Know your logical fallacies! (August 26-30)

Now we start assembling our tools for critical analysis of fringe ideas. I find a chart of logical fallacies to be useful when sorting out the philosophical underpinnings of arguments:

There are plenty of websites that discuss logical fallacies in detail. The Wikipedia List of Fallacies is a good guide to them. We certainly will not be discussing all of them! So many ways to go wrong.

Confirmation bias is a persistent error that we all commit at some point. Since it appears from a combination of wishful thinking and world views, it is difficult to recognize, let alone sort out. Think of the various ways you may participate in this most human of thinking mistakes.

Another common cognitive fallacy is the Fundamental Attribution Error. It has an unfamiliar title, but you’ll sadly recognize it when you see the examples.

Combine what you learn from these websites with our weekly reading in the textbook and you’ll be Junior Philosophers ready for any dorm argument!

[Here’s a link to the latest Chapman Paranormal Beliefs survey we talked about on Monday. Short Paper #1 assigned – based on this video.]

Nonsense in the News —

Here’s a useful checklist recently produced by Brian Dunning of Skeptoid for discerning science from pseudoscience.

Here’s an analysis of the very strange relationship that has developed between a Chinese dissident news site (The Epoch Times), QAnon, and President Trump.

Maybe the Trump Presidential Campaign team is getting nervous about its support from the QAnon community?

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