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Chapter 2

SSH 105 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Peer Pressure, Philosophical Skepticism, Stereotype

Social Sciences and Humanities
Course Code
SSH 105
Andrew Hunter

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Chapter 2: The “Environment” of Crical Thinking
Perils of a Haunted Mind
Am I Really Special?
We tend to accept claims solely because it furthers your own interests
oEx: The university should not raise tuion fees because I am a student, and I
don’t want to pay more tuion
We are also tempted to accept claims for no other reason than that thy help you save
Watch out when things get personal
oIf your evaluaon or defence of a posion evokes anger, passion, or fear, your
thinking could be prejudiced or clouded
Be alert to ways that crical thinking can be undermined
Ensure that nothing has been le# out
oSelecve a%enon: we noce certain things and ignore others
oWe tend to ignore facts that contradict with our beliefs and search for facts that
support them
oImportant to make a conscious e&ort to look for opposing evidence
The Power of the Group
Peer pressure: group pressure to accept or reject a claim solely on the basis of what
one’s peers think or do
Appeal to popularity (or to the masses): the fallacy of arguing that a claim must be true
merely because a lot of people believe it
Stereotyping: drawing conclusions about people without su'cient reasons
The best way to deal with the power of the group is that we should only hold strongly to
those beliefs for which there are strong reasons
Perils of a Haunted Worldview
Worldview: a philosophy of life; a set of fundamental ideas that helps us make sense of
a wide range of important issues in life. A worldview de+nes for us what exists, what
should be, and what we can know
Subjecve Relavism
Subjecve relavism: the idea that truth depends on what someone believes
oThis is my truth, and thats your truth”
Subjecvist fallacy: accepng the noon of subjecve relavism or using it to try to
support a claim
Social Relavism
Social relavism: the view that truth is relave to sociees
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