In light of Gore's Assault on Reason, suggest a course that may be given to first-year college students to improve the quality of their reasoning powers. What sort of readings, exercises, problems or other educational or training assignments might you suggest would be valuable in order to, for example, improve their ability to de-bias themselves as well as see through manipulative poltical discourse coming from both the right and the left. For example, would you have them subscribe to both left and right leaning magazines, newspapers, or journals -- and if so, which? Would you have them watch both Fox News and MSNBC news and do comparative analyses?
I have outlined a class curriculum for you. I would begin with a lesson on Coca Cola vs water for health. Using the Coca Cola's other uses is an eye opening study and helps to give people a bias that is unlikely to spark a big controversial debate, but also shows bias as a common occurrence in daily choices.
College level reasoning and critical thinking:
The first exercise would include watching one story of the day on Fox News, and the same story on CBS News and describing it from both perspectives. Then the student must find supporting evidence for both sides and finally form a reasoned conclusion using all the support, but not the stories presented. This separates the stories from the facts and gives a lesson in "spin" and reality.
Every week the student will have to find a top story and write out a script for that story that lasts 2 minutes or less, but must include supporting documentation for the story they write. The subject matter will change from week to ...
Gore's assault on reasons are examined in the solution.