Are you reasonable?

It seems so simple to assume that all thinking involves reason.  Reason is good, right?  We want to be considered reasonable.  To be unreasonable is to be in the wrong.  But is it that simple?  Can we be reasoning and still be wrong?  Can we reason incorrectly?  Here are some checkpoints in our discussion of reason.

  1. Monday, we took a Reasoning test inspired by Baggini and Stangroom.  It raised many questions:
    1. Is reasoning universal?
    2. What makes it easy to reason?
    3. If something is familiar, is it easier to think about it?
  2. We then divided three facets of the chapter and created an outline for the section.
  3. Yesterday, you learned what the experts in your group argued should be part of the section.  Hopefully, you took good notes.
  4. Then, try these to check your understanding.  Save your answers when you are done.  Reflect on each test and self-assess.  What do the results tell you?
    1. Inductive reasoning             A simple test
    2. Deductive reasoning           A simple test
    3. Fallacious reasoning           A simple test
  5. Then, we asked what the differences between induction and deduction are.  A second way to check your understanding is to try these:
    1. Here is a simple test
    2. then, try this more complex test to show you the difference
    3. Write a freewrite exploring the differences between induction and deduction.  In your response, consider which is more valuable.
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October check-in

Just to make sure we are on the same page, I will try to capture here a few of the things we’ve already discussed in class.  Although I have often explained these expectations in-class, it can’t hurt to put them down in one formal post.

To date, we’ve worked on many things so far in class.  We’ve begun with some important readings and learnings on the following concepts:

  • an introduction to knowledge issues and knowledge questions
  • an overview of the ToK curriculum
  • an explanation of the structure of the course including the Ways of Knowing diagram
  • two introductory units from different Ways of Knowing – sensation and memory
  • primary source readings from Plato (the Allegory of the Cave & Timaeus)
  • primary source readings from Lao Tzu, Descartes, and Hume (Kant to follow)

When we are ready for it, we will read my abbreviated feedback taken from the Assessor feedback about last years’ essay prompts.  Then, and only then, will we look at this years’ prompts and plan out our essays for this semester.

As a general rule, I believe that students have a strong understanding of what the intellectual and behavioral expectations are for class including that they should be collecting their daily and homework into a journal with three wire brads.  In case that seems foreign, students could consult this handout that I put up in class today.  It covers many of the daily expectations and will later be revised into a journal evaluation sheet.  In the header, it also has the expectations if students are absent.