One distinct difference between humans and other animals is our ability and power to reason. The reasoning is what makes us humans. But how do we reason rationally? We will get nowhere if we couldn’t reason. Without it, we would be restricted to learning through our senses and immediate experiences.
Where do we acquire the knowledge to reason rationally and how do we know that our reasoning is more rational than someone else we may be arguing with? We may be unknowingly irrational drawing our evidence from some myth or fallacy and arguing irrationally with an argument that appears to be good but is a bad one.
Our senses are being constantly bombarded with all sorts of information that helps build the knowledge we acquire to form opinions. This information may change or recreate itself as knowledge at any time throughout our lives. But that same information may be perceived or processed differently by someone else we are arguing with and consequently interpreted differently. Is an orange, yellow or orange or even green is an example? Unless we can deduce or induce conclusions from the evidence of our senses, we cannot claim to know at all.
It is not as if for every argument we may have, an adjudicator is present to decide between who is right or wrong and even if there was one present, why must we accept the basis of their judgment where their perception and interpretation may be distorted or have been perceived incorrectly?
Reasoning takes us from one set of beliefs to another set of beliefs and we all argue believing we are rational. This course will teach you what counts as a bad argument and a good argument. What counts as a bad argument that looks like a good argument called fallacies as you would discover?
The course will first teach you how to recognize arguments, how to analyze arguments from a set of sentences and the two types of arguments we have; deductive and inductive, and how to tell the difference between the two and how to evaluate them. Lately, a lot of news has been termed as fake news or misinformation such that it gets confusing on how to differentiate what the truth is from mistaken truths or blatant lies.
The theory of knowledge is one of the most central areas of philosophy. In this online course, you will cover the key issues in epistemology and how to think for yourself. We will cover what is knowledge?
Where does our knowledge or understanding come from, science, religion, culture, morality, law, evidence?
And why must anyone believe us or us be anyone else?
Why is knowledge valuable to us?
Do we really have any knowledge?
What is epistemic virtue or truth and objectivity? And the application of knowledge to politics, a new introduction to the subject.
In the end, you will practice Socratic thinking applying your understanding to this method. This course attempts to put this all in perspective and will help you understand how to think and reason critically as well as argue rationally.