11 errors in reasoning: avoid these if you want to look smarter

Avoiding errors in reasoning, aka logical fallacies is crucial to forming better arguments and avoiding being manipulated by others 2000 years ago, Aristotle proposed that although we share much in common with the animal kingdom, what sets humans apart is our capacity for reason and rationality. Unfortunately however, we all make errors in reasoning – either …

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Politeness: the secret weapon to winning an argument?

How does being polite help us overcome everyday disagreements? According to French philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville, “morality starts at the bottom – with politeness. But it has to start somewhere.” The point is that we are not born virtuous, we have learn to be so – and practising politeness is one of the ways to develop a robust code of ethics to guide us …

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How to study philosophy: 6 tips for self-learners

Teach yourself philosophy

If you want to know more about philosophy but don’t know where to begin, here are some practical tips to get started. There’s an unfortunate perception that philosophy is, by nature, obscure, difficult and inaccessible for the lay reader. But whilst it’s true that a lot of texts are extremely hard to fathom, philosophy is not just about abstract academic debate and ivory towers. …

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Was this philosopher history’s most successful troll?

Diogenese of Sinope

Philosophers aren’t renowned for their outrageous behavior, but Diogenes of Synope ranks as one of the most controversial and eccentric thought leaders of all time Imagine lounging by the pool in your bathing suit, soaking up the sun and enjoying a cold drink. Out of nowhere you notice Barack Obama and a secret service agent approaching you. …

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