Philosophic Tools and Pitfalls

Philosophers’ Tools

Pitfalls

Brief Descriptions

  • Analysis of Knowledge
    • Knowledge as true justified belief.
  • Analysis of Paradoxes
    • paradox is a seemingly valid piece of reasoning leading to an absurdity.
  • Anomalies of Language
    • The “Mist and veil of words”
  • Arguments
  • Argument Reconstruction
    • Argument Reconstruction is the process of restating a naturally-occurring argument so its premises, conclusion, and logic are clear, making it easier to understand and evaluate.
  • Artifices of Deception and Distraction
    • Politicians and tricksters use artifices of deception and distraction when they can’t persuade you by rational argument.
  • Axiom Systems
    • An axiom system is a set of assumptions from which logical consequences are derived.
  • Bias
    • Person Bias
      • Inhibiting
      • Inclining
    • Reasoning Bias
  • Conspiracy Theories
    • A conspiracy theory explains events by invoking a secret plot by a group of conspirators.
    • Ockham’s Razor provides an a priori reason for rejecting conspiracy theories, since the straightforward explanation of events is simpler.
  • Dialectic (Argumentation)
    • Dialectic is the exchange of arguments to find the truth
  • Disinformation
    • “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” (Voltaire)
  • Decision Theory
    • Alternative courses of action are assessed by the expected value (probability times value) of their projected consequences.
  • Deductive Logic
    • Deductive Logic is the formal theory of deductive reasoning.
  • Epistemic Probability
    • The epistemic probability of a proposition is how reasonable it is to believe.
  • Ethics
    • Ethics is the investigation of right and wrong, good and bad, and what ought to be done
  • Epistemology
    • Epistemology is the investigation of knowledge and rational belief
  • Fact-checking
    • Fact-checkers rate claims true, false, misleading, and unsupported by evaluating the evidence and arguments for and against.
  • Fallacies
    • A fallacy is an error in reasoning having an air of plausibility.
  • History of Philosophy
    • The History of Philosophy is the history of philosophic arguments
  • Framework for Investigating the Truth
    • Articulate the question. Frame the hypotheses. Formulate and evaluate the arguments. Draw a conclusion.
  • Framework for Making Decisions
    • Articulate the issue. Frame the options. Formulate and evaluate the arguments. Decide.
  • Fooling Yourself and Others with Statistics
    • Statistics is tricky. It’s easy to fool yourself and others.
  • Forecasting
    • Time Series, Regression, Forecasting Models, Expert Opinion, Prediction Markets
  • Logic
    • Logic is the investigation of valid reasoning
  • Logical Equivalences among Why, Because, Reason, Therefore, Explain
    • Their logical equivalences
  • Metaphysics
    • Metaphysics is the investigation of basic questions about reality.
  • Philosophy
    • Philosophy is the investigation of fundamental issues by rational argument.
  • Political Philosophy
    • Political Philosophy is the normative and conceptual inquiry into forms of government
  • Probability Theory
    • Probability Theory is the formal theory of probability.
  • Scientific Models
    • A model is a simple representation of complex phenomena.
  • Scientific Theories
    • scientific theory is:
      • designed to explain certain kinds of phenomena
      • defined by its postulates
      • supported or disproved by its predictions
  • Skepticism
    • Skepticism is the disposition to believe based only on rational argument
  • Syllogisms and Venn Diagrams
    • Venn Diagrams are sets of overlapping circles used to determine the validity of syllogisms.
  • Thought Experiments
    • A thought-experiment is a hypothetical scenario set forth either as a puzzlement or as a basis for argument.
  • Why People Believe Irrational Things
    • They believe what they want to be true
    • They jump to conclusions, knowing only part of the story.
    • They live in epistemic bubbles.