Do culture and individual beliefs affect logical thinking? If so, how do they influence the conclusions we reach?

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The first question that must be asked before answering this question is: What exactly is logical thinking? Logical thinking is the process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion. If this definition is strictly followed, logical thinking cannot be affected by any outside influences as long as the premises are truly valid. For example the syllogism:

All mammals are warm blooded.

Whales are mammals.

Whales are warm blooded.

is truly logical because the major premise is true. In a more 'general world ' however, we refer to logical thinking as simply deducing a reasonable explanation or conclusion from what is already and personally known. What is personally known is often fallacious because of stereotypes,
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Because all cultures are different, some are more likely to commit certain fallacies than others. A person 's culture is based on many things as mentioned earlier; language, history, geography, religion, and race. All of these things play a different part in cultures, and affect reasoning in a variety of ways and areas. For example, I know a woman who taught math in a village in Sierra Leone (Africa). She had a very difficult time teaching geometry with three dimensional right angles because everyone lived in round houses. It was difficult for them to envision the shape because they were not faced with it frequently. This thinking in math would not have been affected as greatly by another culture because of the environment and culture which developed dwellings with three dimensional right angles.

The main aspect of culture which affects logical thinking, I believe, is history. A person 's or people 's history is responsible for many traditions, opinions, and aspects of a certain culture. History is often the cause of stereotypes, prejudice, and cultural taboos; which are all examples of things which affect people and lead them to arrive at fallacious conclusions. For example in Hungary it is 'wrong ' to chink beer mugs before drinking. This is because of past relations with Austria. Austrians would touch mugs and toast to being 'comrades ' before drinking beer. Because of the former
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