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?

Formal Logic: Symbolizing Arguments in Sentential Logic

Author: Thomas MetcalfCategory: Logic and ReasoningWord count: 1000 An argument is a set of statements (the premises) intended to provide evidence for, or prove, some conclusion.[1] Formal logic is a tool we can use to present and evaluate arguments. Some arguments are better than others and formal logic can help us see exactly how some … Continue reading Formal Logic: Symbolizing Arguments in Sentential Logic

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

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

Expertise: What is an Expert?

"Lovers of prints" by Honore Daumier

Author: Jamie Carlin Watson Category: Epistemology, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy Wordcount: 989 Want to improve your golf or tennis game? Take lessons from a local “pro.” Got an obscure medical problem? See a specialist. Nasty divorce? Hire a good lawyer. In short, if you’ve got a hard question or problem, you should seek the guidance … Continue reading Expertise: What is an Expert?

Interpretations of Probability

"So you're telling me there's a chance?" From Dumb and Dumber

Author: Thomas Metcalf Categories: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Logic and Reasoning Word count: 996 Consider this exchange from the 1994 American film Dumb and Dumber: Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together? … Mary: Not good. Lloyd: You mean, not good like … Continue reading Interpretations of Probability