Critical Thinking Archive

  • Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! One of my colleagues at my place of vocation recently sent an article my way that I found very intriguing, and I wanted to recommend it to readers of Philosophy Matters.   wrote about the psychological, anthropological, and economical studies of Joseph Henrich, .  These researchers from the University of British Columbia have been creating waves of controversy throughout a variety of disciplines by challenging the generalizability of the majority of empirical work in the social sciences. So what’s the big deal?  Well, the overwhelming bulk of research studies involving people are conducted on […]

    WEIRD Culture and Psychology

    Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! One of my colleagues at my place of vocation recently sent an article my way that I found very intriguing, and I wanted to recommend it to readers of Philosophy Matters.   wrote about the psychological, anthropological, and economical studies of Joseph Henrich, .  These researchers from the University of British Columbia have been creating waves of controversy throughout a variety of disciplines by challenging the generalizability of the majority of empirical work in the social sciences. So what’s the big deal?  Well, the overwhelming bulk of research studies involving people are conducted on […]

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  • Today, I’m going to offer a slight follow-up to last week’s posting about personality.  There are many different models for what the personality is and how it works, and most of them will make sense to most readers.  Let’s look through the Johari Window. I believe I was first exposed to the Johari Window in a  class, and it is definitely an effective tool to promote disclosure and feedback in a group of people.  It was named by its inventors,  and Harry Ingram (Young, 2009).  Personality is a way of conceptualizing the self, and there are many different parts to […]

    The Johari Window

    Today, I’m going to offer a slight follow-up to last week’s posting about personality.  There are many different models for what the personality is and how it works, and most of them will make sense to most readers.  Let’s look through the Johari Window. I believe I was first exposed to the Johari Window in a  class, and it is definitely an effective tool to promote disclosure and feedback in a group of people.  It was named by its inventors,  and Harry Ingram (Young, 2009).  Personality is a way of conceptualizing the self, and there are many different parts to […]

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  • Merry Moral Monday! Several of us—JustHeath included—here at Philosophy Matters are purveyors of the British science fiction series Doctor Who.  In fact, J J Sylvia, the founder of the website, has even written a very good chapter in a  centered on the philosophy of the television program.  This past Saturday night, I happened to catch an episode on MPB, the Mississippi affiliate of PBS that will serve as a starting point for today’s moral dilemma. So, come along [Ponds], and…Geronimo! “The Wedding of River Song” (2011) In the  finale, the show’s main protagonist, the Doctor, has to save the entire […]

    Moral Monday: The Wedding of River Song

    Merry Moral Monday! Several of us—JustHeath included—here at Philosophy Matters are purveyors of the British science fiction series Doctor Who.  In fact, J J Sylvia, the founder of the website, has even written a very good chapter in a  centered on the philosophy of the television program.  This past Saturday night, I happened to catch an episode on MPB, the Mississippi affiliate of PBS that will serve as a starting point for today’s moral dilemma. So, come along [Ponds], and…Geronimo! “The Wedding of River Song” (2011) In the  finale, the show’s main protagonist, the Doctor, has to save the entire […]

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  • Those most successful in their college career are set apart from their peers by the attitude they possess going in and the thought they put into their college preparations. Many students transition into college without having a clear goal for their future, and so their mindset and actions are unfocused. This leads often to wasted years of ‘exploratory’ classes and general frustration, particularly as students become distracted by the increased freedoms and social schedule college can offer. This is easily preventable by adopting a philosophy of engaged thinking before you arrive at college. What is Engaged Thinking? Engaged thinking encourages […]

    Engaged Thinking: The Philosophy of the Successful Student

    Those most successful in their college career are set apart from their peers by the attitude they possess going in and the thought they put into their college preparations. Many students transition into college without having a clear goal for their future, and so their mindset and actions are unfocused. This leads often to wasted years of ‘exploratory’ classes and general frustration, particularly as students become distracted by the increased freedoms and social schedule college can offer. This is easily preventable by adopting a philosophy of engaged thinking before you arrive at college. What is Engaged Thinking? Engaged thinking encourages […]

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  • From an ethical perspective, I think most people – and most ethical theories – would tend to agree that fewer mass shootings and fewer gun murders would be a good thing. The problem, of course, arises when we discuss how to achieve that goal. I’ve written before about how rhetoric-filled memes work against that goal, so today I will try to take a critical look at the issues surrounding gun control with as much data and as little fallacious logic as possible. The Constitutionality of Gun Control At least in the United States, the very second any type of gun […]

    Rational Thoughts on Gun Control

    From an ethical perspective, I think most people – and most ethical theories – would tend to agree that fewer mass shootings and fewer gun murders would be a good thing. The problem, of course, arises when we discuss how to achieve that goal. I’ve written before about how rhetoric-filled memes work against that goal, so today I will try to take a critical look at the issues surrounding gun control with as much data and as little fallacious logic as possible. The Constitutionality of Gun Control At least in the United States, the very second any type of gun […]

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  • Merry MLK Day! Many readers will probably be reading this post from the context of a leisurely holiday from work or school due to the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Perhaps some will have honored Dr. King by engaging in some sort of service activity during the day.  Regardless, I hope everyone will take the time to reflect a bit on the life and works of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.  I had heard of Dr. King growing up and listened to some of his speeches, but I don’t think I had ever read any of his works […]

    The Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Merry MLK Day! Many readers will probably be reading this post from the context of a leisurely holiday from work or school due to the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Perhaps some will have honored Dr. King by engaging in some sort of service activity during the day.  Regardless, I hope everyone will take the time to reflect a bit on the life and works of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.  I had heard of Dr. King growing up and listened to some of his speeches, but I don’t think I had ever read any of his works […]

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  • I’m not going to share the video here, but I recently stumbled across a video on social media describing all of the ways that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax or government conspiracy, many of them involving the image above. As long-time readers are aware, I’ve been on a campaign against internet memes and the sharing of social media posts that are fallacious, false, or lack fact-checking. In brief, here’s why: I understand many people share these memes without fact-checking and without being sure for themselves whether they’re true or not, probably not putting much thought at all into […]

    Debunking Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories

    I’m not going to share the video here, but I recently stumbled across a video on social media describing all of the ways that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax or government conspiracy, many of them involving the image above. As long-time readers are aware, I’ve been on a campaign against internet memes and the sharing of social media posts that are fallacious, false, or lack fact-checking. In brief, here’s why: I understand many people share these memes without fact-checking and without being sure for themselves whether they’re true or not, probably not putting much thought at all into […]

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  • Bonjour, mes amis! Well, it’s been precipitating quite a bit here recently in the Golden Triangle region, so I’ve been catching up on the 1980’s reincarnation of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (TTZ).  Much like Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek, TTZ are often a mix of science fiction and morality tales.  We emphasize critical thinking and ethical decision-making a lot here at Philosophy Matters, and TTZ does not disappoint as a topical tool.  I think I’m going to be using more of TTZ episodes in postings because I have found them effective discussion pieces in my classes.  So, get ready […]

    Moral Monday: The Hellgramite Method

    Bonjour, mes amis! Well, it’s been precipitating quite a bit here recently in the Golden Triangle region, so I’ve been catching up on the 1980’s reincarnation of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (TTZ).  Much like Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek, TTZ are often a mix of science fiction and morality tales.  We emphasize critical thinking and ethical decision-making a lot here at Philosophy Matters, and TTZ does not disappoint as a topical tool.  I think I’m going to be using more of TTZ episodes in postings because I have found them effective discussion pieces in my classes.  So, get ready […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Well, hello there. Due to the recent natural disasters and mass shootings there has been an influx of attention to mental health services in this country.  It is yet to be determined if anything other than media discussions will arise from these problems, but I hope the rubber will one day hit the road with regard to getting people the help they need.  As a professional helper, I have noticed an increase in the helping literature of late regarding topics such as self-care and trauma, and I suspect readers will easily see the link between these tragedies and such matters.  […]

    Moral Monday: On Empathy

    Well, hello there. Due to the recent natural disasters and mass shootings there has been an influx of attention to mental health services in this country.  It is yet to be determined if anything other than media discussions will arise from these problems, but I hope the rubber will one day hit the road with regard to getting people the help they need.  As a professional helper, I have noticed an increase in the helping literature of late regarding topics such as self-care and trauma, and I suspect readers will easily see the link between these tragedies and such matters.  […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Let me state up front that I’m a moderate on this issue – I don’t own guns, but I also don’t believe they should be entirely banned. Also, I’m not making any claim to know exactly what the correct answer is in this debate. The real problem with discussing the issue of gun control is out-of-control rhetoric. Any time the topic of gun control comes up, you get straw-man attacks on these two extremes. Yes, there are probably a few people who hold these extreme opinions, but I believe that it’s likely not really very many. When we focus on […]

    The Difficulty With Discussing Gun Control

    Let me state up front that I’m a moderate on this issue – I don’t own guns, but I also don’t believe they should be entirely banned. Also, I’m not making any claim to know exactly what the correct answer is in this debate. The real problem with discussing the issue of gun control is out-of-control rhetoric. Any time the topic of gun control comes up, you get straw-man attacks on these two extremes. Yes, there are probably a few people who hold these extreme opinions, but I believe that it’s likely not really very many. When we focus on […]

    Continue Reading...