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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

critical thinking no.3: - the man who was made of #straw

script by mike mcrae and james hutson, recording and music by audrey studios, animated and directed by James Hutson, produced by Bridge 8found via brainpickings 

in summary

- logic is made up of premises and sometimes those premises are made of straw

- off topic, over simplified, exaggerated or subtly twisted versions of an argument which others can easily knock over whilst still appearing logical

- e.g. a discussion about whether vaccinations can reduce the no. of people who fall sick from a particular virus - in response somebody puts forward a counter argument that pharmaceutical companies make large profits from selling vaccines - so the focus of the argument is being shifted from the benefits of vaccination to profiteering

- its also easy to think that everybody agrees with your starting premises - but misunderstandings or false premises can be slipped in

- e.g. measles make you sick, the measles vaccine contains the measles virus and therefore the measles vaccine make you sick - on the simplified facts this conclusion is logical - but the premises may be not so solid - this argument needs to show that the measles vaccine has the measles virus in it in a form that makes you sick (actually the vaccine contains a broken version of the virus that reproduces slowly and doesn't make you sick) - a subtle but rather significant difference

- even over simplifying an argument down to "for and against" or "true and false" or "black and white" may be used to mislead people - remember - there can be more than one solution

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