1. Our perceptual experiences often lead us to have incorrect beliefs about the world. Philosophers have been talking about this since Descartes (and maybe you’ve seen The Matrix). Describe a time you thought you saw someone from a momentary glance, maybe even said hello, only to realize embarrassingly late that you were wrong. Use the reading to explain what this tells us about perception. 2. Memory is often unreliable. Think back to yesterday. Can you describe the outfits that the people you live with were wearing? What point from the reading does this illustrate? 3. We often only notice evidence of the things we want to believe; this is called confirmation bias. A clear example of this phenomenon can be seen in chores around the house. If you ask each person who lives in a house what percentage of the household chores they do, the number typically exceeds 100%. This is because each person notices all of the work they do, but only part, if any at all, of the work that others do. In many cases, this confirms their own positive self-image. Now think about yourself. What percentage of household chores do you do? (Whatever your answer, you’re probably over-estimating your own contribution). How do you account for your own self-serving confirmation bias? 4. Have you ever known someone who watches a single Youtube video and then talks as if they are an expert on the topic? Describe how a little bit of knowledge can make people epistemically delusional. 5. When you’re high up on a mountain or at the top of a tall building, the people down below look small. How do you know that people aren’t actually tiny at this moment? What are the environmental cues that you use to judge size to be a matter of appearance and not reality? 6. Read the following article. Then use the discussion in 7.5 to explain how a pollster can use misleading language to get their desired results. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703384204575510272945083114 7. Do you believe that some disagreements are incommensurable — that is, there is no possible way to resolve them? Explain and give an example.
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