Thus Spake Zuska

Some Basic Concepts Recommendations

John Wilkins at Evolving Thoughts is keeping a list of all the Basic Concepts posts that my Science Blogger pals have been doing. You can find his list here. He is keeping it pretty up to date.

There are several entries worth taking a look at as a nice preliminary for the start of “class” next week. Of course, they are worth reading all on their own, but they fit in nicely with a course on feminist theory of science.

One is David Ng’s lovely musings over at the World’s Fair on how it is we know a flower, or, what is epistemology?

Another is Janet Stemwedel’s (aka Dr. Free-Ride) entry on falsifiable claims over at Adventures in Ethics and Science. The comments on this post are worth a read, as well.

Most especially I entreat you to read Janet’s entry on Arguments. Failing that, at least this excerpt from it:

The point of an argument is to give good reasons for accepting the conclusion. An argument is something stronger and more persuasive than a mere opinion. What makes an argument more persuasive is that it makes its assumptions clear and then shows how these assumptions lead logically to the conclusion.

A valid argument is one where the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion. In other words, if your argument is valid, someone who accepts your premises as true will have to accept your conclusion or else embrace a logical contradiction.

That’s some good stuff to keep in mind when it comes time to post comments on the class materials…or, really, anytime you are posting comments anywhere…