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Lecture 2

PHIL 2003 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Relativism


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 2003
Professor
Ken Ferguson
Lecture
2

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Barriers to critical thinking 2016-01-12
What is meant by a barrier to C.T.?
Eective critical thinking requires us to evaluate beliefs and claims
objectively on the basis of relevant considerations and reliable
evidence.
So anything that has a tendency to interfere with, or undermine,
this process constitutes a barrier or impediment to critical thinking.
Important barriers to critical thinking
Lack of background information
Refusal to change beliefs in the face of new evidence
Egocentric, self-interested thinking
Lack of independence, too deferential to authority
Lack of objectivity due to overpowering emotions
Societal in'uences, group pressures
Bias, prejudice, stereotyping
Certain personality traits
In'uence of world views, philosophical systems
Inuence of world views
What is a world view
oBeliefs that play an important role in helping us understand
the world, and make up other beliefs regarding the world
3 philosophical theories that can impede critical thinking
subjective relativism
otruth depends only on what a person truly believes
orelative to dierent people
owhats true is dierent for dierent people
owhats true for me may not be whats true for u
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omorality is relative
abortion may be right for you but not for me
oanything u believe is going to be true
oif u believe ur beliefs r true, then it would not make sense that
u criticize them
oproblems
1)Subjective relativism 'ies in the face of common
sense.
It entails that our beliefs can never be mistaken.
But we all know we’ve been wrong about things.
2) Subjective Relativism is self-defeating
Subjective relavist would say that all truth is
relaatvie to individuals
Truth is relative
If u already believe truth is relative then for
u it is relative, if not then it is not relative to
u
If u r relativist already about truth being
relative then it is
If u don’t believe relativism is true then the
statement is not for u
Suppose that the relativist says that the relativist
claim is not itsled a relative to individuals, bit is
objectivelt true
This seems implausible-problem
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