Kevo Jurkowski wrote:(clipped ...)
What I really wanted to piggyback on was the topic of logical fallacies and critical thinking. Not being able to identify fallacious arguments is a very big problem in western culture. I just wanted to leave a few resources for people that may want to study up a bit more. I also would like to introduce the concept of the TRIVIUM.( I will leave a video below) Learning about logical fallacies and the trivium is like "kung fu for the mind,or intellectual self-defense". Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media and Tragedy and Hope Communications have done a mountain of work concerning these topics. I hope they are helpful to some of you. I know they were helpful for me. I also have attached a list of logical fallacies in PDF below.
People desperately need to be versed in this stuff. To many people wind up being duped by the talking heads on the boob tube. If you find yourself thinking that the arguments on the evening news make perfect logical sense. THIS IS FOR YOU!
Keep up the great dialogue!
I, too, want to applaud the critical thinking tone and looking at an issue from multiple perspectives rather than through a combative mindset of this vs that. Second, I want to highly stress how valuable the links mentioned by Kev here are. Critical thinking is just a phrase until one learns and employs the methods and techniques that make it a reality, similar to how "skeptic" as a label can be slapped on many things as an intellectual badge of honor without substance. I perceive critical thinking be a strength of many permaculture practitioners, I think since it is by definition an "out there" idea, and it doesn't represent either "side" of some simplistic dichotomy defined by others. It is searching for a better way, based on what works in reality.
The Trivium method mentioned above also, if I may explain it briefly, is a helpful model for how our mind processes and acts on information. By using a model, the steps of thinking can be better understood. Here are the parts of that model: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Grammar is made of everything that exists: ideas, objects, animals, the world, etc. Logic is the process of understanding the connections of those things (the grammar) usually by removing any contradictions in the grammar. Rhetoric, lastly, is the formulation of logical understandings into communicable language that spread and impart the knowledge, but it involves knowing who the audience is and using the best way to communicate specifically to them.
The Trivium is also a name given to certain historical school systems where a proscribed grammar, and perhaps a proscribed logic are used as a platform to impart pre-defined knowledge and beliefs in the student. It is confusing given the names, but this in many ways is opposite to using the Trivium method, which takes reality to be the source of grammar and that logic must be used to eliminate and remove grammar that logically contradicts other firmly grounded grammar. The schooling tradition (The Trivium) has a given end-goal, while the clear thinking method has no end-goal, as that is the decision of the human doing the thinking.
When using the trivium method to evaluate debate presentations, you see a lot of failure to ever critically evaluate the facts or logic that the rhetoric is based on. Many people only use the rhetorical aspect of grammar in debates, with the apparent mindset of "I know the truth, how can I convince others I'm right?". I would imagine a trivium method based debate would focus heavily on word definitions, multiple perspectives, and logical relationships, much more than rhetoric, and would result in each side giving credence to valid facts and arguments that must be considered, whether they support one conclusion or another.
Thanks, Paul, for the intriguing discussion! And please check out Kev's links, there is actually a mountain of good information about many topics within those sites.