Critical Thinking: What is it to be a Critical Thinker?

Know the Facts: A WPA (Works Progress Administration, part of the New Deal) poster, imploring the public to develop critical thinking skills. Circa late 1930-early 1940s.

Author: Carolina Flores Categories: Logic and Reasoning, Philosophy of Education, Epistemology, or Theory of Knowledge Word count: 997 We often urge others to think critically. What does that really mean? How can we think critically? This essay presents a general account of what it is to be a critical thinker and outlines both traditional and … Continue reading Critical Thinking: What is it to be a Critical Thinker?

Moore’s Proof of an External World: Responding to External World Skepticism

Author: Chris Ranalli Categories: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Historical Philosophy Word count: 1000 External world skepticism is the view that we cannot know anything about the external world: we can’t know that we have hands, that there are other people, or, in general, know that anything external to our minds exists. Such skeptics commonly argue that we … Continue reading Moore’s Proof of an External World: Responding to External World Skepticism

Pascal’s Wager: A Pragmatic Argument for Belief in God

Pascal's wager image: person praying in front of a pile of poker chips.

Author: Liz Jackson Categories: Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology, or Theory of Knowledge, Historical Philosophy, Logic and Reasoning Word Count: 996 Should you believe there’s a God? To answer this, we might examine arguments for theism—like first-cause and design arguments—and arguments for atheism—like arguments from evil. These arguments offer evidence for and against God’s existence.[1] Pascal’s … Continue reading Pascal’s Wager: A Pragmatic Argument for Belief in God

Conspiracy Theories

"The Pigpen Cipher" by Matthew Phelan.

Author: Jared Millson Category: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics Word count: 997 NASA faked the first moon landing.[1] The US government orchestrated the attacks on 9/11.[2] A cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles running a global child sex-trafficking ring is plotting against Donald Trump, who is battling them. [3] Each of these claims … Continue reading Conspiracy Theories

al-Ghazālī’s Dream Argument for Skepticism

al-Ghazālī'

Author: John Ramsey Categories: Epistemology, Historical Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Islamic Philosophy Word Count: 997 Right now you probably think that you are awake, that you are not asleep and dreaming. But do you know you aren’t dreaming? French philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650) famously asked a question like this at the beginning of his Meditations … Continue reading al-Ghazālī’s Dream Argument for Skepticism

Epistemic Injustice

Author: Huzeyfe Demirtas Categories: Epistemology, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Sex and Gender, Philosophy of Race, Logic and Reasoning Wordcount: 996 Suppose a jury rejects a Black defendant’s testimony because they believe that Black people are often untrustworthy. Or suppose the male members of a board reject a female colleague's suggestions because they … Continue reading Epistemic Injustice

Dutch Book Arguments

A mural of Dutch books on a building in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Author: Daniel Peterson Categories: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Logic and Reasoning Word Count: 1000 Philosophers looking to support a position about how certain we ought to be of some belief, given our other beliefs, sometimes take advantage of Dutch book arguments. These arguments show that alternative positions lead to accepting a series of bets, each … Continue reading Dutch Book Arguments