Reasoning about Assassinations: Critical Thinking in Political Contexts
The application of principles of logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning has transformed what we know about the death of JFK and promises to resolve other cases.
||logic, critical thinking, scientific reasoning, philosophy of science, applied philosophical research, the death of JFK, resolving mysteries in history, historical research, "assassination science"
The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 3, Issue 10, pp.31-40.
Article: Print (Spiral Bound).
Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.270MB).
James H. Fetzer, Distinguished McKnight Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, who teaches on its Duluth campus, has published more than 20 books in the philosophy of science and on the theoretical foundations of computer science, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. He received his Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science from Indiana in 1970. His new study, "The Evolution of Intelligence: Are Humans the Only Animals with Minds?" (forthcoming), integrates his earlier research on the differences between thinking things and digital machines with his recent research on human and animal mentality. He has edited three books on the death of "JFK, Assassination Science" (1998), "Murder in Dealey Plaza" (2000), and "The Great Zapruder Film Hoax" (2003), and has co-authored a fourth — "American Assassination" (2004) — on the death of Senator Paul Wellstone. He is pioneering a novel area of research he has labeled "assassination science", which involves the application of principles of scientific reasoning, especially "inference to the best explanation", to investigate the death of prominent politicians. This is indispensable where there may be reason to suspect they have been assassinated by their own government. Assassination science thus has an essential role to play in evaluating official reports to insure they are not serving the purpose of covering up crimes. His work emphasizes that each case has to be evaluated by the rigorous application of appropriate principles of logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning to all the available relevant evidence. And it demonstrates the practical significance of philosophical explications.
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