Critical Reasoning Week 2 Discussion

Critical Reasoning Week 2 Discussion

This is a graded discussion: 25 points possible due Jul 20 at 1:59am

Week 2 Discussion: Context, Meaning, and Value 47 47

Required Resources Read/review the following resources for this activity:

Initial Post Instructions Select one of the following options to research for this discussion:

Before you read the news articles, try to look at the artworks through an image search in Google. Then, read the news articles to see the different viewpoints about the murals.

For the initial post, address at least four (4) of the following questions for the option you selected:

Textbook: Chapter 4, 5 Lesson At least 1 news article (e.g.,,, Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)

Option 1: Google <California Washington mural>. You will find numerous reports concerning a California school district that voted to paint over a mural in the high school. The Life of Washington was painted by Depression-era artist Victor Arnautoff. Option 2: Google <Indiana University Thomas Hart Benton mural>. You will find numerous articles on the controversy surround a panel from Benton’s A Social History of Indiana (1933) murals. Option 3: Conduct research on a mural or statue or monument in your town that is the subject of controversy.

What do you think should be done with the artwork (e.g., painted over, covered, destroyed, left as is in plain view, etc.)? Why? Should the context in which the artwork was created (the Great Depression of the 1930s in the case of the Benton and Arnautoff murals) have an impact on the decision of what to do with the artwork? Should the context in which people now view the artwork have an impact on the decision of what to do with it? What message do you think the artwork conveys? Do you think there is ambiguity in the message? Do you think the message is vague? Does the artistic value of the artwork require that it be saved regardless of message? Does the historic value of the artwork require that it be saved regardless of message? Do you think the message of the artwork is sufficiently important that the message alone requires that it be saved? Do you think the artists were biased or prejudiced? If yes, explain specifics about the artwork that support

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Search entries or author

” Reply

Follow-Up Post Instructions Respond to at least two peers or one peer and the instructor. Respond to one peer who chose a controversial artwork other than the one you chose. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification. Do you agree or disagree with your peers’ positions? Explain why. In addition, address different issues than what your peer focused on.

Writing Requirements

Grading This activity will be graded using the Discussion Grading Rubric. Please review the following link:

Course Outcomes (CO): 5, 6

Due Date for Initial Post: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Wednesday Due Date for Follow-Up Posts: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday

your opinion. Do you think viewers might be bringing bias or prejudice to their opinions? Are you?

Minimum of 3 posts (1 initial & 2 follow-up) Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside source) APA format for in-text citations and list of references

Link (webpage): Discussion Guidelines

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( Sheffield (Instructor) Jun 22, 2020


Greetings Students,

You are only required to post an initial answer post and ONE follow-up post in each required discussion, each week.

Please make your TWO posts each week between Monday and Sunday. Your posts must occur on different days with the first post occurring by Wednesday. If there are extenuating circumstances, please communicate with your professor.

One of the topics for this week focused on context, purpose, and quality. The text also mentioned interpreting science and pseudoscience. When it comes to interpreting claims of science and/or pseudoscience, how would you go about doing so?

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Edited by Sonja Sheffield ( on Jun 22 at 12:37pm

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Science is a means for uncovering truth that investigates causal explanations to discover empirical facts about how the world works. Science is not the only way of constructing knowledge, since we also learn about the world from direct perception, by reasoning, and through aspects of life that are not empirically measurable, such as humor, dignity, and love. The reliability of science comes from its use of precise definitions, clearly defined contexts, and replicable results. If no one else can recreate your experiment, it’s more anecdote than science.

Some claims look like science but aren’t. We call this pseudoscience. Pseudoscience doesn’t follow the rules of the scientific method. To protect yourself from being taken in by pseudoscience, look out for the following signs:

A pseudoscientific explanation will often fail many of the standards of a good explanation in the following ways:

Think about how context and purpose affect the quality of interpretation. Watch the following video for more information on context, meaning and value. (



Dewey, J. (1909). How we think. Retrieved from h.html (

Soomo Webtext. (2016). Sources [E-reader Version]. Retrieved from https:webapps/smo-soomo- bb_bb60/soomo/courselink?course_id=_253478_1&mode=cpview ( course_id=_253478_1&mode=cpview)

Providing the explanation after the fact Failing to consider alternatives Not being open to the possibility of error Bypassing peer review before reporting widely Relying heavily on anecdotal evidence

Not empirically testable Doesn’t explain anything beyond the phenomenon it’s supposed to explain Overly complex / raises more questions Doesn’t fit in with what we already know about how the world works

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( Hernandez ( Monday


Good Morning Professor and Class,

Option 1: Option 1: Google <California Washington ( mural>

This mural was painted in 1936. There have been many debates on having the mural removed from San Fransico High School because of the reference to slavery. According to the article of Los Angeles Times it mentions, “The Depression-era mural, which depicts black slaves and dead Native Americans in Colonial-era scenery, is in the lobby of George Washington High School on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco’s Richmond District. The 13 frescoes, known collectively as “The Life of Washington,” were painted by Russian artist Victor Arnautoff in 1936, and funded by the New Deal Works Progress Administration”(Wick 2019).


Wick, J. (2019, August 13). Newsletter: What will become of San Francisco’s controversial George Washington mural? Retrieved July 13, 2020, from 13/san-francisco-mural-controversy-george-washington (

In my opinion, the mural should be left as in plain view, because the issue after the many years doesn’t show any good manner. We should understand that we cannot erase or change the history of America but we can change our behavior and attitude. I don’t think every mural is a symbol of race or slavery, we are living in the 21 century, and we cannot be stuck with conservative ideologies. The mural issues are nothing more than the conservative ideology and teasing. Students and schools should make an open environment to develop better interpersonal relations. I am not sure that the creator of this artwork was intentional to show the racism or slavery, they just have done a job in effective manners but now we are searching for racist ideas in everything. I don’t know, why modern American society is tilting towards conservatism and social identity. I think the artwork should be considered as the artwork rather than anything else, any traditional idea can ruin the value of the artwork. The artwork is just a symbol of American history and it should remain safe. History is a part of our present as well as the future so destroying history will affect the future. For example, many Tsars humiliated their people but it does not mean we should have destroyed buildings and beautiful structures. The artwork conveys the ideological and socio-economic values of contemporary America, it helps us to understand the history and present. If we see any social discrimination in the artwork is just an apperception. We should see the artwork as part of American history and culture which is changing gradually.


Top !

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” Reply &


( Hernandez ( Monday

” Reply &



Facione, P. & Gittens, C. A. (2016). Thinking critically. 3 . Ed. Pearson:Boston, MA.rd

( Sheffield (Instructor) Monday

” Reply &


Monica, thank you for your post this week and providing your thoughts on the murals.

You wrote, “. . .the mural should be left as in plain view, beause the issue after the many years doesn’t show any good manner.” Can you explain what you mean by “good manner”?

What exactly do you understand the conservative ideologies to be? Explain.

You also wrote, “. . .they just have done a job in effective manners. . .” What does that mean?

Can you provide a bit more information on how the Tsars humiliated their people and how that may be relevant to your post on this manner? I am not quite connecting the dots.

Finally, what is “apperception”? I am not familiar with that term.

Let’s look at vagueness in language. Vagueness in language can mean of uncertain, indefinite, or unclear character or meaning or Thinking or communicating in an unfocused or imprecise way (Oxford Dictionary). Language can be used to mislead and confuse, or to make certain ideas seem more profound than they really are.

One main task of critical thinking is to identify these linguistic pitfalls. Let’s start with one major pitfall – vagueness.

Vague is an imprecise boundary. The term “a tall person” is also vague. Why do you think that is so? Explain.

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( Cruz ( Monday

” Reply &


Option 1: California Washington Mural

The California Washington Mural is a Mural painted in a local Washington High school has brought up a lot of controversy. It depicts black slaves and dead Native Americans in colonial-era. Many see it as offensive, and something that should be removed from the school. It was painted in 1936 by Victor Arnautoff. It has years of history and removing it would be a huge step.

– I think the mural should be removed, even though we all know slavery is part of our history, I don’t think it is something that needs to be reminded every single day. Especially in a high school where students can get offended. Showing slaves and dead Native Americans is not a part of history that should be shown on a mural.

– I personally do not think this message is vague. Showing slaves being sold at the market is showing everyone who sees it the years of suffering they had to go through. Also the fact that it only shows people of color being hurt speaks a lot. Slaves are being sold, native Americans are the ones dead, while white people just look.

– The artistic value does not require to be saved, no matter how good a painting is, it does not give it the right to offend people that way I think this mural did, and it does not give it the right to show racism the way it does.

– When it comes to the historic value,slavery and racism is something that many experience to this day. This mural does not to be saved to remember history because that part of history is something that is still seen today in the 21st century.


Diaz, A. (2019, June 28). School to cover up George Washington mural that depicts violence and slavery. Retrieved July 13, 2020, from francisco-mural-20190628-story.html ( francisco-mural-20190628-story.html)

( Sheffield (Instructor) Tuesday


Hello Dianne, thank you for your post for this week and expressing your thoughts on the California Washington mural.

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Edited by Sonja Sheffield ( on Jul 14 at 1:59pm

” Reply &

I would definitely agree that the California Washington mural has brought up a lot of controversy as many of the statues have brought up a lot of controversy today.

It’s interesting that you believe that the mural should be removed and at the same time recognizing that slavery is definitely a part of our history. And I would agree that that type reminder does not have to be delivered every single day, however, without that particular mural, there are some things are going on in the United States today where people are reminded and there is no mural present. Would you agree with that?

Yes, seemingly the Caucasian race do appear to be lookers on and not as concerned, perhaps, as they should be.

When you wrote that the artistic value does not require to be saved no matter how good the painting is, what do you propose should happen to the mural? I’m really interested in your answer. And as far as is not showing racism the way it does, there are some things going on today in the past couple of months that shows racism in the same way, would you agree?

You make some very valid points and I enjoyed reading your post.

Let’s look at some cognitive biases.

A man bumps into you and walks away without apology. What are your immediate thoughts running in your head at the moment about that stranger? What type of bias is this and how can it be avoided?


Holm, C. (2015). The 25 cognitive biases: Uncovering the myth of rational thinking. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from

( Williams ( Monday


Chloe Williams

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