Alright, readers. This installment of Thinking About Thinking is going to be … a little different.
The general Halloween season is a time when strange things start happening. Things which go “bump” in the night.
One such thing happened in my very own home last night!
The irrational thought processes were coming … from inside the house!
I couldn’t believe it myself, at first. As I sat in my study late at night, reading peacefully, a faint noise made its way to my ear.
“It’s nothing,” I told myself. “Everyone is asleep except me. Nothing could be coming at this time of night!”
And yet before me did appear a specter, which took the form of my own young daughter!
“Noelle!” I said with a start. “What are you doing out of bed?”
Dazed, she replied.
“Daddy. When it starts to get cold, and the river freezes over, people go and get fish out of the water so they don’t freeze.”
It couldn’t be! In MY house?! A faulty thought process known as … conjecture?!
“Begone, you aberration!” I said in response. “You trickster! No child of mine would fall prey to a type of informal reason known as conjecture! Your thesis is unproven! While it may seem correct, you’ve offered no proof whatsoever for your positive claim!
Although it would seem to make sense that fish live in water and therefore they must have some sort of interlocutor that keeps them from freezing during cold months, this claim requires proof! We can’t just assume that whatever sounds vaguely correct must be true!”
“It’s not conjecture,” said the spirit in a haunting voice. “It’s a hypothesis!”
“You shan’t fool me with your trickery, cursed one! A hypothesis implies inquiry! It is a claim which may be true, but requires testing! Conjecture is a truth statement based on incomplete or vague information!”
“Nooooooooo!” the spirit wailed, disappearing in a puff and leaving me once more to the peace of my study.
Until next time – Stay safe! Stay critical! And tune in next week for more tales of ghastly and ghoulish thinking errors!
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