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Intellectual Independence: Your Basic Means of Thriving

Craig Biddle

Presented at: TOS-CON 2019

Date: Aug 07, 2019

Throughout life, we engage with, work with, and learn from many people. We befriend some, admire some, revere a few. All such encounters and relationships—especially those involving reverence—entail the possibility of compromising our intellectual independence.

Other people may seem certain about a given issue. Their arguments may seem convincing. They may treat their claims or expertise as decisive. And they may pressure us to accept their views on pain of disapproval.

But vital questions remain: What do I think? Does a given argument make sense to me? Is there evidence in support of the idea or claim in question? Is there evidence against it? Can I access the evidence? Do I need to take a position on this issue? If so, why? And so on.

In this talk, Craig Biddle will discuss the process of asking and answering such questions, strategies for ensuring that you engage in the process when necessary, and ways to teach these vital methods to others, including children and teenagers.


Parts: 1

Handout: none