Critical Thinking Critical Thinking Chapter 4  Credibility Credibility 

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Critical Thinking Critical Thinking Chapter 4  Credibility Credibility  Powered By Docstoc
					Critical Thinking: Chapter 4
   Credibility
Credibility
   Are you gullible?
Credibility
   Are you gullible?
   Do you get taken advantaged of?
Credibility
   Are you gullible?
   Do you get taken advantaged of?
   Do people think you are naïve?
Credibility
   Are you gullible?
   Do you get taken advantaged of?
   Do people think you are naïve?
   Are you trusting? Is there anything
    wrong with being trusting?
Credibility
   Are you gullible?
   Do you get taken advantaged of?
   Do people think you are naïve?
   Are you trusting? Is there anything
    wrong with being trusting?
   Are you a skeptic?
Credibility
   Are you gullible?
   Do you get taken advantaged of?
   Do people think you are naïve?
   Are you trusting? Is there anything
    wrong with being trusting?
   Are you a skeptic?
   These are the type of questions we are
    going to look at in this chapter.
Credibility
   Is a claim credible or not?

   Basically credibility comes in degrees.
Credibility
   It is very difficult to judge the credibility
    of a person just by looking at them.
Credibility
   1st general principle: “It is reasonable to
    be suspicious if a claim either lacks
    credibility inherently or comes from a
    source that lacks credibility.”
   So there are two issues here: When
    does a claim lack credibility and when
    does a source lack credibility?
Credibility
   2nd general principle: “A claim lacks
    inherent credibility to the extent it
    conflicts with what we have observed or
    what we think we know (our background
    information), or with other credible
    claims.
Assessing the Contents of the
Claim
   Does the claim conflict with our
    personal observations?
Four Issues with observations:
   The problem is that we are aware that
    observation is a trick business. There
    are four issues with observations:
   1. Observations depend on the
    conditions under which they are made.
Four Issues with observations:
   1. Observations depend on the
    conditions under which they are made.
   For Example: Perhaps the lighting is
    poor or the room is noisy; perhaps we
    are distracted, emotionally upset, or
    mentally fatigued.
Four Issues with observations:
   2. The power of observation can differ
    with people’s expertise and experience.
   For Example: Some people have
    special training or experience that
    makes them better observers.
Four Issues with observations:
   3. Expectations often influence
    observation.
   For Example: We overlook many of the
    mean and selfish actions of the people
    we love. By contrast, people we detest
    can hardly do anything that we don’t
    perceive as mean and selfish.
Four Issues with observations:
   4. An observation made in the past
    suffers from the same dangers of
    unreliability as memory in general.
   Critical thinkers are always alert to the
    possibility that what they remember
    having observed may not be what they
    did observe!
Does the claim conflict with
our background information?
   Background information includes all the
    general and specific facts we have
    learned through our lives. Three points
    to remember:
Does the claim conflict with
our background information?
   Background information includes all the
    general and specific facts we have
    learned through our lives. Three points
    to remember:
   1. Together with direct observation,
    background information forms the
    ground against which to pose any new
    claim.
Does the claim conflict with
our background information?
   Background information is that immense
    body of justified beliefs that consists of
    facts we learn from our own direct
    observation and facts we learn from
    others.
Background information:
   Much of our background information is
    well confirmed by a variety of sources.
    Factual claims that conflict with this
    store of information are usually quite
    properly dismissed.
Background information:
   For Example: We immediately reject the
    claim “Palm trees grow in abundance
    near the North Pole,” even though we
    are not in a position to confirm or
    disprove the statement by direct
    observation.
Does the claim conflict with
our background information?
   Three points to remember:
   1. Together with direct observation,
    background information forms the
    ground against which to pose any new
    claim.
Does the claim conflict with
our background information?
   Three points to remember:
   2. When two claims conflict, the burden
    of proof lies on the one with less initial
    plausibility. We have reason to be more
    skeptical.
   Example: A claim that two people swam
    a mile in cold water, one person is 21
    and the other person is 91.
Does the claim conflict with
our background information?
   3. It is important to remember that we don’t
    have all the background information we need
    and some of our information may be false.
   The single most effective means of increasing
    your ability as a critical thinker, regardless of
    the subject, is to increase what you know.
Assessing the credibility of
sources
   The guiding principle in evaluating
    claims requires that they come from
    credible sources. The credibility of
    people is usually a matter of their
    knowledge on one hand, and their
    truthfulness, accuracy, and objectivity
    on the other. Seven points:
Sharpening and Leveling
   The reports people give one another are
    very frequently subject to innocent
    sharpening and leveling--exaggerating
    what the speaker thinks is the main
    point and dropping out or de-
    emphasizing details that seem
    unimportant. The result can be a
    distortion of the story.
Assessing the credibility of
sources: 3 points
   1. Be wary of eyewitness accounts.
    Untrained observers are more likely to
    exaggerate their observations.
   Example: Several people seeing the
    same event will often describe it
    differently!
Assessing the credibility of
sources: 3 points
   2. How we feel about an experience
    colors our ability to discern objectively.
   Example: if we really like a band, it may
    be difficult to give an objective review of
    their latest album.
Assessing the credibility of
sources: 3 points
   3. Look for expert knowledge.
   Example: Look for education, training,
    experience, accomplishments,
    reputation, and titles.
   Cautions about experts: Just because
    someone is an expert in one thing does
    not make them an expert in all things!
The news media and the
internet
   Our abundance of sources of
    information is a good thing, but it can be
    complicated when trying to figure out
    what we can trust and believe. Five
    points:
The news media and the
internet: 5 points
   1. Most talk shows have a specific
    political agenda.
   Look for documentation of sources.
The news media and the
internet: 5 points
   2. The traditional news media has to be
    watched for both length and depth of
    coverage.
   The accessibility of reliable reports also
    restricts coverage because
    governments, corporations, and
    individuals often withhold information.
The news media and the
internet: 5 points
   3. Reporters are, for the most part,
    given the news.
   Be careful over having too romantic a
    view of “the investigative reporter.” Time
    and money often limit the ability of a
    reporter to investigate.
The news media and the
internet: 5 points
   4. The media is a business.
   Follow the money! Good and bad sides
    to this. Good side: independent of
    government. Bad side: the need to
    make a profit.
The news media and the
internet: 5 points
 5. The internet has to be treated like the
 media: Anyone can put up a web page
 saying anything, so check for credibility.
 Sites that represent institutions and
 universities tend to be more objective
 and reliable than a site with no backing
 organization, but it is always a good
 idea to use your critical thinking skills!
Advertising
 “Advertising is the science of arresting
  human intelligence long enough to get
  money from it.”
Stephen Leacock
Advertising
   Advertising does not only sell consumer
    goods. Advertising is used to sell
    candidates, ideas, and as we have seen
    recently, wars.
Advertising
   How does advertising work?
   It acts by creating desires, and it uses
    every persuasive technique available to
    excite those desires.
Advertising
   The usual reasons found in an
    advertisement are vague, ambiguous,
    misleading, or exaggerated. In doing
    this we often find ourselves needing
    something we might not have known
    existed before!
Advertising
   So what is a good advertisement?

   Basically a good ad simply lets you
    know that something you already want
    is available somewhere at a price you
    can afford.
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true,
    probably false, as requiring further documentation before
    judgment, or as a claim that cannot properly be evaluated.
    Consider both the nature of the claim and the source.

           “In the early 1800s, bears were a nuisance to settlers
            in upstate New York.”
                 —Smithsonian
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true,
    probably false, as requiring further documentation before
    judgment, or as a claim that cannot properly be evaluated.
    Consider both the nature of the claim and the source.

           “In the early 1800s, bears were a nuisance to settlers
            in upstate New York.”
                 —Smithsonian

           Probably true
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true,
    probably false, as requiring further documentation before
    judgment, or as a claim that cannot properly be evaluated.
    Consider both the nature of the claim and the source.
         NO CHOLESTEROL!

               —Label on Crisco Corn Oil
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true,
    probably false, as requiring further documentation before
    judgment, or as a claim that cannot properly be evaluated.
    Consider both the nature of the claim and the source.
         NO CHOLESTEROL!

               —Label on Crisco Corn Oil
               Probably true. Vegetable oils do not contain
          cholesterol, and even if you didn’t know that, such
          claims made by national brands are usually true
          (despite several famous exceptions).
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true,
    probably false, as requiring further documentation before
    judgment, or as a claim that cannot properly be evaluated.
    Consider both the nature of the claim and the source.
         “Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade‟s two little

          girls always tried to keep her from singing in church
          because, they said, every time she did, everyone
          would turn around and stare at her.”
                —Joseph McLellan, in the Washington Post
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true,
    probably false, as requiring further documentation before
    judgment, or as a claim that cannot properly be evaluated.
    Consider both the nature of the claim and the source.
         “Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade‟s two little

          girls always tried to keep her from singing in church
          because, they said, every time she did, everyone
          would turn around and stare at her.”
                —Joseph McLellan, in the Washington Post
                Probably true
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true,
    probably false, as requiring further documentation before
    judgment, or as a claim that cannot properly be evaluated.
    Consider both the nature of the claim and the source.
         “In the near future look for floods in Britain which

          will culminate in the flooding of Parliament.”
               —A prediction made by Maitreya Swami,
          “The World Teacher,” in the News Release of the
          Tara Center, N. Hollywood, Calif.
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true, probably false, as
    requiring further documentation before judgment, or as a claim that
    cannot properly be evaluated. Consider both the nature of the claim
    and the source.
            “In the near future look for floods in Britain which will
             culminate in the flooding of Parliament.”
                  —A prediction made by Maitreya Swami, “The World
             Teacher,” in the News Release of the Tara Center, N.
             Hollywood, Calif.
                    Probably false. I won’t get into the philosophical
             difficulties involved in attaching truth values to future
             contingent events.
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true,
    probably false, as requiring further documentation before
    judgment, or as a claim that cannot properly be evaluated.
    Consider both the nature of the claim and the source.
         “Smoking more than triples the likelihood of

          premature facial wrinkling.”
               —Dr. Donald Kadunce, lead author of a group
          of University of Utah scientists, reporting in Annals
          of Internal Medicine
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true, probably false, as
    requiring further documentation before judgment, or as a claim that
    cannot properly be evaluated. Consider both the nature of the claim
    and the source.
            “Smoking more than triples the likelihood of premature facial
             wrinkling.”
                  —Dr. Donald Kadunce, lead author of a group of
             University of Utah scientists, reporting in Annals of Internal
             Medicine
                    Probably true, but you’d probably want to have a look
             at the study to see, among other things, how the degree of
             wrinkling is ascertained.
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true, probably false, as
    requiring further documentation before judgment, or as a claim that
    cannot properly be evaluated. Consider both the nature of the claim
    and the source.
            University student to professor: “I‟m sorry I missed
             the test on Thursday, Dr. Aarsack. My grandmother
             unexpectedly died, and I had to go home.”
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true, probably false, as
    requiring further documentation before judgment, or as a claim that
    cannot properly be evaluated. Consider both the nature of the claim
    and the source.
            University student to professor: “I‟m sorry I missed
             the test on Thursday, Dr. Aarsack. My grandmother
             unexpectedly died, and I had to go home.”
                  Requires further documentation.
Exercises
   Assess each of the following claims as probably true, probably false, as
    requiring further documentation before judgment, or as a claim that
    cannot properly be evaluated. Consider both the nature of the claim
    and the source.
            “A few years ago AT&T did two surveys showing
             that technically trained persons did not achieve as
             many top managerial jobs in the company as liberal
             arts graduates did.”
                   —New York Times
Exercises
      “A few years ago AT&T did two surveys showing
       that technically trained persons did not achieve as
       many top managerial jobs in the company as liberal
       arts graduates did.”
             —New York Times
             Probably true. It is often risky to accept what
       secondhand reports say about what surveys “show,”
       but the New York Times is a credible source. This
       claim is probably true. Note, however, the
       vagueness of “did not achieve” and “top
       managerial jobs.”
Exercises
      Q: Did Marilyn Monroe keep a diary about her
       relationships with John and Robert Kennedy?
      A: No.
            —Walter Scott‟s Personality Parade, Parade
Exercises
      Q: Did Marilyn Monroe keep a diary about her
       relationships with John and Robert Kennedy?
      A: No.
            —Walter Scott‟s Personality Parade, Parade
            Requires further documentation. Scott’s
       question-and-answer column is probably a
       reasonably reliable source of information about the
       questions asked. Secret diaries are always a
       possibility, of course.
Exercises
      Comment from an acquaintance: “I saw Bigfoot
       with my own eyes! It was huge!”
Exercises
      Comment from an acquaintance: “I saw Bigfoot
       with my own eyes! It was huge!”
            Probably false; observational error is more
       likely than incorrect background information.
Exercises
             “Every day 5,000 Americans try cocaine for
       the first time—a total of 22 million so far—
       according to estimates by the National Institute on
       Drug Abuse. About five million people are believed
       to be using the drug at least once a month, and they
       are administering it to themselves in increasingly
       destructive ways.”
             —James Lieber, in the Atlantic
Exercises
             “Every day 5,000 Americans try cocaine for the first
       time—a total of 22 million so far—according to estimates by
       the National Institute on Drug Abuse. About five million
       people are believed to be using the drug at least once a month,
       and they are administering it to themselves in increasingly
       destructive ways.”
             —James Lieber, in the Atlantic
             Requires further documentation. I don’t know much
       about the National Institute on Drug Abuse, but I have found
       the Atlantic to be pretty reliable in factual matters. Notice that
       no exact figures are claimed; the first is explicitly said to be an
       estimate, and the phrases “about” and “believed to be”
       qualify the second. I would expect these claims to be close to
       the truth.
Exercises
      Reported after a debate between Al Gore and Bill
       Bradley, who were running for the Democratic
       nomination for the presidency in 2000: “Lt. Gov. [of
       California] Cruz Bustamante, a Gore supporter,
       declared his candidate the „winner‟ in the debate,
       saying he‟d made his case more strongly.”
Exercises
      Reported after a debate between Al Gore and Bill
       Bradley, who were running for the Democratic
       nomination for the presidency in 2000: “Lt. Gov. [of
       California] Cruz Bustamante, a Gore supporter,
       declared his candidate the „winner‟ in the debate,
       saying he‟d made his case more strongly.”
            Cannot properly be evaluated. Absolutely
       unreliable for reasons of bias. We’d reserve
       judgment.
Exercises
      “Do you feel insecure? Or are you confident about
       your position in life? According to Dr. Ian Cameron,
       how and where you stand in an elevator will reveal
       the answers to these questions.”
            —Reported in the National Examiner. Dr.
       Cameron is described in the article as “a noted
       scientist and researcher.”
Exercises
      “Do you feel insecure? Or are you confident about your
       position in life? According to Dr. Ian Cameron, how and where
       you stand in an elevator will reveal the answers to these
       questions.”
             —Reported in the National Examiner. Dr. Cameron is
       described in the article as “a noted scientist and researcher.”
            Cannot properly be evaluated. Is this remark the
       conclusion of a study? A speculation on the part of Dr.
       Cameron? Who is Dr. Cameron, anyway? I am suspicious
       because so little information is given about him. More
       important, the claim runs counter to my background
       information.
Exercises
      “[Atmospheric nuclear] tests do not seriously
       endanger either present or future generations.”
            —Edward Teller, physicist, one of the
       “fathers” of the atomic bomb, 1958
Exercises
      “[Atmospheric nuclear] tests do not seriously
       endanger either present or future generations.”
            —Edward Teller, physicist, one of the
       “fathers” of the atomic bomb, 1958
            Requires further documentation. I’d expect
       this kind of claim, coming from such a source, to be
       trustworthy. That it turned out to be false probably
       shows either that Teller was biased or that there
       was not enough information on the effects of
       atmospheric tests in 1958, or both.
Exercises
          For the following, discuss which source you‟d trust
           more, and give at least one reason why.
       Discuss whose opinion on the foreign
        policy of the current administration is
        more credible.
      a.   A former U.S. president of the
    same political party as the current president
      b. A former U.S. president not of the
    same political party as the current president
Exercises
          For the following, discuss which source you‟d trust
           more, and give at least one reason why.
        Discuss whose opinion on the foreign
         policy of the current administration is
         more credible.
      a.     A Ph.D. in political science whose
    speciality is U.S. foreign policy
      b. The chairman of the U.S. Senate
    Foreign Relations Committee
Exercises
   Discuss whose opinion on the condition of
    the tires on your car is more credible.
       a.    A salesperson at Goodyear
       b. A mechanic at a garage certified
    by the American Automobile Association
Exercises
          Issue: A proposal for legislation regarding
           automobile insurance rates is on the ballot.
           Discuss whose opinion on the benefits for
           consumers is more credible.
      a.    A spokesperson for the insurance
    industry
      b. Ralph Nader
Exercises
   Did life evolve, or was it created? Discuss
    whose opinion is the more credible.
      a.     A biologist
      b. A minister
Exercises
   What percentage of American high school
    students have smoked marijuana?
      a.    USA Today
      b. Americans for Legalized
    Marijuana (ALM)
Exercises
   How many homicides involve the use of a
    stolen firearm?
       a.    A Democratic U.S. senator
       b. A Republican U.S. senator
Exercises
   Which of two current movies you would be
    more apt to like?
       a.   One recommended by a movie
    critic whose opinions you enjoy listening to
       b. One recommended by a friend
Exercises
   What is the best weight-lifting regimen to
    follow?
       a.   Arnold Schwarzenegger
       b. Roseanne
Exercises
   Discuss the credibility and authority of each individual or group listed
    with regard to the questions or issues posed. Whom would you trust as
    most reliable on each subject?
            You are thinking of insulating your attic and need advice
             relative to how much insulation you should install.
       a.         A company that sells insulation but does not install it
       b.         A company that sells and installs insulation
       c.         An energy consultant from your local gas and electric
    company
       d.         Consumer Reports
       e.         A friend who has recently had his attic insulated
Exercises
       a.         A company that sells insulation but does not install it
       b.         A company that sells and installs insulation
       c.         An energy consultant from your local gas and electric
    company
       d.         Consumer Reports
       e.         A friend who has recently had his attic insulated
           I think you are most likely to get the best information from (d),
            with (c) a close second; (a) and (b) are about equal in
            credibility, and (e)’s ranking depends on where he got his
            information.
Exercises
      You‟ve purchased a wood-burning stove. You are uncertain,
       however, what kind of wood to burn in it. You‟ve heard that
       some produce more smoke, some are more likely to contribute
       to chimney fires, some burn hotter than others, and so forth.
               a.        The dealer from whom you purchased the stove
               b.        A friend of yours who has used a wood-burning
             stove for years
               c.        Another friend who sells firewood
               d.        A U.S. Department of Agriculture publication,
             “Comparative Properties of Fuelwood”
               e.        A professor of environmental horticulture at a state
             university
Exercises
      You‟ve purchased a wood-burning stove. You are uncertain,
       however, what kind of wood to burn in it. You‟ve heard that
       some produce more smoke, some are more likely to contribute
       to chimney fires, some burn hotter than others, and so forth.
               a.        The dealer from whom you purchased the stove
               b.        A friend of yours who has used a wood-burning
             stove for years
               c.        Another friend who sells firewood
               d.        A U.S. Department of Agriculture publication,
             “Comparative Properties of Fuelwood”
               e.        A professor of environmental horticulture at a state
             university
      All these sources are credible, but (d) should rank first, and,
       most likely, (a) should rank last.
Exercises
          A number of your friends have taken up jogging, and you
           wonder whether your taking it up might have genuine health
           benefits for you.
       a.    Your family physician
       b.    A magazine for runners
       c.    A friend who teaches physical
    education in high school
       d.    The author of a best-selling book on
    sports medicine
       e.    A friend who is president of a local
    runners club
Exercises
   a.         Your family physician
   b.         A magazine for runners
   c.         A friend who teaches physical education in high school
   d.         The author of a best-selling book on sports medicine
   e.         A friend who is president of a local runners club
        (b), (c), and (e) might tend to be promoters of jogging, so I’d
         be mildly skeptical of any pro-jogging claims they might make
         (but less skeptical of any liabilities of jogging that they might
         mention). I’d find (a) a more credible source, although many
         general practitioners may not have the time to keep up on such
         specialized areas. The best potential source is probably (d),
         although I’d be cautious unless I knew something about the
         author; he or she might also tend to exaggerate either the
         benefits—or the risks—of jogging.
Exercises
          You are looking at a sailboat that you‟re considering buying,
           but you‟ve never owned one before and don‟t know whether
           you should buy this one.
       a.    The boat salesman at the marina that
    owns the boat
       b.    A boat salesman from another marina
       c.    A friend who has owned several similar
    boats
       d.    A buyer‟s guide published by a sailing
    magazine
       e.    Your own appraisal
Exercises
    For the following, discuss which source you‟d trust more, and give at
    least one reason why. You may want to add to or otherwise modify our
    lists of sources. And do keep in mind that we are glad our livelihoods
    do not depend on a general consensus on our rankings.
   Issue: Should lawyers allow their clients to lie?
        a.       The U.S. Supreme Court
        b.       A law school professor
        c.       A political science professor
        d.       The American Bar Association
        e.       A practicing defense attorney
Exercises
      This question is not so straightforward and simple as it might
       seem. For instance, has a client who is forced to tell the truth
       in effect been denied an effective defense? Can one even know
       that one’s client has lied? In forming my opinion on the
       subject, I’d be most influenced by the reasoning of the person
       who seemed to have the best grasp of the various subsidiary
       issues involved. In other words, in this case it’s the reasoning
       rather than the credentials of the reasoner that will carry the
       most weight. (I would not anticipate that any of the sources
       listed would be deficient in powers of reasoning.)
Exercises
          Issue: In the O. J. Simpson murder case, did the
           judge rule correctly in admitting evidence that was
           obtained at Simpson‟s house before a search warrant
           was issued?
                  a.     A well-known defense attorney who
                 heads the American Trial Lawyers
                 Association
      b.          The former district attorney for Los Angeles
    County
      c.         A retired judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals
Exercises
              a.A well-known defense attorney who heads the
              American Trial Lawyers       Association
      b.       The former district attorney for Los Angeles
    County
      c.      A retired judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals
        I put (c) way out in front, and the other two equally

          biased on opposite sides of the issue.
Exercises
      Issue: Does violence on television contribute to
       violent behavior on the part of young viewers?
             a.       The president of the National Association of
            Broadcasters
             b.       The president of an organization called
            “Parents Against TV Violence”
             c.       A university sociologist
             d.       Regular panel members of a program such as
            “Crossfire” or “The McLaughlin Group”
Exercises
              a.        The president of the National Association of
             Broadcasters
              b.        The president of an organization called “Parents
             Against TV Violence”
              c.        A university sociologist
              d.        Regular panel members of a program such as
             “Crossfire” or “The McLaughlin Group”
      I rank (c) first, followed by (b), who would be ahead of (a). I
       do know what side (b) is on from the outset, of course, but
       that’s somewhat different from having a vested interest in one
       side of the issue in the way that (a) does. I find most of the
       people like those mentioned in (d) to be full of hot air on most
       subjects.
Exercises
   Issue: Do mountain bicycles cause ecological
    damage when ridden on hiking trails?
                 a.      An environmental scientist at the Harvard
           School of Public Health
                 b.      The chair of the Sierra Club task force for
           determining club policy on the wilderness use of mountain
           bicycles
                 c.      A spokesperson for a bicycle manufacturer
                 d.      A park ranger from a state park where
           mountain bicycles have been permitted on hiking trails
                 e.      A representative of the Washington Mountain
           Bike Riders‟ Association
Exercises
                  a.      An environmental scientist at the Harvard
            School of Public Health
                  b.      The chair of the Sierra Club task force for
            determining club policy on the wilderness use of mountain
            bicycles
                  c.      A spokesperson for a bicycle manufacturer
                  d.      A park ranger from a state park where
            mountain bicycles have been permitted on hiking trails
                  e.      A representative of the Washington Mountain
            Bike Riders‟ Association
                 My ranking: (d) = (b) first, then (e) =
    (c) = (a)
Exercises
   Issue: Are schools of business turning out too
    many ill-prepared M.B.A. graduates?
       a.    The dean of the school of business at
    the University of Chicago
       b.    The president of the Hewlett-Packard
    Corporation
       c.    An editorial in the Wall Street Journal
       d.    A recent graduate with an M.B.A.
Exercises
   Issue: Are schools of business turning out too
    many ill-prepared M.B.A. graduates?
       a.    The dean of the school of business at
    the University of Chicago
       b.    The president of the Hewlett-Packard
    Corporation
       c.    An editorial in the Wall Street Journal
       d.    A recent graduate with an M.B.A.
             My ranking: (c), (b), (a), (d)
Exercises
           Issue: What levels of mercury and other metals in fish are high
            enough to make their consumption hazardous to humans?
       a.      An article in a journal called Diet and
    Health, published for vegetarians
       b.      A commercial fisherman
       c.      A family medical doctor
       d.      A spokeswoman for the National
    Institutes of Health
       e.      A toxicologist who works for the Los
    Angeles coroner‟s office
Exercises
        a.      An article in a journal called Diet and Health,
    published for vegetarians
        b.      A commercial fisherman
        c.      A family medical doctor
        d.      A spokeswoman for the National Institutes of
    Health
        e.      A toxicologist who works for the Los Angeles
    coroner‟s office
                My ranking: (d), then a substantial gap, then
    (e) and (c), another gap, then (a), (b)
Exercises
           Issue: Were there unjustifiable cost overruns in the
            construction of ships made for the U.S. Navy by
            Lytton Industries?
        a.       The chair of the Senate Armed Services
    Committee
        b.       The accounting director for Lytton
        c.       The Navy Chief of Staff
        d.       The OMB (Office of Management and
    Budget)
        e.       An article in The Progressive (a left-of-center
    political journal)
Exercises
    a.   The chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee
        b.      The accounting director for Lytton
        c.      The Navy Chief of Staff
        d.      The OMB (Office of Management and
    Budget)
        e.      An article in The Progressive (a left-of-center
    political journal)
                Our ranking: (d), (a), depending on the
    individual’s politics, then (c) = (e), (b)
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          You should assume that the claims made by others
           are false unless you have some specific reason to
           believe otherwise.
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          You should assume that the claims made by others
           are false unless you have some specific reason to
           believe otherwise.
                False
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          If you have reason to believe that an expert is
           biased, you should reject that expert‟s claim as false.
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          If you have reason to believe that an expert is
           biased, you should reject that expert‟s claim as false.
                False (The possibility of bias is occasion to
           question his or her claims, to suspend judgment on
           them, to give more weight to alternative claims from
           unbiased experts, and so on—this is different from
           rejecting the original expert’s claims as false.)
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          Except when we have the means to record our
           observations immediately, they are no better than
           our memories happen to be.
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          Except when we have the means to record our
           observations immediately, they are no better than
           our memories happen to be.
               True
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          Fallible or not, our firsthand observations are still
           the best source of information we have.
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          Fallible or not, our firsthand observations are still
           the best source of information we have.
                True
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          Reference works such as dictionaries are utterly
           reliable sources of information—otherwise they
           wouldn‟t be reference works.
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          Reference works such as dictionaries are utterly
           reliable sources of information—otherwise they
           wouldn‟t be reference works.
                False
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.

          A surprising claim, one that seems to conflict with
           our background knowledge, requires a more credible
           source than one that is not surprising in this way.
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.

          A surprising claim, one that seems to conflict with
           our background knowledge, requires a more credible
           source than one that is not surprising in this way.
               True
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.

          Factual claims put forth by experts about subjects
           outside their fields are not automatically more
           acceptable than claims put forth by nonexperts.
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.

          Factual claims put forth by experts about subjects
           outside their fields are not automatically more
           acceptable than claims put forth by nonexperts.
                True
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          You are rationally justified in accepting the view of
           the majority of experts in a given subject even if this
           view turns out later to have been incorrect.
Exercises
       State whether the following are true or
    false.
          You are rationally justified in accepting the view of
           the majority of experts in a given subject even if this
           view turns out later to have been incorrect.
               True

				
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