Project Summary: Assignment 1 - Week - 4 Assignment 1 Finding Evidence of Intellectual Sophistry Essay CH. 4 Pages 123-124 = 100 Pts. - Due October 26, 2015 As you begin to learn the basic intellectual skills that critical thinking entails, you will begin to realize that you can begin to use those skills in either a selfish or a fair-minded way. For example, when students are taught how to recognize mistakes in reasoning (commonly called fallacies), most students readily see those mistakes in the reasoning of others but not in their own reasoning. Using their understanding of fallacies, typically past students have developed some proficiency in making their opponents thinking look bad, but they typically dont use their understanding of fallacies to analyze and assess their own reasoning. The purpose of this exercise is to assist you in developing some skills as to how to identify sophistic thinking. For example, liberals see mistakes in the arguments of conservatives; conservatives see mistakes in the arguments of liberals. Believers see mistakes the thinking of nonbelievers; nonbelievers see mistakes in the thinking of believers. Those who oppose abortion readily see mistakes in the arguments for abortion; those who favor abortion readily see mistakes in the arguments against abortion. We call these thinkers weak-sense critical thinkers. We call the thinking weak because, although it is working well for the thinker in some respects, it is missing certain important, higher-level skills and values of critical thinking. Most significantly, it fails to consider, in good faith, viewpoints that could contradict its own viewpoint. It lacks fair-mindedness. Another traditional name for the weak-sense thinker is Sophists. Sophistry is the art of winning arguments regardless of whether there are problems in the thinking being used, regardless of whether relevant viewpoints are being ignored. The objective of sophistic thinking is to win. Period. Sophist thinkers use lower-level skills of rhetoric, or argumentation, by which they make unreasonable thinking look reasonable and reasonable thinking look unreasonable. This form of thinking is evident in the arguments of unethical lawyers, prosecutors, mainstream media personalities, activists, some entertainers, and politicians who are more concerned with winning that with being fair. They use emotionalism and trickery in an intellectually skilled way. Sophistic thinkers succeed only if they do not come up against what we call strong-sense critical thinkers. Strong sense critical thinkers are not easily tricked by slick argumentation, by sophistry and intellectual trickery. The striking characteristic of strong- sense critical thinkers is their consistent pursuit of the fair and just. These thinkers strive always to be ethical to behave in ways that do not exploit or otherwise harm others. They work to empathize with the viewpoints of others. They are willing to listen to arguments they do not necessarily hold. They change their views when faced with better reasoning. Rather than using their thinking to manipulate others and to hide from the truth (in a weak-sense way), they use thinking in an ethical, reasonable manner. Almost a century ago, William Graham Sumner (1906) depicted strong-sense critical thinkers. He said they cannot be stampeded are slow to believe can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain can wait for evidence and weigh evidence can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices. I believe that the world already has too many skills selfish thinkers, too many sophists and intellectual, artist, too many unscrupulous journalists, activists, spokespersons, lawyers and politicians who specialize in twisting data, information and evidence to support their selfish interests and the vested interests of those who pay them. It is my desire to assist you on your journey to becoming a highly skilled, fair-minded thinker, one capable of exposing those who are masters of playing intellectual games at the expense of well-being of innocent people. Read an articles in newspapers, news magazines, and similar sources for the purpose of identifying intellectual sophistry at work. Look for situations in which you believe based on the definitions you have been provided, readings and in class discussions, someone deliberately hides or distorts information in pursuing a goal. Note: Please clearly state whether you believe that the person gets away with the sophistry. Please provide a copy of the article you analyzed for this assignment attached to your essay. Rubric for Finding Evidence of Intellectual Sophistry Essay = 100 Points: 1. Topic: Article title, newspaper and author name (employee, contributor, freelancer, etc.). 10 Points 2. Approach: Critical analysis. (State the authors goal and briefly describe the situation as you see it in which someone appears to deliberately hiding or distorting data or information in pursuing a goal). 20 Points 3. Form: Identify the hidden or distorted data or information and explain whether they affect or do not affect the soundness of the argument and the bias or biasness of the article. 30 Points 4. Conclusion: (Note whether the person gets away with the sophistry). 20 Points 5. No distracting errors of spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, poor or no headings or subheadings. 10 Points 6. Length: Two - three typed pages, citation of sources, plus a printout or photocopy of the article(s). 10 Points 100 Points Your paper must have a cover page, including the title of the paper, date, your name, course number, a table of contents, include appropriate headings and subheadings throughout the papers body, and a summary of your specific conclusions and recommendations as well as page numbers. In addition, please cite your sources.