Essay about Philosophy Study Questions

912 Words Dec 12th, 2012 4 Pages
PHI 101C
HW6 10/18/2012
Qiansongzi Chen 1. How might the constructive nature of your perceptions play a role in what you experience while you’re walking at night through a graveyard said to be visited by spirits of the dead?

Constructive perception is in part something that our minds manufacture. Thus what we perceive is determined, not only by what our eyes and ears and other senses detect, but also by what we know, what we expect, what we believe, and what our physiological state is. Just because something seems or feels real doesn’t mean that it is real.

2. What are some of the factors that could influence the accuracy of your memory of an event that happened three years ago?

Our memories are also constructive and
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It’s reasonable to accept personal experience as reliable evidence only if there’s no reason to doubt its reliability.
Personal experience alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.

6. What is confirmation bias? How does it affect our thinking?

Not only do we have a tendency to ignore and misinterpret evidence that conflicts with our own views; we also have tendency to look for and recognize only evidence that confirms them. We tend to look for confirming rather than disconfirming evidence, even though the latter can often be far more revealing.

7. What is the availability error? How does it affect our thinking?
The availability error occurs when people base their judgments on evidence that’s vivid or memorable instead of reliable or trustworthy.

8. How do confirmation bias and the availability error lead to superstitious beliefs?

The availability error not only leads us to ignore the relevant evidence, it also leads us to ignore relevant hypotheses. For any set of data, it is, in principle, possible to construct any number of different hypotheses to account for the data. In practice, however, it is often difficult to come up with many different hypotheses. As a result, we often end up choosing among only those hypotheses that come to mind, that are available. In the case of unusual phenomena, the only
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