The Scrooge Charade

By David Ottlinger “Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.” [1] Ladies and gentleman, I have lately been informed of a “grand deception” and “lie”, enthralling millions across the country. This epidemic is the cause of widespread un-critical thinking and is a major […]

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Let’s Cease the Santa Charade

By: David Kyle Johnson The notion that we should lie to our children about Santa Claus enjoys a kind of sacred protection that modern religious beliefs can only dream of in the Western world. Don’t believe me? This very year, a mother in California was threatened with a lawsuit because her son spilled the beans about Santa at school. [1] […]

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A Course for Critical Thinking

By Michael Boyle In light of Dan Kaufman’s recent essay on the humanities, I’d like to sketch out an example of one kind of response, in one small humanities course, to some of the problems that he has identified. Not coincidentally, we are friends and colleagues, teaching in the same department, and so his concerns regarding the challenges facing humanities […]

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On Some Common Rationales for Liberal Education (and why they aren’t very good)

By Daniel A. Kaufman With the exception, perhaps, of those who teach at our most elite universities and liberal arts colleges, it should be apparent to everyone in the higher education business that the humanities and liberal arts are in trouble.  Deteriorating numbers and declining esteem tell the story of subjects that are increasingly perceived as being largely useless to […]

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Acceptance, Belief, and the Question of Informal Fallacies

By Daniel Tippens Introduction Informal fallacies have become a hot topic in some circles. An informal fallacy is an argumentative move that may be psychologically persuasive, but is logically incorrect. [1] For example, an argument from authority is an informal fallacy, because it involves basing one’s conclusion on the premise that one is an expert with regard to something related […]

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Critical Thinking Before the Second World War

By Michael Boyle One of the most frequently heard phrases in discussions of higher education today is “critical thinking.”  Whether the setting is a college classroom, a presentation by a university administrator, a political speech, or reports concerning what skills employers are looking for, there’s a good chance that the phrase “critical thinking” will crop up somewhere. This ubiquity, however, […]

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