Introduction to Plausible Reasoning

I find it very disconcerting (notice I did not say “concerning”) that so many people lack a sense of the complexity of reality and the difficulty of achieving knowledge. Our conclusions are tentative; they depend on the overall plausibility of our data, our perceptions are precarious and limited by the limits of our data set, and new information can and often does change the overall plausibility of our conclusions. We have to be very careful of our first impressions. The Innocence Project is a tremendous blessing. People need to look into the reasoning errors that result in false convictions that cause so much suffering. But that takes work. Unfortunately most people prefer narratives. That’s why I wrote this book. It tries to make difficult thought easy, but “easy” is relative.

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