Lively, comprehensive, and contemporary, The Voice of Reason: Fundamentals of Critical Thinking covers three principal areas: thought and language, systematic reasoning, and modes of proof. It employs highly accessible explanations and a multitude of examples drawn from social issues and various academic fields, showing students and other readers how to construct and criticize arguments using the techniques of sound reasoning. The Voice of Reason examines the traditional elements of the field and also explores new ground. The first section of the (...) book elucidates the relationship between thought and language, explaining how words function. It discusses meaning, connotation, vagueness, ambiguity, and definition, identifying the linguistic elements that can produce mistakes in thinking. The next section describes the rules of systematic reasoning, examining such topics as truth, relevance, and adequacy; deductive logic ; and induction. Sixteen fallacies in thinking are also described through extensive illustrations and applications. The final section of the book offers a unique study of what constitutes proof in several different areas--including politics, advertising, law, and social issues--as well as in the academic disciplines of literature, science, history, and ethics. The author describes the various rules of evidence, using essays by major figures in each field as examples. An ideal text for courses in critical thinking, informal logic, and reasoning and writing, The Voice of Reason offers numerous pedagogical features including a host of examples; assignments, exercises, and puzzles at both the halfway point and at the end of each chapter; cartoons and quotations throughout; and practical applications of theoretical concepts. An extensive Instructor's Manual contains answers to the exercises that appear throughout the text. (shrink)
Repression is one of the most haunting concepts in psychology. Something shocking happens, and the mind pushes it into some inaccessible corner of the unconscious. Later, the memory may emerge into consciousness. Repression is one of the foundation stones on which the structure of psychoanalysis rests. Recently there has been a rise in reported memories of childhood sexual abuse that were allegedly repressed for many years. With recent changes in legislation, people with recently unearthed memories are suing alleged perpetrators for (...) events that happened 20, 30, even 40 or more years earlier. These new developments give rise to a number of questions: (a) How common is it for memories of child abuse to be repressed? (b) How are jurors and judges likely to react to these repressed memory claims? (c) When the memories surface, what are they like? and (d) How authentic are the memories? (shrink)
Psychology's fascination with memory and its imperfections dates back further than we can remember. The first careful experimental studies of memory were published in 1885 by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, and tens of thousands of memory studies have been conducted since. What has been learned, and what might the future of memory be?
Case histories make contributions to science and practice, but they can also be highly misleading. We illustrate with our reexamination of the case of Jane Doe; she was videotaped twice, once when she was six years old and then eleven years later when she was seventeen. During the first interview she reported sexual abuse by her mother. During the second interview she apparently forgot and then remembered the sexual abuse. Jane's case has been hailed by some as the new proof (...) of recovery of repressed or dissociated traumatic memories, and even as proof of the reliability of recovered memories of repeated abuse. Numerous pieces of "supporting evidence" were given in the original article for believing that the abuse occurred. Upon closer scrutiny, however, there are reasons to doubt not only the "supporting evidence," but also that the sexual abuse ever happened in the first place. Our analysis raises several general questions about the use of case histories in science, medicine, and mental health. There is a cautionary tale not only for those professionals who advance the case history, but also for those who base their theories on it or would readily accept it as proof. (shrink)
In this paper, it will be shown that Peirce was of two minds about whether his scientific fallibilism, the recognition of the possibility of error in our beliefs, applied to mathematics. It will be argued that Peirce can and should hold a theory of fallibilism within mathematics, and that this position is more consistent with his overall pragmatic theory of inquiry and his general commitment to the growth of knowledge. But to make the argument for fallibilism in mathematics, Peirce's theory (...) of fallibilism must be reconceived to incorporate two different kinds of fallibilism, which correspond to two different kinds of truth claims. (shrink)
Pragmatic bioethics represents a novel approach to the discipline of bioethics, yet has met with criticisms which have beset the discipline of bioethics in the past. In particular, pragmatic bioethics has been criticized for its excessively fuzzy approach to fundamental questions of normativity, which are crucial to a field like bioethics. Normative questions need answers, and consensus is not always enough. The approach here is to apply elements of the discourse ethics of Habermas and Putnam to the sphere of bioethics, (...) in order to develop a normative structure out of the framework of bioethical inquiry as it stands. The idea here is that the process of inquiry contains its own normative structure as it aims to discover norms. Such an approach, which fuses pragmatic bioethics with discourse ethics, may rightly be called a "Pragmatic Discourse Bioethics.". (shrink)
After hundreds of articles on recovered memory therapy, one might have thought there was not much left to say. But a November 1997 front-page article in the New York Times headlined '"Memory' Therapy Leads to a Lawsuit and Big Settlement" suggested that the repressed memory controversy had broken new records (Belluck 1997).
Counterfactual imaginings are known to have far reaching implications. In the present experiment, we ask if imagining events from one's past can affect memory for childhood events. We draw on the social psychology literature showing that imagining a future event increases the subjective likelihood that the event will occur. The concepts of cognitive availability and the source monitoring framework provide reasons to expect that imagination may inflate confidence that a childhood event occurred. However, people routinely produce myriad counterfactual imaginings (i.e., (...) daydreams and fantasies) but usually do not confuse them with past experiences. To determine the effects of imagining a childhood event, we pretested subjects on how confident they were that a number of childhood events had happened, asked them to imagine some of those events, and then gathered new confidence measures. For each of the target items, imagination inflated confidence that the event had occurred in childhood. We discuss implications for situations in which imagination is used as an aid in searching for presumably lost memories. (shrink)
Population involves the counting of a group in a place. To count is to know. To know is to intervene. Knowing and intervening are complicated practices. Assigning groups to places is complicated as well. This set of essays, that examine how scientists make Latin American groups into "objects of inquiry and intervention" allows for a fundamental examination of how practicing population can involve seemingly disparate accounts of the relationship of groups to places. North American scientists tend to constitute the populations (...) described in these papers as biologically essential groups located in timeless landscapes or as malleably cultural groups within national territories, while... (shrink)
—all this being so, there must be exactly as many species of being as of unity.Commonsense philosophy is committed to making sense of everyday experience rather than dismissing or rejecting it entirely. Commonsense philosophers are critical of over-idealized and abstract philosophies, which favor pure theory at the cost of failing to make sense of everyday life. In this respect, commonsense philosophy is a friend to pragmatism. Charles S. Peirce surely sees it this way. He follows the Scottish commonsense school, which (...) rejects skeptical critiques of commonsense beliefs. We accept our most basic commonsense beliefs because inquiry must start somewhere and because we cannot pretend to doubt these instinctual... (shrink)
This article considers the interplay between intellectual property rights and classic property rights raised by Hoffman v. Monsanto and advances the idea that intellectual property law can serve as an autonomous source of liability for intellectual property owners. The article develops the conceptual advantages of demarcating physical and intellectual properties and allocating rights and responsibilities based on the respective property sphere. It introduces a theoretical Hohfeldian framework, in which the grant of a positive limited-term monopoly right entails a corresponding duty, (...) to establish intellectual property law as a source of internal limits on intellectual property rights. The article is a prolegomena to a detailed matrix of those rights and duties within intellectual property law. This matrix could support patentee duties that go beyond public disclosure of the invention and could establish patent law as an alternative legal framework to tort law to address harms caused by inventions. (shrink)
Rawlsian political liberalism is often rejected by feminist philosophers on the grounds that it reinstates a problematic public/private divide and includes sexist comprehensive doctrines as reasonable. My dissertation reclaims a revised version of Rawlsian political liberalism for feminist objectives. Using children who are raised in accordance with sexist comprehensive doctrines as a test case, I investigate the permissible limitations for reasonable pluralism. In the first half of my dissertation, I investigate challenges posed to Rawlsian stability and civic education. I argue (...) that Rawlss aim of making reasonableness broadly inclusive for political purposes is in tension with his goal of using reasonableness to delineate the scope of liberal legitimacy. To resolve this tension, I suggest that we separate liberal legitimacy from reasonableness. I then broaden the analysis by exploring the implications of the bifurcation of reasonableness for both feminism and political liberalism. I argue that the resulting theory is a defensible version of political liberalism that serves some crucially important feminist aims without becoming a comprehensive feminist theory. (shrink)
Many commentators of the "Republic" see the conformity to authority, emphasized in the early education, as a hindrance to the development of the critical skills necessary for the philosopher. Furthermore, they see the theoretical training of the philosopher as detached from morality. I argue that Plato does not view philosophical training as separate from morality. Rather Plato views intellectual training as integral to the philosopher's overall pursuit of the Good. Philosophical knowledge is moral because the objects of such knowledge are (...) closer to the divine. Philosophical development is a moral and spiritual quest aimed at becoming god-like. (shrink)