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Lecture 1

POLS 1000 Lecture 1: Why We Must Think Critically

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1000
Martin Breaugh

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Lecture 1 Week 2
Why We Must Think Critically
The term critical does not refer to the quality of the conclusion, - is not negative thing. It actually
refers to a thinking process that aims at evaluating
- In order to think critically, one must bring in historical facts, observation, context, or ne may
bring out he lack thereof a certain thought.
- It’s a skill, it is not something one is born with. It is developed through practice.
Why should we think critically? Why don’t we just take things at face value?
- Critical thinking is an intellectual weapon.
- Fundamental to fighting stupidity allows for abstract thoughts.
The Notion of Stupidity:
- A common bond between literature and politics is the desire for immortality
o It allows one to transcend and leaving traces of their existence
In a way cheating death, the most haunting part being forgotten.
A good example is that in history, mainly politics and literature have
- Auto: Self
- Nomos: Norms
“A speech that disregards truth and seeks only to persuade” – Bullshit: Henry Frankfurt
1929; Milan Kundera The distinction between ignorance and stupidity
- The Novel and Europe; 1986
o In 1985, was awarded the Jerusalem Prize (Literary Prize)
Sets out the understand the great contributions of certain novelists, but the
one is of interest to us today is named Gustave Fleubert.
The objective of going these authors, that to look at the spirit of the time
(zeitgeist zeist: time | geist: spirit).
19th century created stupidity (betise), He argues that stupidity and ignorance
is not the same
Stupidity; is “the nonthought of received ideas” (referring to Fleubert’s
It’s not frowned on, but rather accepted
Stupidity will progress in society, along with technology
As society advances, so does stupid ideas.
Before the invention of the internet, Kunder’s said that technology
disseminate stupid ideas. (1985 talking about mass media)
Ignorance; the fact of not knowing that could easily be corrected
o Gustrave Fleubert
Madame Bovary
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