Critical Thinking To Go: Dodging The Pepperoni Pizza Fallacy

Written by Christopher Brown

Today we commonly hear inrepparttar news journalistic items about religion and politics, or faith and something else, whererepparttar 147616 suggested "duo du jour" usually sit in opposition to one another. One could do this, of course, just as easily with other areas of human thought, as with sociology vs. history, or economics vs. psychology. But most people do not seem nearly as interested in this exercise as they seem anxious to set "religion" over against whatever other area they might find interesting.

But this represents quite an odd way to view things (atrepparttar 147617 very best), and one might rightly call it propaganda (atrepparttar 147618 worst) in many instances. You see, life does not come at us in slices, as though it were one very large pepperoni pizza to go. When humans experience an event, we do not encounter it in a parade of neatly snipped segments, as thoughrepparttar 147619 civil war first showed us its psychological effects, then came its economic aspects, only after which we then got a look at its technological innovations.

Just as withrepparttar 147620 runningback who grasps a fumbled football inrepparttar 147621 midst of many linesmen, life happens to us "all at once." Only after taking in an historically important event, and reflecting on it a bit, can we slice it up to study some of parts or aspects in isolation fromrepparttar 147622 others -- as pundits might do, say, in an economics textbook. This, of course, makes students especially prone to confuserepparttar 147623 way things happen on paper with how they occur on a battlefield, or inrepparttar 147624 midst of a revolution.

Now this fallacy --repparttar 147625 error of confusing real life with its written counterpart, does not show up in informal logic texts. But it should, since it clearly misleads many these days.

So, what to call it? I at first triedrepparttar 147626 "fallacy of compartmentalized reality." I can hearrepparttar 147627 students now, "WhatEVER." Then I mused, "fallacy of reflective segmenting." huh? Finally, I landed onrepparttar 147628 more user-friendly label,repparttar 147629 "Pepperoni Pizza" fallacy. Surely students could grab and digest this supreme combination of words (or was that "combination supreme"?).

They Should Have Seen It Coming

Written by Christopher Brown

A comedian once showed a newspaper to his audience. The headline read, "1-800 Astrology Business Goes Under: They Should Have Seen It Coming." Everyone laughed, including me. We chuckled atrepparttar irony of a real contradiction here. If such a business could providerepparttar 147615 service they claim, then its owners should have succeeded where other businesses failed. In fact, if they really knewrepparttar 147616 future, they likely wouldn't bother with this business at all. They would simply raidrepparttar 147617 stock market with a perfect investing record. We all somewhat instinctively know this, even those of us who have never hadrepparttar 147618 occasion to sit and think it through carefully.

But this pseudo-science has another problem that concerns us. It's adherents who createrepparttar 147619 garden-variety horoscope columns (found in most any newspaper) spotlight a basic contradiction. Onrepparttar 147620 one hand, they pretend to tell your future based uponrepparttar 147621 timing of your birth andrepparttar 147622 alignment ofrepparttar 147623 stars and/ or planets. Philosophers have called this assumption "astral determinism."

This means simply thatrepparttar 147624 stars and planets determine your future, hencerepparttar 147625 phrase, "written inrepparttar 147626 stars." Onrepparttar 147627 other hand, however, whenrepparttar 147628 predictors finish telling just what will befall you, they move ontorepparttar 147629 next part ofrepparttar 147630 column. They offer advice. But this advice you may take or leave, as though you have a free choice to make,repparttar 147631 outcome of which no star determines.

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