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Ling 21 - lecture 1 - Linguistics 21 Language and Thinking...

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Unformatted text preview: Linguistics 21: Language and Thinking Thinking Spring 2010 Professor Thom Huebner Office Hours: MW 3-4:30 pm And by appointment Office: Clark Telephone: 408-924-1375 Email: [email protected] CRITICAL THINKING CRITICAL Involving or exercising skilled judgment or observation Wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions Wide needed to – needed analyze and evaluate arguments and truth claims: Examples: Slide 4 overcome personal prejudices and biases: Example: language accents make reasonable and intelligent decisions about what make to believe and what to do. to INTELLIGENT DECISIONS INTELLIGENT Critical Thinking Critical - What are the characteristics of a critical thinker? thinker? - What is an argument? - Why is critical thinking important in the world Why today? today? STANDARDS STANDARDS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Clarity Accuracy Precision Relevance (Focus) Consistency Logical correctness Completeness (Depth) Fairness Fairness CLARITY CLARITY Example: Miss Teen South Carolina http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww Questions: – Which of the standards of critical thinking does Which Miss TSC not meet? Why? Miss – Can you think of other examples of people “not Can being clear on the concept”? CONSISTENCY CONSISTENCY Logical consistency: Not saying or believing two (or more) things that could not simultaneously be true true – Example: P & ~P Practical consistency: Not saying one thing and doing another doing – Example: Calvin and Hobbs, P. 13 Exercise: Generate examples of logical / practical inconsistency: page 8, Exercise 1.1 II. inconsistency: LOGICAL CORRECTNESS LOGICAL All mammals are dangerous. Bobo is dangerous. Therefore Bobo is a mammal. I am a man. Brad Pitt is a man. Therefore, I am Brad Pitt. All humans are animals. All Most animals can climb trees. Most Therefore, most humans can climb trees. Therefore, FAIRNESS FAIRNESS Not identifying truth with self-interest Not Not resisting unfamiliar ideas, prejudging Not issues, stereotyping outsiders issues, BARRIERS BARRIERS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Egocentrism Sociocentrism Relativistic thinking Unwarranted assumptions Wishful thinking EGOCENTRISM EGOCENTRISM Egocentrism: Seeing reality as centered on oneself oneself Self-interested thinking: Accepting and defending beliefs that harmonize with one’s own self-interest own – Example: “A rising tide raises all boats.” Self-serving bias: Overrating oneself – Example: 90% of drivers rate themselves as above average above SOCIOCENTRISM SOCIOCENTRISM Sociocentrism: Group-centered thinking Group bias: Seeing One’s own group, tribe, sect, sex as better sect, – Example: “Girls are better than boys.” Conformism: Following the crowd, conforming uncritically to group standards of conduct and belief conduct – Example: The lines experiment: page 16. RELATIVISTIC THINKING RELATIVISTIC Relativism: “There is no objective absolute standard of truth.” standard Subjectivism: “Truth is a matter of individual opinion.” opinion.” Exercise: List areas where truth may be a matter of opinion. opinion Cultural relativism: “What is true for person A is what person A’s culture of society believes is true.” what Examples: drinking wine in France/Iran; polygamy MORAL RELATIVISM MORAL Moral subjectivism: What is morally right Moral and good for an individual A is what A believes is morally right and good. – Examples: Chocolate-covered potato chips Human sacrifice PROBLEMS PROBLEMS Relativism makes it impossible to criticize others’ / Relativism our own cultural practices. our It rules out the idea of moral progress. It can lead to conflicting moral duties: – When an individual holds beliefs in conflict with When those of her society; those – When an individual belongs to two or more When cultures. cultures. Discussion: Are you bi-cultural in any sense (do you belong to two or more sense groups that hold conflicting beliefs on a Assumption: Something we take for granted, Something something we believe to be true without any proof or conclusive evidence or We have to make assumptions (the floor was there We yesterday when I got out of bed; it’ll be there today). This only becomes pernicious when those assumptions are unwarranted. unwarranted Stereotypes are unwarranted assumptions. Error: Hasty generalization – making a Error: generalization about a large class of people from a small sample small Discussion: Identify assumptions you’ve made since you got up this morning. Were they warranted? UNWARRANTED ASSUMPTIONS ASSUMPTIONS WISHFUL THINKING WISHFUL Wishful thinking: believing something not because you have good evidence for it, but because you wish it were true. because Examples: “The wind will pick up.” “He loves me.” “I don’t have a 1-73 chance of dying in a car accident.” dying Exercise: Generate examples of hindrances to critical thinking. hindrances CHARACTERISTICS CHARACTERISTICS Passionate drive for clarity, precision, and Passionate accuracy accuracy Careful, disciplined thinking Sensitivity to the ways that critical thinking Sensitivity can be prejudiced by egocentrism, wishful thinking and other psychological barriers thinking Honesty and intellectual humility Open-mindedness, intellectual courage, Open-mindedness, love of truth, intellectual perseverance love ...
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