The Mind’s New Science
Description, what’s going on in the Meno
He isn’t receiving messages from God!
He’s got a little radio receiver
hidden in his ear.
And his wife is reading off of so-called Prayer Cards that members of
the audience filled out when they entered the auditorium.
I saw this sham exposed on a
Secrets of the Psychics
Explanation, tells how the man is not receiving messages from God
13. For males, conversation is the way to negotiate your status in the group and keep people
from pushing you around.
For females, on the other hand, conversation is to negotiate
intimacy and closeness.
Assertions: no reasons to believe these are true, not obviously true
14. Even when there can be no doubt that a person intended to be making an argument, it is
often not clear what the contents and structure of that argument are.
People don’t always
set out their opinions and their grounds for them clearly and explicitly.
As evaluators, we
usually have to interpret what they say so as to get as clear and accurate a picture as
possible of the argument or arguments they are expressing.
Doing so usually entails
reconstructing the argument, an effort that resembles trying to infer the materials and
structure of a house from a photograph of it: We have to infer details and what is under
the surface from a partial view.
(Johnson & Blair,
, p. 29)
15. It is common to place the conclusion of an argument either at the beginning or at the end
of a paragraph.
This is definitely not a hard-and-fast rule because, first, stylistic
considerations sometimes warrant placing the conclusion in the middle and, second,
writers do not always organize their paragraphs in the clearest way possible.
, p. 31)
16. The number of Muslims is steadily increasing in both the United States and especially in
And, of course, much of the Earth’s oil reserve is located in the Arab world.
it is crucial that we do all we can to better understand the Islamic culture.
We can see, then, that the United States needs to promote the study
of Middle Eastern languages in this respect,
since communication with
other cultures is the primary step towards understand them and building good relations
17. Sometimes the author’s viewpoint is not explicitly stated.
Then you have to figure out
what the author is driving at on the basis of what is said and the context in which the
author is saying it.
Finding the implicit conclusion like this is difficult at times and
requires what has come to be called The Principle of Charity, in which you attribute to
the author the most plausible claim.