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Los Angeles Valley College Thinking About Argumentation Discussion

Journal 1: Thinking about argumentation

ted talk video on youtube is called “From post-truth to pro-truth | Alex Edmans | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

  1. Include a brief summary of the texts that we engaged with for the week (Dasbender’s article and Edmans’ Ted Talk). Keep the summaries brief; I want the bulk of your response to be reflective. Try to summarize each text in a sentence or two, focusing on the main idea(s). 
  2. Explain what you think about these texts. How can these texts can help you as a “critical thinker” not just in the classroom, but in the world? Reflect. Use actual quotes from both texts in your answer. 
  3. Consider the following quote by Carl Sagan, American astronomer, educator and author: 
  • “It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension. But if you are able to exercise only one of these modes, whichever one it is, you’re in deep trouble. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) But every now and then, maybe once in a hundred cases, a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful. If you are too much in the habit of being skeptical about everything, you are going to miss or resent it, and either way you will be standing in the way of understanding and progress. On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful as from the worthless ones.”

What is Sagan saying? How does it relate to the Dasbender or Edmans?



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