PHIL 12 – Lecture 2 – Introduction to Argument
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Why Think About Scientific Reasoning?
Take scientifically justified belief to be paradigm of rational/reasonable belief
o Understanding what reasoning goes on in science tells something deep about
Science says it’s the case, so it is
o Ex: giving up smoking because it will lead to lung cancer
Science critical for individual decision-making
o Think about why we trust certain claims and not others as grounds for action
Science is amazing
o Want to understand how scientists managed to change the world
We Take Scientific Belief to be the Paradigm of Rational/Reasonable Belief
What makes the deliverances of science rational/reasonable?
What makes any belief reasonable?
o When it is held for good reasons
Held on account of evidence that supports its truthfulness
Can provide an argument about why the claim should be believed
Can’t All Of Our Beliefs Be Said to Be Reasonable in This Way?
Many beliefs not held for good reasons, or any reasons at all
We are more likely to believe things if:
o We’ve been told
Ex: fake news
o We’ve been told over and over again
Ex: Guinness is good for you
Keep saying something over and over again, and it will become the truth
o Wishful thinking
If a person wants a claim to be true, they are more likely to believe that it
o Gut feeling
o Personal identity
Things about us that make us more likely to believe something
Think of yourself a certain way, and have beliefs that confirm the way that
you want to be/see yourself
Causes for how we come to believe that p may not be reasons for us to believ