Science scepticism

Cartesian Skepticism – Neo, Meet Rene

Exercise: Please read the questions, try to answer them with a partner, and then watch the video for inspiration. Did watching it change any of the answers you gave earlier?

  1. Have you ever believed anything that later turned out to be false? What was it?
  2. How can you know whether what you believe is actually true?
  3. What is the name of the branch of philosophy that “is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion?”
  4. Have you ever heard of Descartes? Who was he? Why do many people still consider him important?
  5. Do you think that scepticism is important in science? If so, how much of it is productive, and how much is destructive?

The Guardian: Trust in scientists grows as fake coronavirus news rises, UK poll finds

  1. Have you ever come across fake news? What was it about? Discuss with a partner.
  2. When you see a new article shared by your friends on social media, how often do you question its source? Are you prepared that it might actually be fake news? Discuss.
  3. Please read the article and reflect on its content. Then think whether you’d like to modify your earlier answers.
Trust in scientists grows as fake coronavirus news rises, UK poll finds
Poll finds 64% of voters more likely to listen to expert advice as 51% say they have seen fake news about virus

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