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CHAPTER 2: REASONING STUDY GUIDE

(use with pp. 64- 89 of the Course Companion)

 1.    How I used reasoning yesterday:

  • To decide when it is appropriate to cross the street
  • How long it would take me to complete each homework assignment
  • To decide on a proper time to sleep
  • Choosing what drink to buy at Starbucks based on my personal liking
  • Deciding what clothes to wear based on the weather and how I feel
  • How long I should let my dog play outside
  • Deciding whether or not I should use a pen or pencil for a homework assignment (e.g. for math, I use a pencil and an eraser.)

2.    Curated Article:

Your Most Vivid Memory? Maybe It Never Happened.

This article is about the effect of extreme emotional intensity on our indelibly vivid memories. Firstly, can we not say that our memories are based on intuition? With a bunch of hype about an occurrence, it is common for rumors to spread with a mixture of the truth and false covered by rationalization, which is based on the form of a series of reasoning (and therefore can be deceptive.)

Ex.) Because Candy likes Punk music and Pierce the Veil is Punk, it is logical to say Candy attended the concert that Pierce the Veil played at. However, this is just an assumption that she attended the concert. Perhaps she did not attend the concert. This is an example in which the mixture of truth and false is covered by the act of rationalizing the situation.

Also, if a bunch of people says this and you thought it was that, you would immediately be influenced by their idea that this is what happened.

Returning back to the article, it shows how we are prone to change and easily influenced by publicity. Often we use words that are heightened with connotation, and therefore we may use the wrong words to describe something. As a result of this, the way we describe our memories change and what we remember can be way different in comparison to the actual moment of time.

The malleability of memory makes me wonder whether it is a good or bad thing. I guess it can be both good and bad depending on what the memory is. Also, if our memories are susceptible to distortion, it makes me inquire about the extent to which our memories are vulnerable to this matter.

3.    Generalizations:

Stereotypes are often generalizations that can be harmful if taken seriously, though some can also be quite offensive even if it is not taken seriously. Here are some harmful generalizations:

  • All skinny people are attractive
  • All Asians look the same
  • All females act the same

Look at what I found on Google:

Image

When typing “All French people” into Google, the search bar automatically comes up with “All French people smoke” and “All French people are rude,” which are generalizations that can be considered offensive. Though a French person may read this and laugh it off, others may feel extremely upset about this matter.

4.    ***note: be sure you understand the term “Implication”, (located in the green box on page 70) – it’s part of the TOK essay criteria.

 5.  Deductive Reasoning:

Validity vs. Truth

I learned that validity depends on the form a statement or a series of reasoning takes, and therefore validity is different from truth because truth is based content while validity is based on form.

This is valid: All P is Q implies that some P is Q. However, this statement is not valid: Because some P is Q, therefore all P is Q. “

Ex.)

P= Dog

Q= Fluffy

All dogs are fluffy is negated by some dogs aren’t fluffy.

P= Humans

Q= Tall

All humans are tall is negated by some humans aren’t tall.

6.

2 KEY ASSERTIONS of deductive reasoning

1. If the argument is valid and all premises are true, then the conclusion must be true.

2. If the conclusion of an argument is not true, then either the argument is invalid or at least one of the premises is false. 

The MAJOR DISTINCTION between “Validity” and “Truth”

The major distinction between validity and truth is that validity is made up of facts and the truth is absolute certainty. Validity relates to the process of reasoning, which therefore can have false premises or can result in a false conclusion. It is when one focuses on the overall argument. Truth, however, is also tied to self-esteem and the fact that one simply is not susceptible to others.

7.    Disruptions: Visually impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World

The article is promoting the notion that people who are hindered by their bad eyesight are able to take the advantage of voice control to communicate with others.  Smartphones are becoming a huge hit across the world as a portable device for communication, games, a camera, and etc. all in one. The argument concludes that we have the ability to improve the lifestyles of everyone in the world through time and efforts. In my opinion, the article is not exactly an argument but simply an idea that can perhaps serve as an advantage to the human race. The article validates the idea, or argument, through reasoning. For instance, the article mentions that the first version of the iPhone was created with the ability of enlarging text to be beneficial to those who have difficulty in reading small texts. This supports the main focus of the article, in which those who are born with bad eyesight can benefit by the iPhone. While the reasoning makes an argument valid, the premises can be opinion- based. However, the reasoning still makes sense in my opinion, and can be used to support the idea that technology is beneficial to the human race. Even though the article supports the idea that technology, such as the iPhone and its ability conduct voice control, is beneficial via sensible reasoning, it would not surprise me if people argue that technology is a bad thing through a whole different perspective, e.g. ~ Computers and phones are a form of technology.  Technology is what distracts teenagers from a necessary physical social life. Therefore, computers and phones are bad. ~

8.   My Syllogism:

All dogs are full of energy.

Some pets are dogs.

Some pets are full of energy.

9.    My Fallacy:

All trees are green.

Plants are green.

Plants are trees.

10. Be sure you understood what “COUNTER-ARGUMENTS” and “COUNTER-CLAIMS” are – as they are a huge part of the TOK assessments. (***If you ever get a chance, watch Red Eye http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/red-eye/index.html – it’s full of them). Remember that a strong argument is both VALID and SOUND (see page 76)

 

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