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History Class

Critical Thinking and Praxis

Q1.Definition of an argument, thought experiment, and fallacy          

Fallacies are statements that may have some bit of a truth and considerable reasoning, but are actually not true (Barnett 10). Likewise, a fallacy entails wrong reasoning or mistakes, which may arise from the introduction of irrelevant issues, failure to understand and interpret words, and ambiguity. An argument is comprised of a series of statements formed through an intellectual process with the aim of persuading someone about a certain thing. Moreover, evidence or proofs, sober reasoning, and a language of communication must be present for an argument to be complete. A fallacy can be effective if the argument behind it is presented in a strong and convincing manner.  

Thought experiments refer to the tools of imagination used in establishing the characteristics or temperaments of things (Barnett 10). Therefore, the thought experiment involves scrutinizing fallacies or arguments with the intention of establishing the consequences that can result from a given argument or action.

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The Mis-Education of the Negro

Q2 Thesis of the book by Woodson

The central focus of the book by Woodson is that blacks in America were being unfairly educated during his time (Woodson par 3). Instead of the African-Americans receiving an education, the white majority was rather indoctrinating them in the American school system. He argues that blacks were being “mis-educated” and as a result, they were being forced to become dependent on the whites. He challenges the African-Americans to rise to the occasion and proves that they can do better regardless of the education that they received. To support this thesis, the author makes strong statements about how a person’s mind can be controlled. According to Woodson, when the mind of a person is under control, there is no need to worry about their actions, because an individual’s way of thinking determines the subsequent actions. This is because a person is what he or she thinks. Consequently, when one’s thinking is controlled, their actions will always be within the parameters of thinking. This is because no one can operate beyond his or her thinking. It is through this that the writer supports his thesis.

The argument pursued by Woodson is still relevant in today’s society, not in America, but also across many countries. This historical account by Woodson has significant effect on educators, and especially people involved in the study of racial injustice in America. This is because white hegemony and systematic discrimination of African-American continues even today. Therefore, this documentation remains relevant in the current dispensation.


Q3. Bias in writing history

People make history, and it is clear that people have personal bias. A person who writes history relies on what others have said about the subjects under the study. A biased writer can have influence on those who read and use their work as a reference point in doing their own investigation. However, a person should be guided to read several works to get a clear picture of a historical event. Through this way, a writer will appreciate bias in other people’s works. This in turn will make person a better reader and writer of history.

From my perspective, history should provide a clear and accurate account of what took place within a given period. Indeed, people have different objectives in documenting events. Without a clear understanding of the motives, it might be hard to understand or appreciate historical accounts. Indeed, asking questions can help people making informed conclusions concerning a given historical event. This helps overcome bias that influence historians in documenting events.

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