café: How can we overcome alienation? Challenge the premise of the question at the outset. You may need to ask: Is alienation something we always want to overcome? For instance, Shakespeare and Goethe may have written their timeless works because they embraced their sense of alienation rather than attempting to escape it. If this was so, then you might want to ask: Are there many different types, and degrees, of alienation? Depending on the context, are there some types that you want to overcome and other types that you do not at all want to overcome but rather want to incorporate into yourself? And to answer effectively such questions, you first need to ask and answer such questions as: What is alienation? What does it mean to overcome alienation? Why would we ever want to overcome alienation? What are some of the many different types of alienation? What are the criteria or traits that link each of these types? Is it possible to be completely alienated? And many more questions besides.


Those who become smitten with the Socratic method of philosophical inquiry thrive on the question. They never run out of questions, or out of new ways to question. Some of Socrates Café’s most avid philosophizers are, for me, the question personified.
“Quite frankly, very few people know what they’re talking about." -- Ted Thompson
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Postby mnkcarp » Thu May 17, 2012 2:24 am

Love that Ben. I'm a huge Socrates fan - have implemented Socratic Dialogue into lesson plans and love how it challenges both student and teacher (about a million times harder to guide an unscripted - but well-planned - discussion with open-ended questions than to recite knowledge).
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Postby Mackie2001 » Sun May 27, 2012 4:53 am

mnkcarp wrote:Love that Ben. I'm a huge Socrates fan - have implemented Socratic Dialogue into lesson plans and love how it challenges both student and teacher (about a million times harder to guide an unscripted - but well-planned - discussion with open-ended questions than to recite knowledge).


This forum is a lot better than most. It often seems that all people want to do is quote an article or a person who is an ex-something or another. Personally I'm not interested in what Jefferson, Mark Twain or Kennedy had to say. I know what they thought and I don't care. I want to know what you think.

A written forum is so much better than say a town forum. Everyone can write something, about something, all at the same time. Try to do that in a meeting and all you have is a din.

A free flowing forum of thought can only be achieved on the internet. No rules, just ideas.

BTW, Socrates Who? I had a friend that named his dog Socrates but I don't think he had a last name. Wasn't there an early NFL team in Socrates, Michigan or something like that... :wink:
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Postby texas » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:26 am

No. Bipartisanship is unfortunate, and here's why.

There's this need to appear neutral and compromising, as if the extremes ought to be looked down upon. If there's a best solution, then definitively any compromise made that makes the end result something other than said best solution is a poor compromise.

So if marijuana ought to be legalized, and you have one extreme that says "legalize it all" and another extreme that says "ban it all", and they compromise and say "alrighty golly gee lets allow it for medical purposes", the result is necessarily not the optimal solution.

So don't be afraid to hold what people call "extreme" viewpoints. Open-mindedness doesn't mean you have to take your beliefs and then take 2 steps toward the middle just to settle.
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Postby Mackie2001 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:03 pm

texas wrote:No. Bipartisanship is unfortunate, and here's why.

There's this need to appear neutral and compromising, as if the extremes ought to be looked down upon. If there's a best solution, then definitively any compromise made that makes the end result something other than said best solution is a poor compromise.

So if marijuana ought to be legalized, and you have one extreme that says "legalize it all" and another extreme that says "ban it all", and they compromise and say "alrighty golly gee lets allow it for medical purposes", the result is necessarily not the optimal solution.

So don't be afraid to hold what people call "extreme" viewpoints. Open-mindedness doesn't mean you have to take your beliefs and then take 2 steps toward the middle just to settle.


I'm not sure it should just be legalized. It seems there has already been that two steps toward the middle. I think we're in the middle as a matter of fact. People lives won't be affect by a misdemeaner. Simple possession was once a felony. Today it's a misdemeaner with a fine. My concern is keeping it away from the young. The further they are away from the source the better chance of them making it though life without drug addictions. The penalities should go to the dealers.

Turning pot lose on a population of the entitiled should scare everyone.
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Postby texas » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:04 am

No, it's debatable, but I was using it to illustrate the point that an "extreme" view need not be compromised away simply because someone else raises a stink and the need to act bipartisan is felt, given the truth/validity/soundness/whatever of the argument/premises/etc
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Re:

Postby JKB » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:35 am

texas wrote:No, it's debatable, but I was using it to illustrate the point that an "extreme" view need not be compromised away simply because someone else raises a stink and the need to act bipartisan is felt, given the truth/validity/soundness/whatever of the argument/premises/etc


NO I disagree with you you are way to extreme....www.blowhard.com.... :roll:
come on Mackie it was a point and a good one that Texas was making. Forget about the ganji for a second and reread his post please
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Re: Critical Thinking - a primer.

Postby itsoez » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:02 pm

I always got a 99 in critical thinking grade school tests. Then I grew up.
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Re: Critical Thinking - a primer.

Postby Criticuria » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:13 pm

mnkcarp wrote:This is not meant to condescend to anyone in any way, it is just a good, solid reminder of what kind of thinking is most productive, and I think it highlights what should be a goal for discussions in The Podium section. A bit of personal humility and willingness to consider ideas is a good thing!


Trouble with this is, it's evidentialism ... and evidentialism seems wrong.

If evidentialism were right (the idea that no one can properly hold a view unless they have sufficient evidence for the view ... or the view is evident on its face), we couldn't properly believe in an external world of physical objects ... or believe that other people exist and have minds. None of those things have evidence in their favor, or are evident. No one has ever once confirmed the existence of the external physical world, or the existence of minds other than their own. NOT ONCE. (I could be dreaming, in which case the world is a bunch of dreamt objects ... everyone could be automatons, in which case there are no other minds.)

So, clearly, evidentialism, the idea you need evidence for all beliefs, is just persuasive rhetoric.

You are entitled to whatever you believe naturally ... until someone shows you it's false by inconsistencies in your beliefs, or by conflict with facts publicly available for consideration (those "facts" won't be 'evolution is a fact' .. or 'science has shown we have no free will' ... etc.).

Evidentialism is probably the greatest problem keeping Left and Right political discourse in deadlock ... it's due to the arrogance of the Left (evidentialism) and brainlessness of the Right (fideism).
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