Category Archives: Critical Thinking

The Will to Doubt: Summary of Bertrand Russell’s “Free Thought and Official Propaganda”

Conway Hall Entrance

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL

What is wanted is not the will-to-believe, but the wish to find out, which is its exact opposite. ~ Bertrand Russell

In 1922 Bertrand Russell delivered his Conway Memorial Lecture, “Free Thought and Official Propaganda,” to the South Place Ethical Society, the oldest surviving freethought
organization in the world and the only remaining ethical society in the United Kingdom. Continue reading The Will to Doubt: Summary of Bertrand Russell’s “Free Thought and Official Propaganda”

Fox News: An Information Ecosystem For Fallicious Reasoning

Fox News Channel logo.svg
© Darrell Arnold, Ph.D. – (Reprinted with Permission)  http://darrellarnold.com/2018/07/16/fox-news-an-information-ecosystem-for-fallacious-reasoning/

Fox news has long functioned in the service of America’s conservative movement. What is particularly concerning is their willingness to do so even if it undermines truth and sound reasoning. One way that it regularly undermines truth and clear reasoning is through subtext in the framing of their stories. Another is through editorial decisions on what stories to feature — not the framing of their stories but their framing of their news environment. This creates a kind of informational ecosystem that facilitates fallacious reasoning for ideological purposes. Continue reading Fox News: An Information Ecosystem For Fallicious Reasoning

A Graph of Cognitive Biases

Every Single Cognitive Bias in One Infographic

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist – (To view, click on the link above.)

This is the most complete graph I’ve ever seen of cognitive biases. It is especially timely as the mechanisms for social and political control grow ever more sophisticated at manipulating human behavior based on an understanding of how poorly our brains work. Hopefully, an increased awareness of our many brain bugs will help us to differentiate between truth and falsity.

In fact, our very survival probably depends on combatting the influence of our reptilian brains and the medieval institutions they created in a world of increasing technological power. Unless we can find a way to enhance our moral and intellectual faculties, our extinction is likely if not inevitable.

Let us face up to what we really are, and transform ourselves.

Psychological Impediments to Good Thinking

(This article was reprinted in the online magazine of the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, April 16, 2017.)

“Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.” ~ Montaigne

It is hard for people to reason well because they are largely non-rational and emotional beings.1 Here are some psychological impediments to good reasoning. Continue reading Psychological Impediments to Good Thinking