Philosophy

Philosophy Lessons is for the interested amateur. Perhaps those who are interested in PPE, Philosophy or a related subject at university and want to know where to start. It is there to give a general background and covers formal philosophy as well as "critical thinking".

 

The traditional view of a philosopher is probably an old man, with a beard, sitting in a wing back chair, overcomplicating the apparently simple. It will not surprise you to hear that this wide of the mark. What is true however, is that many things that appear simple may not…
Epistemology is one of the central areas of Philosophy. It attempts to deal with what we can know, and how we can know it. We all feel that we have an instinctive understanding of what it means to know something. Sooner or later it will be necessary to consider the…
Utilitarianism as a theory has had many incarnations. Act vs Rule Utilitarianism are just two examples of this but all flavours of utilitarianism have at their heart the concept of “the greatest good for the greatest number”. This is, of course, a simplification but it is the working definition of…

Even if it they are unstated, all arguments have assumptions (premises) that they start with and work their way through logical steps to a conclusion.

To be valid an argument just needs to be logically consistent e.g. people who wear glasses are geeks, John wears glasses, therefore John is a geek. This is a perfectly valid argument but it is also a false argument because the premise (that people who wear glasses are geeks) is not correct. It is always important to examine the premise of an argument before accepting it but even if the premise is correct, the argument could still fall flat.

 Some people, perhaps many people find numbers terrifying. For others they are just ‘not good at maths’. The bad news is that there are lots of people out there who will use that, deliberately or accidently, to blind you with figures and convince you what they are saying must be right. The good news is that with a bit of thinking and a little help from us, even those of you who consider themselves number phobic will be able to spot the common disguises the unscrupulous use and ask the right questions.

There are lots of tools in the pseudo-scientist’s arsenal but here are 3:

Sometime in early November each year, the UK ‘celebrates’ equal pay day. Promoted by the Fawcett Society, this is the day each year from which women are effectively working for free, or to put it another way: on average, men earn so much more than women that they could stop working for the rest of the year and still earn the same as their female counterparts.

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