Study Guide


(use with pp. 64- 89 of the Course Companion)

***you can skip the IB Genie poem pp.65-7

  1. The first 3 paragraphs on page 64 list some ways in which we reason. Think about your day (or yesterday). Using the terms as a guide, try to write down all the specific ways you used reasoning. For example, if you worked on some math problems for an hour or decided which sandwich to buy…perhaps you predicted the surf conditions before you headed out!


I use reasoning when I am deciding what homework to do first or last. If I have the class first I’ll do the homework first, so if I have extra time that day I can do the other homework and finish it. We use reasoning in physics all the time. We have to decide what laws of physics we should be using so we can determine which equations we should use. I also can reason based on the surf report how sales will be in the surf shop. If the surf is up then sales will be low, but if the surf is no good then sales will be high.


  1. Curate an article or video on cognitive computing or cognition in general that appeals to you. Perhaps you want to find something that has to do with the relationship between REASONING and other WAYS OF KNOWING (emotions, sense perception, and language). Post and comment on. Try out this resource:

This is a little bit of a shorter video about black lung. It is calling in to question about what other know and if they know it shouldn’t they share it? That is a knowledge question.


  1. Think of a GENERALIZATION you have made or heard recently (see pg. 68). Can you describe some examples of harmful generalizations?


Well a generalization I made while driving the other day was that women can’t drive. (A woman had cut me off, I was 2 feet away from hitting her.) But I realized that my generalization is wrong. They are plenty of bad male drivers, and good female drivers. A harmful generalization would be if someone said all Black people were stupid or all Asians are smart. Both these generalizations can be swapped.


  1. ***note: be sure you understand the term “Implication”, (located in the green box on page 70) – it’s part of the TOK essay criteria.


Implication-is a logical relation between two ideas stated in the form “A implies B”


  1. Make up your own variables (actual words) for P and Q in the DEDUCTIVE REASONING exercise on page 70.  (just try this out so it makes more sense) – I tried “Swedes” and “blonde”.


Math, and Calculator

Not all math uses a calculator.

Calculators only calculate math.


  1. What are the 2 KEY ASSERTIONS of deductive reasoning? What is the MAJOR DISTINCTION between “Validity” and “Truth”?


Validity depends solely on the form which a statement or a chain of reasoning takes, not its content.

Truth is the exact opposite. It does not depend on the form of the sentence or the words but rather the words in the sentence.


7.    Pick up one of your textbooks OR find an article on an online newspaper. Identify its premises and its conclusion. Look for key word hints, such as those located at the top of page 73.  Are there any implicit premises (those not stated explicitly but implied)?  (***note: premises are sometimes called “assumptions”)

·      Is the major premise of the argument true? How could one find out?

·      Is the argument valid? How would you know?

·      Assuming that the minor premise is true , is the conclusion true? How do you know? (see page 74 for help)

The author uses published labor data in their article. We know this is true for the most part. The author does tell us that he thinks that the data is a little low due to computer issues in two states. But the fact that he admits it shows that he is using reliable sources and he himself is a reliable source. Is argument is valid because it makes sense and uses data to back it up. The conclusion is true because it points out all the variables that were stated in the body paragraphs.


  1. Construct your OWN deductive argument or “SYLLOGISM” using the template in the middle of page 73. (remember to go from general to particular…)


The water polo team has won 2 straight championships.

I am on the water polo team.

I am a champion.


  1. Construct your OWN FALLACY, or invalid deductive argument, similar to the one on page 74-5.


Tomato’s are red.

Zach is red.

Zach is a tomato.


10. Be sure you understand what “COUNTER-ARGUMENTS” and “COUNTER-CLAIMS” are – as they are a huge part of the TOK assessments. (***if you ever get a chance, watch Red Eye – it’s full of them). Remember that a strong argument is both VALID and SOUND (see page 76)

11. In your own words, how does INDUCTIVE reasoning differ from deductive reasoning? Can you provide an example of how you personally have used inductive reasoning recently? (see page 76)


Inductive reasoning is deductive reasoning without all the facts. It is off memory and our ways of knowing. Not any sort of background information. Inductive reasoning calls for generalizations about topics.


12.  In the last paragraph of page 77, the author states “Much of our knowledge about the natural sciences is based on generalizations backed by repeated observation of phenomena”. Can you provide an example of CLASSICAL induction from your own science courses (group 4)?


E=MC^2 this is a theoretical law. It has not been proven physically but it has been proven theoretically. This is the biggest classical induction I can think of for the science that I am in.


13. Try the “random percentage” experiment discussed in the Statistics area of page 78. Type in 3 different random percentages into Google – what do you get? Try to find a statistic with a percentage via Twitter.


67%- World War Z’s movie approval rating

23%- Lexus sales jumped

98%- Mexico are unsolved


14.  Find an INFOGRAPHIC that not only offers statistics, but “tells the story” or offers correlations (see page 79). Look for great infographics on the links on my site:!best-sites/c1z7m



15. Provide an example of ANALOGICAL REASONING from your own life. How likely are you to trust your own results, on a scale of 0 to 10?


Church will be the same time every Sunday. 10


16.  ***We might play the Crazy Captain’s game in class (Hypothetico-deductive reasoning)


17.  Curate a TED TALK ( ) that highlights the use of CREATIVE REASONING (pg. 82), post and provide a brief overview. (***you might want to check out TED MED at the top)

This is absolutely beautiful! It speaks all about how creativity is being destroyed and killed due to the public education system.


18.  Look around your bedroom OR your laptop: In what ways do you classify things? What is the method to your madness? Describe some common classifications in the AOKS (Areas of Knowledge, i.e. all your courses). Can you think of an example where technology or advances in science/ newfound “knowledge” has changed the classification system?


I organize things based on College, School, and Personal. In my room I have two drawers in my desk for College and School. I have a personal area underneath my bed and above my cloths. The same was with my computer. I files for each area of my life.


19. ***We will do more exercises with classification in class.



20. Pages 86-7 discuss the dangers of classification, i.e. racism, stereotypes, and other prejudices. CURATE a relatively recent ARTICLE or VIDEO  that highlights an instance of one of these issues.



21. What stereotypes, generalizations, or prejudices do you think you have?



22. TRY IT OUT: Take Harvard’s Race or Gender TEST: OR the Diet and Lifestyle or Race and Advertising


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