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Segunda-feira, 09 / 03 / 20

What Is the Mind-Body Problem in the Philosophy of Mind?

What Is the Mind-Body Problem in the Philosophy of Mind?

Alexander Nyland

https://www.learning-mind.com/

March 7th, 2020.


 

 
The mind-body problem is one of the most famous issues within philosophical discussion. It has been a point of argument and deep interest for philosophers throughout history. The mind-body problem was addressed by Buddhism and the ancient Greeks, all the way through to Rene Descartes and beyond.
 
But why is this a matter of interest and why is it important? Here we will look at the answers to these questions, how it can make us think deeper about our existence, but also how this issue concerns us on a more personal level. However, firstly we must understand what the mind-body problem is.
 
What is the mind-body problem?
 
The fundamental premise of this problem is the idea of whether the mind and body are two separate entities, or whether they are the same and interconnected in some way. Should we treat them as the same thing or is one in charge of the other? More generally, it is the discussion between the relationship of the mind and the body, or the affiliation between mental attributes and physical attributes.
 
This, in turn, leads to many other questions that build on this issue. These questions are an integral part of philosophical discussion and concerns about our existence.
 
For example, what is the self and how is it related to the mind and the body? Are our bodies just housing our minds? What does it mean for a body to belong to a certain subject? Do mental states affect physical states and vice versa? Is our being composed of mental facets and physical facets, or are we just consciousness and nothing else?
 
As you can see, the mind-body problem isn’t a simple matter. No wonder philosophers have grappled with it throughout history. Many strands of thought and theories have tried to make sense of the relationship between the mind and the body. They each give their take on it.
 
Hence, there are many different ideas about what makes up our existence as a whole. Two approaches are the most common among those: Dualism and Monism.
 
Dualism and Monism
 
The main difference between these two theoretical approaches to the mind-body problem is that dualism holds a clear distinction between the two – between mental and the physical, between the immaterial and the material. At the same time, monism holds the idea that there is only one single reality to which everything can be explained – the two are indistinguishable, they are one entity.
 
But what does this mean? It will help to look at each idea in more detail:
 
Dualism
 
We can understand dualism when recognising humans being made up of two different parts: one nonphysical (the mind) and one physical (the body/brain). These two things exist separately. They are not one whole subject.
 
 
The theory posits that both the mental and physical realms exist. However, they cannot be integrated. They are two separate cogs in a machine. They can work together but nevertheless are two distinguishable, individual entities. Rene Descartes is among the most well-known to believe in such a position through what is called Cartesian dualism (but that’s for another time).
 
This is easy enough to understand. We can often recognise that our minds can act differently to our bodies.
 
This could be in an obvious sense where our bodies may be frail in old age, but our minds are still as sharp as they were many years ago. Our bodies may become ill, by no fault of our own, but our minds may be still healthy (and vice versa). Our body has its system that works on its own; it is involuntary, whereas our mind can initiate voluntary actions.
 
You get the idea. This hopefully demonstrates what the essence of dualism is. It is perhaps more concrete and black and white than its counterpart though, and it’s easy to see why.
 
Monism
 
Monism takes the opposite perspective. It tries to refute the existence and distinction of these two separate entities and treats them as one phenomenon. It is a concept of singleness. Mind and matter are not two different states; they are both part of one overriding form.
 
We can see this through two types of monism: materialism and idealism. Materialism expresses the belief that nothing exists except the physical world. This means nothing exists apart from physical matter (in this case the brain and the body). This also considers consciousness as simply something that the brain does (an action or a function).
 
Idealism says that nothing exists apart from the nonphysical world. Physical objects are derivable and are just a product of our mental capacities. Perhaps the most famous advocate of this is the philosopher George Berkley (or Bishop Berkley). He argued that everything we perceive in the physical world, including our bodies, is just a projection of our mind.
 
 
The distinction is clear enough. Either our minds and bodies are two separate things that act independently from one another, or they co-exist together in some capacity in one single entity(e.g. consciousness, if taking the monist stance). This demonstrates how varied philosophical thought is when arguing about the mind-body problem.
 
However, for those of us who aren’t philosophers, it perhaps isn’t the point to advocate a particular position or choose a certain side when considering this issue. Rather we should use it as a means to help us engage with philosophy and help us think about our existence on a deeper level.
 
Why is the mind-body problem important?
 
You might wonder what the importance of such an ambiguous concept might be, or what use it is to us to even ponder on a matter like this. It can do two things for us: help us generate discussion about our existence on a general level and can also affect how we judge ourselves on a personal level.
 
The mind-body problem can engage us with the most deeply held concerns within philosophy about what the nature of our existence is. Are we physical beings inhabiting a physical world? Or, do we exist on a mental level where our minds are the only true entities and everything else is just a projection of our consciousness?
 
This all may seem broad and convoluted. But at its root, it is a major pathway to trying to understand the reality and our place in it. Encouraging this endeavour can only be a positive thing for society and us.
 
Viewing this issue on a personal level can also put a different spin on the subject.
 
One of the major enigmas we face in life is the struggle to understand or handle the conflict between our minds and our bodies. Perhaps how people view us on the outside, by our appearance and our projected character, is starkly different from how we may feel inside our mind.
 
The way we look or how others perceive us may sadly and unwantedly become engrained in our identity. However, we are still unsettled in our psyche when we know this not to be true.
 
Should we view our minds and bodies as part of the same parcel? Or is it healthier to have the awareness that what is depicted in someone’s exterior may be false, with the true nature of our being lying in our minds and our thoughts?
 
These ideas are less of a theoretical approach to the issue and more of an emotional angle that concerns our well-being. Nevertheless, it just demonstrates further the different ways we can consider the mind-body problem. In whatever way or capacity we choose to do so, it can only be for the betterment and benefit of ourselves.
 
 

References:
  1. https://plato.stanford.edu
  2. https://www.iep.utm.edu
 

 

Alexander

 

 

 
COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.




About the Author: Alexander Nyland

 
Alexander Nyland is an avid writer, blogger and traveller with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy, graduating in 2018 from the University of Sheffield. His particular focus and interests in his studies included Film and Ancient Greek philosophy. Alex has always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy and believes they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. He has his own blog, thefilmpheed.com, which discusses these subjects and their role in our lives and society in-depth.
 
 
 


Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 



No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


More @ http://violetflame.biz.ly and 
https://rayviolet.blogspot.com/




 

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publicado por achama às 01:45
Terça-feira, 31 / 12 / 19

Vincent Van Gogh Biography: The Sad Story of His Life and His Amazing Art

Alexander Nyland

https://www.learning-mind.com/

December 30th, 2019.


 
This article will be a brief Vincent Van Gogh biography that will tell the story of his life and his art. You will most likely have heard of Van Gogh as he is one of the most well-known, popular and influential figures in post-impressionist and modern art.
 
Nevertheless, he remained unknown and unappreciated in his lifetime but achieved massive success after his death. This biography of Vincent Van Gogh will cover these aspects as well as much more. Van Gogh’s life and story is as famous as his art, so what will we specifically examine in this biography of this great painter?
 
What We Will Explore in This Vincent Van Gogh Biography
 
Here you can read about Van Gogh’s early life, his various occupations up until deciding to become an artist, his difficult career as an artist, his health and mental and physical decline up until his death and his legacy thereafter.
 
Therefore, we will explore two key components of his life: firstly, his unsuccessful and unappreciated life and career tragically plagued with bouts of mental illness and loneliness, and secondly, the incredible rise to fame after his death and the influence and legacy he left behind.
 
It is a deeply sad, mournful, yet astonishing story of a man whose life and work has reverberated so intensely through the generations, and it’s easy to see why.
 
Early Life
 
Vincent Van Gogh was born in Zundert, The Netherlands, in 1853. He was the oldest son of a pastor, Reverend Theodorus Van Gogh, and had three sisters and two brothers. One brother, Theo, would prove to be an integral part of his career as an artist and in his life – this will be re-visited later on.
 
At age 15, he left school to work at an art dealership firm in The Hague due to his family’s financial struggles. This job allowed him to travel and took him to London and Paris, where he especially fell in love with English culture. However, after some time, he lost interest in his work and left, which lead him to find another occupation.
 
 
Self-portrait, 1887
 
He then became a teacher at a Methodists boys school in England and also as a preacher at the congregation. Van Gogh had after all come from a devoutly religious family, but it wasn’t until now that he considered having this as a career and dedicating his life to God. However, his ambition and attempts to pursue such a life proved short-lived.
 
He trained to become a minister but was denied entry to the School of Theology in Amsterdam after refusing to take the Latin exams, scuppering his chances of becoming a minister.
 
Soon after, he chose to volunteer in the poor mining community in Borinage, southern Belgium.
 
This is where he immersed himself in the culture and integrated with the people of the community. He preached and ministered to the impoverished and also drew pictures of the people who lived there. Yet, the evangelical committees disapproved of his conduct in this role despite what would seem to be noble work. As a result, he had to leave and find another occupation.
 
Then Van Gogh believed he had found his calling in life – to become a painter.
 
Career as an Artist
 
At the age of 27, in the year of 1880, he decided to become an artist. Theo, his younger brother, would provide him with financial support throughout his endeavours to become successful and respected in his field.
 
 
Portrait of Theo van Gogh, 1887
 
He moved around various locations, teaching himself the craft. He lived briefly in Drenthe and Nuenen painting the landscapes of these places, still life and depicting the lives of the people within them.
 
In 1886, he moved in with his brother in Paris. It was here where he became exposed to the full inspiration of modern and impressionist art with the work of many prominent painters of the time, for example, Claude Monet. This would prove to be very important to Van Gogh’s development as an artist and matured his style.
 
He then moved to Arles in southern France with his new-found inspiration and confidence about his choice of career. Over the next year, he produced many paintings, including the well-known series of ‘Sunflowers’. The subjects that he painted during this time; views of the town, the landscape, self-portraits, portraits, nature, and of course sunflowers, helped produce many of the famous and iconic artwork from Van Gogh that hangs in galleries and museums around the world.
 
Van Gogh would paint with great ferocity and speed in an attempt to map the mood and feelings he had on the canvas whilst he was feeling it.
 
The expressive, energetic and intense contours and colours of the paintings of this period demonstrate this. And it is not hard to recognise this when standing in front of one of these works – many of which are considered to be his masterpieces.
 
He had dreams that other artists would join him in Arles where they would live and work together. Part of this vision may have become to materialise when Paul Gaunguin, a post-impressionist painter, came to join him in October 1888. However, the relationship between the two was tense and became toxic. Van Gogh and Gaunguin argued all the time, partly because they had different and opposing ideas. One night, Gaunguin eventually walked out.
 
Enraged, and slipping into a psychotic episode, Van Gogh took hold of a razor and cut off his ear. This was one of the first explicit signs of his deteriorating mental health, something that would only become worse.
 
 
Self-portrait with bandaged ear, 1889
 
Mental Health and Decline
 
He spent much of the remainder of his life hospitalised. After bouts of depression and hospitalisation, he was finally admitted to Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in 1889. He would uncontrollably alternate between crushing depression and times of intense artistic activity. When he felt well enough, he would go outside and paint the surroundings. Thus, he reflected the eclectic and powerful mix of colours that he could see.
 
In 1890, Van Gogh moved to Auvers, north of Paris, to rent a room and become a patient of Dr. Paul Gachet. Van Gogh had been hopelessly unlucky in his love life. He experienced next to no success as an artist. Finally, he was incredibly lonely up until this point. Tragically, he was unable to overcome his crippling depression.
 
One morning, Van Gogh went out to paint carrying a pistol with him. He shot himself in the chest, was taken to hospital and died two days later in his brother’s arms.
 
Legacy of Vincent Van Gogh and What We Can Learn from His Biography
 
Theo was suffering from ill health and was also further weakened by his brother’s death. He also died six months later.
 
This biography shows the painful and grievous life that Vincent Van Gogh had to endure. This is made all the more tragic when considering that he was unknown during his lifetime. But his legacy now remains and we know him as one of the greatest artists of all time. So how did this legacy come about?
Theo’s wife, Johanna, was an admirer and an ardent supporter of his work.
 
She collected as many of his paintings as she could. Johanna arranged for 71 of Van Gogh’s paintings to be displayed at a show in Paris on March 17, 1901. As a result, his fame grew enormously and was finally hailed as an artistic genius. His legacy was now ensured.
 
Johanna also published the letters that were sent between Vincent and his brother Theo after his worldwide fame was established. These letters give words to Van Gogh’s story and charter his struggles as an artist whilst Theo financially aided him. They strikingly give an insight into Van Gogh’s thoughts and feelings throughout this period. These letters give a deeply personal look at the artist’s own beliefs, desires and struggles. Finally, they allow us to gain a profound understanding of the man behind the art.
 
 
Wheatfield with Crows, Van Gogh’s last painting, 1890
 
Van Gogh is widely considered to be a genius and created many masterpieces.
 
Still, the story of his tragic life may have fueled his reputation and propelled him to the revered and honoured status he has today.
 
 
Nevertheless, his work has undoubtedly influenced the field of expressionism in modern art. And of course, it has massively influenced modern art as a whole. Van Gogh’s work has sold for record-breaking amounts of money across the world. His artworks are featured in many major art galleries in many countries.
 
His unrecognition and his struggles with mental health (documented in the correspondence between him and his brother) depict him as the classic tortured artist that has become dramatised and mythologised in modern times. But this should not distract us from his masterful work. Knowledge of his life only heightens the impact of his art and contributes the accolade of being one of the greatest painters to have ever lived.
 
 
References:
  1. https://www.biography.com
  2. https://www.britannica.com

 
 
Alexander
 
 
 

COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.




About the Author: Alexander Nyland

 
Alexander Nyland is an avid writer, blogger and traveller with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy, graduating in 2018 from the University of Sheffield. His particular focus and interests in his studies included Film and Ancient Greek philosophy. Alex has always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy and believes they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. He has his own blog, thefilmpheed.com, which discusses these subjects and their role in our lives and society in-depth.
 
 
 


Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 



No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


More @ http://violetflame.biz.ly and 
https://rayviolet.blogspot.com/




 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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publicado por achama às 06:26
Sexta-feira, 29 / 11 / 19

What Is Perennial Philosophy and How It Can Open Your Mind

Alexander Nyland

https://www.learning-mind.com/

November 27th, 2019.

 
 
 
 


 
Perennial philosophy is a strand of philosophical thought prevalent in culture since the Renaissance. It became popularised in the 20th century where these ideas became widespread across academia and society.
 
Perennial philosophy is a viewpoint that provides an interesting outlook on the practice of many religious faiths. It is a source of valuable insight for some, whether this is understanding or grappling with the varying religious teachings that inhabit our communities.
 
However, before we explore how this philosophy can influence our attitude towards these matters, we must first be clear on what exactly Perennial Philosophy is. Once we have done this, we will be able to examine what the criticisms of this theory may look like. Only then can we see how it may broaden our perspective on Religion and belief systems in society for the better.
 
What is Perennial Philosophy?
 
You might think that the phrase Perennial Philosophy is complex. However, it is relatively simple to understand. Perennial Philosophy is an idea that recognises all of the world’s religious, spiritual and wisdom traditions as sharing one singular universal truth and ideal.
 
All of these traditions are, in the end, premised upon this same foundational truth. They are all trying to make sense of the same thing.
 
These ideas started to emerge in the Renaissance. However, they became widespread in the 20th century by the English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley. Renaissance thinkers began the groundwork for these ideas after drawing upon Plato’s theory of forms. These minds used this Platonic theory to develop certain ideas:
  • There is an inherent, latent unity in the world.
  • This unity is found in many established practices.
  • It is not limited, nor is it unique to just one such tradition.
 
These Renaissance beliefs fully came to the fore in the 20th century through Aldous Huxley. Here the ideas became more developed, advanced and widespread within society. Huxley popularised the theory. In fact, he explains it in his book The Perennial Philosophy (1945):
 
“…the metaphysic that recognises a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical to, divine reality; the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent ground of all being; the thing is immemorial and universal” Aldous Huxley.
 
 
But what do Huxley’s words mean? Huxley goes into more depth about the subject in his book. He posits that all religious traditions centre towards one same ‘divine reality‘. It is how we understand it and our place within it that is important.
 
It is true that religions and spiritual traditions can contrast greatly in their teachings and form. Yet, they are all attempting to decipher the purpose of human life. They are providing guidance for the same thing – the search for meaning in life.
 
Criticisms of Perennial Philosophy
 
It is now worth taking a look at the criticisms of these ideas. Then we can examine how these ideas can open our minds and influence our perspective on these matters.
 
Religions are in conflict with each other
 
There are some criticisms of Perennial Philosophy that claim that it is an unrealistic and unworkable theory. A primary concern is an argument that many world religions are in conflict and have been throughout history. How can religions share a universal truth if they are so at odds with each other?
 
Religious beliefs vary so much
 
Furthermore, many religions differ so greatly in their ethics, beliefs, principles and teachings. As a result, it may become increasingly difficult to see how they can all share one ‘divine’, universal and shared ideal. Therefore, Perennial Philosophy runs the risk of not receiving merit. Particularly if they are not consistent with each other in these teachings.
 
But do these differences and dissimilarities matter? It is surely inevitable that such practices will have glaring differences and distinctions. Consider the very varied cultures that they were born from? The historical factors that they play into their belief system? Not to mention the different spiritual teachings that they espouse to their followers.
 
These criticisms and the issues they expose indeed hold the potential to threaten the dismantling of this theory. However, it does not mean that we should write it off altogether.
 
Perhaps the universal truth shared by all religions still prevails even in the face of these conflicts and contrasting philosophies. It’s certainly possible that each belief system is premised on this singular reality. It could be that they just express it in varying ways or point towards it in a different manner.
 
Nevertheless, regardless of whether you are fully convinced by it or not, Perennial Philosophy does have some useful ideas. These ideas can not only broaden our perspective but can also be hugely beneficial to us in these perspectives.
 
How Perennial Philosophy can open our minds
 
This is the singular idea that all religions are based on the same universal truth. Moreover, they have all grown from this same truth. This is something that we can all use positively.
 
Religious Beliefs
 
Religion is an entity that provides moral and spiritual guidance to its followers to help them live their lives. They are essentially providing purpose to people’s lives or at least trying to navigate us towards some sort of purpose.
 
Perennial Philosophy helps to push past conflicting beliefs and the disharmony of separate religious doctrines. Consequently, it exposes a fundamental yearning that we all innately share – the search for meaning and purpose.
 
We Are All the Same
 
This allows us to perceive the world’s religions beyond warring factions pitted against each other as separate institutions. It edifies our minds to push past the boundaries that can separate us.
 
In effect, it provides some sort of reassurance that we are all fundamentally the same. We are all beings trying to answer the questions of our existence. Even though we may be taking different paths to find these answers.
 
Spiritual Paths
 
You can push the theory of Perennial Philosophy beyond Religion. Some of us may not choose to follow Religion. It may not be the source we look to for fulfilment. You may be an atheist and turn to other means of guidance.
 
There perhaps are multitudes of sources and doctrines that one may draw from. All in an attempt to garner the purpose that we all seek. A universal truth of being, purpose and meaning is surely something that can bind us all together.
 
It can be comforting to know, whatever we follow, we are all, perhaps unknowingly, all searching for the same thing. We all experience times of loneliness, unhappiness and confusion in our lives. This philosophy is an antidote for such states. The idea that essentially, we are all beings struggling to find the answers to the same questions.
 
Final Thoughts
 
Perennial Philosophy can open our minds to our shared existence and the commonalities that we have within it. It helps us to form a more optimistic vision of the world. And this may prove critical and liberating during hard times.
 
References:
 
Alexander
 
 
 

COPYRIGHT © 2019 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.




About the Author: Alexander Nyland

 
Alexander Nyland is an avid writer, blogger and traveller with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy, graduating in 2018 from the University of Sheffield. His particular focus and interests in his studies included Film and Ancient Greek philosophy. Alex has always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy and believes they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. He has his own blog, thefilmpheed.com, which discusses these subjects and their role in our lives and society in-depth.
 
 
 


Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 



No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


More @ http://violetflame.biz.ly and 
https://rayviolet.blogspot.com/




 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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publicado por achama às 08:56
Domingo, 24 / 11 / 19

8 Types of Logical Fallacies and How They Distort Your Thinking

Alexander Nyland

https://www.learning-mind.com/

November 24th, 2019.


 
 
We often come across various types of logical fallacies when engaging in an argument or debate. These can slip into our reasoning when trying to argue a claim. Perhaps this is due to building a poor argument, for deliberate aims or simply through laziness.
 
However, what is meant by types of logical fallacies? For instance, we need to know what logical fallacies are before we can scrutinise some of the many forms they take.
 
What Is a Logical Fallacy?
 
A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. It is a point that is made that’s logically false. This renders the argument defective due to the plausible validity of it being undermined.
 
Sometimes they are easy to spot and sometimes they are much more subtle. This can depend on how they arise is an argument. As mentioned, someone may just have constructed a weak argument. As a result, these logical inconsistencies may begin to appear.
 
On the other hand, a seasoned rhetorician may use them in a more tactical way. They will purposely use them to dupe the audience to their way of thinking.
 
In whatever situation they may appear in, you should know and recognise the many types of logical fallacies in the most basic sense. Then you can benefit greatly in various different aspects of your life.
 
Notably, it will help you become more adept in your own reasoning. In addition, it can also equip you with means to deconstruct an opponent’s argument effectively.
 
In this article, we will explore many common types of logical fallacies that can crop up in a debate. We will discuss how you can spot them and recognise how they can manipulate debate and distort your thinking.
 
8 Types of Logical Fallacies and How to Spot Them
 
Logical fallacies come in many different types and forms. Here is a list of 8 of the most common that you may come across. Each one comes with an explanation so that you may be able to see them at work for yourself.
 
Ad Hominem Fallacy
 
An ad hominem is a personal attack. One would use a personal attack on their counterpart rather than using sound reasoning to advance their argument. This is usually done when someone is criticising or disagreeing with another person’s view.
 
However, they show this criticism and disagreement through personal insults. Moreover, these insults are not connected or applicable to the subject at hand.
 
Verbal attacks replace logical thinking. It proves nothing except a poorly built argument. Indeed, it does nothing to develop the debate.
 
Look out if someone starts to personally insult you in some way when engaging in an argument. Identifying the ad hominem will allow you to expose it. In turn, this might strengthen your position in the debate.
 
Strawman Fallacy/Argument
 
The strawman fallacy is a poor ploy to try and make your own position stronger. You achieve this by criticising a position that the opponent never held. You would not deal with the actual matter at hand. Instead, you would respond to a genuine stance that your opponent has taken.
 
For example, one would manipulate this position and attack a superficial stance that you have created for them. This position may seem similar to what they have argued but it is ultimately false and unequal.
 
Hence, you end up criticising a position that your opponent never wanted to argue for in the first place. The strawman fallacy cheaply manipulates the discourse to strengthen a position. Listen carefully for this. Scrutinising this immediately will allow you to uncover this weakness.
 
Appeal to Authority
 
Sometimes citing an authoritative figure or organisation to back up your argument can be an effective way of strengthening it. However, relying on this can make your position weak. Not to mention, it can steer the debate away from the real issues at hand.
 
The appeal to authority fallacy occurs when you wrongly apply authority to your argument. This is done to provide proof of what you are trying to say.
 
Appealing to authority can initially seem like a persuasive tool. However, often it needs additional support to really be effective. Otherwise, it can be just a cheap way of falsely making an argument look stronger.
 
Appealing to authority can be relatively easy to spot. What important is to evaluate it in the context of the subject of the debate. Only then can you see whether it is relevant or appropriate.
 
Bandwagon Fallacy
 
The bandwagon fallacy is another addition to this list of types of logical fallacies. It is also perhaps one of the easiest to deduce. Most people will be familiar with the phrase ‘jumping on the bandwagon’. The bandwagon fallacy is essentially this but using it as a means of gaining support and credibility.
 
This fallacy is judging something to be true just because many others believe it to be. Or, taking up a position, without any prior belief in it, because many others support it. To put it another way, deceitfully gaining support for a position and bolstering in the process.
 
Slippery Slope Fallacy
 
The slippery slope fallacy occurs with a reasonable proposition and then spirals into fanciful and extreme suggestions or consequences.
 
Someone may begin their reasonable proposition, then suggest something will happen as a consequence, and this relates to a chain of linked events. However, as the proposition unfolds it eventually ends in a highly improbable outcome.
 
This can be easy to spot. The ridiculous or inconceivable outcome has little to no evidence to suggest that it may actually come about.
 
Hasty Generalisation
 
A hasty generalisation is exactly as it sounds. Someone may hastily generalise their argument. Then they will reach their conclusion swiftly without any substantial evidence to back it up. This could be for several reasons:
  1. Rushing to a conclusion
  2. Making a sweeping assumption
  3. Making a wild exaggeration without any sort of credible proof
 
It is essentially jumping to a conclusion erratically without much thought and without enough evidence to support that conclusion. It can occur through a poorly structured argument.
 
If an opponent in a debate seems to have reached their conclusion quite quickly and without much evidence, then it’s probably a hasty generalisation.
 
Circular Argument
 
A circular argument is when someone arrives at a conclusion in which they just repeat what has already been established or assumed.
 
It is a type of logical fallacy doesn’t really prove anything new. Actually, all it does is repeat previous arguments in the same way. However, it insinuates a new conclusion is reached.
 
An example of this would be “the bible is true, therefore, you should accept the word of god”. We have no new conclusion after the original premise of assuming the bible is true. All we have is a conclusion that resembles the original premise.
 
Tu Quoque Fallacy
 
‘Tu Quoque’ is Latin for “you too”. This logical fallacy diverts attention from the argument at hand and the attention on yourself. Rather, it seeks to expose the hypocrisy in your opponent.
 
It works by taking away the criticism of yourself by throwing it back at your opponent. It does this effectively by either making a similar or the same accusation.
 
Imagine you are watching a political debate and ‘politician A’ accuses ‘politician B’ of lying to the electorate about a particular policy. A tu quoque fallacy would occur if politician B would just retaliate by pointing out that politician A has also lied in the past. They would make no attempt of defending that accusation put against them.
 
Focusing on an opponent’s hypocrisy is a false attempt to discredit them. This is because it does not further the argument in any way – it just answers criticism with criticism.
 
How Do These Types of Logical Fallacies Distort Your Thinking?
 
These types of logical fallacies have the potential to distort our thought process in a debate. This is due to the illogical and irrelevant stance that they may take. They can often throw us off course if confronted with them.
 
At the same time, they can divert the argument into another direction or weaken your own argument if you do not know how to recognise or expose these logical fallacies.
 
Final Thoughts
 
The first step to overcoming this and strengthening your debating and reasoning skills will be learning what these logical fallacies are and how to spot them. Once you understand what they are you can credibly present your argument.
 
References:
 
 
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About the Author: Alexander Nyland

 
Alexander Nyland is an avid writer, blogger and traveller with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy, graduating in 2018 from the University of Sheffield. His particular focus and interests in his studies included Film and Ancient Greek philosophy. Alex has always been fascinated by art, culture and philosophy and believes they are an integral and important part of all of our lives. He has his own blog, thefilmpheed.com, which discusses these subjects and their role in our lives and society in-depth.
 
 
 


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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


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publicado por achama às 16:27
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