Summary
Recorded on 04 Feb 2018: Topics include Critical Thinking: The Unsolvable Exam Question, BRRPS Episode 2: The Flat Earth Theory, and The Appeal of Conspiracy Theories.

Banter: Secular Morality v. Veganism
Brian and Scot reprise their discussion on Secular Morality v. Veganism, inspired by The Athiest Experience E22.03 (21 Jan 2018) caller Richard (1:13:50)

Critical Thinking: Definition
Critical thinking is the process of analyzing and evaluating truth claims that is grounded in logically valid arguments, sound reasoning, appropriate standards of evidence, and a pragmatic understanding of cognitive errors and biases; and the ability to apply these to the systematic analysis of problems in order to obtain credible solutions.

  • Reasoning & Arguments
    Recognizing and evaluating arguments, which are composed of a set of premises and conclusions; Deductive vs Inductive reasoning, prepositional logic, valid arguments, sound arguments, formal and informal fallacies, hidden or unstated premises, etc.
  • Evidence
    Evidence is that which justifies belief or what is reasonable for one to believe. The nature of evidence, evidence criteria, evaluating sources and context, relevance to the argument, degree of support for the argument, etc.
  • Cognitive Biases & Errors
    Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment. Examples include decision-making, belief, and behavioral biases such as Backfire Effect, Confirmation Bias, Dunning-Kreuger Effect, Pareidolia, Stereotyping, etc; social biases such as Authority Biase, In-Group Bias, Just-World Hypothesis; memory errors and biases such as False Memory, Hind-Sight Bias, Suggestibility, etc.; and psychological effects such as the Placebo Effect, McGurk Effect, inattentional blindness, etc
  • Problem Solving
    The ability to apply reasoning & arguments, the appropriate evaluation of facts and evidence, and the pragmatic understanding of cognitive errors & biases to the systematic analysis of problems in order to obtain credible solutions

Critical Thinking: The Unsolvable Exam Question
‘Unsolvable’ exam question leaves Chinese students flummoxed, BBC, 30 Jan 2018

BRRPS0002: The Flat Earth Theory

The Appeal of Conspiracy Theories
The Enduring Appeal of Conspriacy Theories, BBC, Mellissa Hogenboom, 24 Jan 2018

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