Category Archives: Reasoning

Thoughts on statements arising in Nisbett’s ‘Mindware’

While relaxing on a superb and inspirational three-week holiday in Japan … … I began reading through a book that I’d purchased in January of this year, which I thought would provide some useful insights for my course – Mindware, by professor of psychology … Continue reading

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Incipient reasoning via categorical statements

More incipient reasoning from my eldest nephew (‘N-E’). Driving home from pre-school on Monday, he told me that ‘All ‘droids are bad guys’. A categorical statement! I had his backpack riding shotgun. The backpack shows three-dimensional faces of Yoda, a … Continue reading

Posted in Flotsam and Jetsam, Reasoning | Leave a comment

Trump Presidency: Non-Intuitive Risk Analysis

An interesting approach to analysing the possible risks of a Trump presidency. The value lies not in the risk analysis itself – I don’t agree with some of Adams’ conclusions – but in the novel, non-intuitive way of thinking about risks, and about … Continue reading

Posted in Decision-making, Epistemic Rationality, Good Thinking, Instrumental Rationality, intuition and judgment, Reasoning, Sound Reasoning | Leave a comment

Reasoning, incipient and primitive

Two occurrences this past week caused me to reflect on the evolution of reasoning. 

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The Importance of Epistemic Rationality

Epistemic Rationality is the ability to gain and hold accurate beliefs about the world around us. It is crucial for being able to make informed decisions that have as high a probability as possible of improving one’s situation. The importance … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Good Thinking, Hypotheses, Insights, intuition and judgment, Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Reasoning, Sound Reasoning | Leave a comment

‘The Europeans’ Mistaken Reasoning’: Stratfor assesses what has gone wrong in the discussions about Greek debt repayments

George Friedman at Stratfor lay the difficult financial problems Europe is grappling with at the door of faulty reasoning –misunderstanding a situation, and making a poor decision based on that misapprehension which leads to a less-than-optimal outcome:

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Correction: John Fraser, the house price bubble, motivated reasoning and the Law of Small Numbers

Previously I had said this about John Fraser’s calling out Sydney’s house price bubble: Finally, someone at the peak of Australian officialdom has the brains to recognise reality, and the guts to call it as it is. I now realise, courtesy of an article on … Continue reading

Posted in Informal fallacies in reasoning, Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Motivated Reasoning, Reasoning | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Straw Man: ‘Neo-liberalism’ cops a hiding (again)

Thousands of books now littering library shelves would never have been written, were it not for those poor victims of the unthinking – the straw men. Found another one copping a hiding in the Weekend Australian’s ‘Review’ section of May … Continue reading

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Problems in attributing causation: women’s participation and success in chess

Also in Friday’s Australian Financial Review, this time on page 5 of the ‘Review’ section, was an article by Dominic Lawson about why women were under-represented among the ranks of top chess players worldwide. English grandmaster Nigel Short has, at … Continue reading

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Bayesian Updating: what we can learn from drug law reform in Portugal

I’ve recently been preparing the part of my course devoted to knowing when to change your mind, and central to my argument is the idea of Bayesian Updating: modifying the strength of your beliefs, and thus altering any actions or … Continue reading

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