Why Should We Trust Reason?

Why Should We Trust Reason?
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How Do We Reason Carefully?
Avoiding fallacious reasoning is just the beginning of philosophical thinking. Go deeper by studying the rules of deduction and induction. In the process, learn Aristotle's three axioms of logic, the difference between truth and validity, common mistakes in logical arguments, and why practically all scientific arguments are inductive.
When Can We Trust Testimony?
In this section, put what you've learned to work by asking the big question: Can religious belief be justified? Start with Hume's argument that testimony can never justify a belief that a miracle has occurred. Analyze the flaws in Hume's reasoning, and think about whether his conclusion still holds.
Does Reason Define the Good?
Kant suggested that reason determines what is moral or immoral. Analyze his famous categorical imperative, which is a set of obligatory moral rules guided by reason. See how Kant's rules go far beyond the Golden Rule. Then uncover the shortcomings of the categorical imperative.
Is Reason The Source Of Knowledge?
Part of the Series: Examined Life Series
Is Reason the Source of Knowledge? presents the rationalism of Descartes and Leibnitz, the roots of rationalism in Plato and geometry, and the continuing debate over whether the mind alone can generate knowledge.
Should Government Exist?
This section of the course considers the big question: How should society be organized? Here, perform a thought experiment that casts into doubt the moral justification of government. Then probe more deeply into this view, called philosophical anarchism, which has a spectrum of positions from benign to violent.
How Big Should Government Be?
Explore three theories on the proper size of government, focusing on economic regulation and delivery of services. Adam Smith saw a minimal role, Karl Marx envisioned total control, and John Maynard Keynes believed that major government intervention was necessary under certain conditions.
Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
Begin a series of lectures addressing the next big question: Does God exist? The most popular proofs appeal to God's existence as the best explanation for the universe's existence and nature. In this lecture, test the cosmological and teleological arguments, using the tools of philosophy and the evidence of physics.
Why Would God Cause Natural Evil?
It is one thing for God to grant humans the freedom to do evil, but it's harder to understand the existence of natural evils such as earthquakes and plagues. Evaluate different approaches to this problem, including the suggestion that God exists but didn't create our universe.
Why Bother Being Good?
Wickedness has its rewards, which raises the question: Why bother being good? Explore this issue with Plato, whose dialogue The Republic is a detailed description of a highly regulated, virtuous society. Plato contends that the individual achieves virtue in an analogous way.
How Do We Encounter The World?
Part of the Series: Examined Life Series
How Do We Encounter the World? examines the views of Husserl, Heidegger, and others in which reality is a phenomenon of consciousness.
Can We Know God Through Experience?
Part of the Series: Examined Life Series
Can We Know God Through Experience? considers whether certain mystical experiences are indications of the existence of a Divine Being. What kind of evidence is necessary for religious belief?
Are We Social Beings?
Part of the Series: Examined Life Series
Are We Social Beings? looks at the relationship between personality and sociocultural context, and contrasts atomistic and situational views of the self, represented by Descartes and Hegel and using the endangered culture of the Laplanders in Sweden. Contemporary philosophers include Charles Taylor.