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Philosophy Midterm 2


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What is the Web of Belief?

*Idol of the Tribe- perception can be faulty
*Decartes- Radical doubt (doubt all beliefs at once, nothing was certain)

*core- beliefs more certain are close to the core

*outside- beliefs are not quite certain, unsure of

*Background information- all beliefs put together
Sources of Beliefs
1. Experts
some areas are harder to find expertise in

⬢Appeal to authority: bad reasoning (questionable, or wrong) by authority figures
Sources of Beliefs
2. Personal Experience
•Perception- seeing is believing (can’t always be trusted)

•Memory- remembering, bring expectations
*Innumeracy- making a mistake with numbers
*Gambler’s Fallacy- misunderstand the probability (lucky shirt)
*Self-Deception- we believe what we want to believe
*Availability Error- think it’s dangerous because you have info based on that
Sources of Information
1.Oral Communication- not always a good source (may not be true)



4.TV- bias, not a good source, prevents us from a “worldview”

5.Internet- not a good source, bad websites
•“breaking news”
•“human interest”-celebrities, car chases
•“sound bites”
•“Coming up Next”
⬢Purpose is to inform/ persuade

1.Promise ad/ Identification (person you want to be)
Techniques of advertsing
(Distortion, manipulation)
1.Distortion- puffery (exaggeration) & Omission- (leaving something out)
⬢Fine print disclaimer
⬢Fictionalization- (not real, go over the top)
⬢Weasel Words- (puts weasel words in claims)
⬢Proof Surrogate

⬢Emotional Appeals
⬢Bandwagon- trendy
⬢Enviable Situations- impossible
⬢Sex- sublimable
⬢Jingles/ Slogans
⬢Emotive Words- things that are positive (new and improved, natural)
⬢Genetic Fallacy
looking at origins of a person
⬢Composition Fallacy
goes from parts to whole (what’s true of the parts is not true of the whole)
⬢Division Fallacy
true of the whole, not true of the parts
personal attack to the person
using something in two different senses
⬢Appeal to Popularity
just because everyone believes it to be true, doesn’t make it true
⬢Appeal to Tradition
because someone has done something for so long it should stay that way
⬢Appeal to Ignoranc
just because there is no proof then they believe it to be true, can’t prove a negative
⬢Appeal to Pity/ Emotion
you should feel sorry for the person
⬢Red Herring
talk about 2 different things
⬢The Straw Man Argument
weak, distorted argument (distorts, tweaks it)
⬢Begging the Question (Circular Reasoning)
restating the conclusion, leaving argument unanswered
⬢False Dilemma (Black/White Reasoning)
either/or, only 2 choices
⬢Slippery Slope
one thing leads to another to another
Enumerative Induction

Inductive Generalization
compare/make generalization from sample to a target
Fallacy- Weak Analogy
two things are totally different for each other
Hasty Generalization
jump to conclusion too quickly (one sample is not enough)
Bias Generalization
not representative of the group as a whole
Explanations (tell why something happens)
⬢Background information
Peirce’s Methods

1. Tenacity (wishful thinking)
stick to what you believe, as long as you put it to practice
Peirce’s Methods

2. Authority
higher figures could be wrong and make mistakes, always question
Peirce’s Methods

3. Intuition
your feeling can be wrong, not giving into your desires
Peirce’s Methods

4. Science
strongest method, testable and fallible, explore everything like a scientist, they don’t prove anything
1.Testability- has to be testable, important for it to be wrong-

2.Fruitfulness- will it predict anything new, true

3.Scope- explains a lot of things (how wide the range is)

4.Simplicity- stick to established theories

5.Conservativism- stick w/ old theories as much as possible
Claim: Aliens exist/ Abduct
1.Missing time *lost track of time
2.Paralyzed in bed
3.Unusual markings *unnoticed bites, scratches, bruises
4.Metal under skin *splinter
5.Hypnosis *prompted memories
2.Hypothesis Formation
any theory that doesn’t follow Scientific Method
⬢Burden of Proof
theory is extraordinary
“Weird” Ideas/ Theories/ Claims
⬢Appeal to Ignorance

⬢Logical Possibility: something could be the case

⬢Physical Possibility
Judging Theories
1.State claim/problem


3.Alternative possibilities

4.Evaluate- Criteria of Adequacy

Deck Info