Reasons to doubt
Law of non contradiction: Where 2 statements, 1 can be true. Both cannot be true.
Personal experience is generally true UNLESS exception: Illusion, perception, invalid memory, emotions, ego, etc
- Disregard for evidence
- “Already made up my mind”
- Distortion of evidence
- Continuing to maintain disproven beliefs
- Peer pressure
Subjective relativism, social relativism: Having a feeling that something is true based on your experience and using it to validate preconceived notions.
Basing beliefs on feelings.
Pitfalls of critical thinking
- Prefer fast thinking over slow thinking
2 types of errors: - Errors we make with evidence - Contextual pitfalls
Confirmation bias: Having a belief and searching for evidence to confirm it and disregarding evidence which contradicts it.
We prefer evidence that is available: - Memorable - Striking - Can think of examples - Easy to find
Selective attention: We can only process some sensory data at a time. We ignore other data that our brain says is unimportant. However, sometimes we ignore the data we should have noted.
Priming: When lead to the right answer based on context (SO_P)
Framing: How something is framed/described changes the way we think about it (25% fat, 75% lean)
Expectation: We often see what we expect to see, especially in vague situations.
Conclusion (I like snow) => Reason 1, Reason 2 > Do the reasons justify the conclusion?
Reason 1, Reason 2 => Conclusion (I like snow) > Do the reasons logically lead to the conclusion
Fallacies are attempts to make an argument, but with a logical mistake.
Fallacies (Page 5)
Type 1: Irrelevant Argument (Not relevant to conclusion) Type 2: Illogical (non-sequitur)
Ad Hominem: Against the man, call them a name and dismiss their argument
Tu Quoque: You are Another!, variant of Ad Hominem when you call someone a hypocrite and reject their argument
Poison the Well: Variant of Ad Hominem where all subsequent arguments of a person are rejected because he is that person.
Equivocation: Word gets used multiple times but with different meanings. > All trees have bark. Every dog barks. Therefore, every dog is a tree.
Burden of Proof/Appeal to ignorance: Pointing to a lack of contrary evidence as evidence to an allegation.
Appeal to tradition: Accepting or rejecting a claim based on previous events. > “Change is scary” > “X has always been fine, therefore X is right”
Appeal to popularity/Jumping on the bandwagon: Many people believing something, does not make it true.
The genetic fallacy: Opposite of Poison the Well
Appeal to Authority: Accepting something because a person of authority said so.
Hasty Generalisations: when we draw conclusions based on an inadequate sample size > Both weightlifters I met took steroids, therefore all weightlifters take them.
Faulty Analogy: Comparing things that aren’t similar enough
The Strawman: Willful misrepresentation of an argument in order to dismiss it easily.
The Fallacy of Division: Attempt to convince someone that a part is the same as the whole. > Huge building =/= huge apartment
The Fallacy of Composition: Attempt to convince that the whole is the same as a part. > Huge apartment =/= Huge building
The False Dichotomy: Assumption that there are fewer possibilities than there actually are
The Casual Fallacy/Post hoc ergo Propter Hoc/after this, therefore this: Assume that a preceding event was the cause of an effect. > The rooster yells before the sunrise, therefore the rooster caused the sunrise > Thunder causes lightning
Lost you pen = no pen = no notes = no study = fail = no diploma = no work = no money = no food = death
Losing your pen will make you die
Circular reasoning: An argument that relies on the on the conclusion being true.
X because Y, Y because Z, Z because X
Red Herring: > We can’t worry about the environment, we’re in the middle of a war!