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Going Vegan

Earlier in the course, we saw Justin’s argument for becoming vegan. Here we re-present that argument, with a response, which we’ll use to see how the skills you’ve learned during …

Every Argument is Equal

It’s time to get your hands dirty and apply the logical and critical thinking skills you’ve acquired to a case-study on veganism.

Obstacles to Good Moral Reasoning

Our aim in the course has been to give you the skills to identify true beliefs, and distinguish them from false beliefs. Many of the most important beliefs we try …

Being a good ethical reasoner

Plato was Wrong (about this at least): Being a Good Ethical Reasoner. All of us reason about ethical matters all of the time. We do so when we decide whether …

The Challenge of Moral Relativism

The Challenge of Relativism One influential variety of moral scepticism begins from the observation that different cultures seem to have different ethical views. Some cultures think polygamy is immoral, others …

What are moral theories?

We said that scientific theories were not ‘mere’ theories – untested, tentative, vague generalisations. They were, instead, comprehensive, supported by large bodies of converging evidence, based on repeated observations, usually …

The Is-Ought Problem

David Hume claimed that you can’t derive an ‘ought’ conclusion from entirely factual or ‘is’ premises. Why not? Well, here’s an example: humans die if you electrocute them (Descriptive). Tim …

Descriptive, Moral, and Normative Statements

We’ve been talking about domains that call upon our critical thinking skills in distinctive ways. In the previous two weeks, we talked about science and law. This week, we turn …

Summary of Week 7

In the last three weeks we’ve been considering domains that call upon our critical thinking skills in distinctive ways. In the previous two weeks we talked about science and law. …

Authority

It is often illegitimate to simply appeal to an authority to settle an argument. It leads us to accept claims in the absence of adequate evidence. And it seems to …

Summary of Week 6

This week we’ve looked at legal reasoning, focussing on three important aspects of such reasoning which connect to broader themes in logical and critical thinking. We’ve described reasoning by analogy, …