Lecture Notes.
 
  

 
Module Two: Session Five

Elements of Thought: Frame of Reference

  • Two kinds of frame of reference must be considered;
  • World view and
  • The Role of the individual
people

World View

  • We all reason from within a world view. A world view can be likened to an irremovable set of glasses which filter our perception of reality. Each person's world view can result in bias, prejudice, and misunderstanding. It is important to recognize that we reason from within a world view, and identify the ways that it can interfere with good reasoning.
  • Here are few examples of contributing factors which make up one's world view:
    • nationality
    • sex
    • language
    • education
    • parents
    • religion
    • age
    • place in history

    Role

  • The role which we play at any given time affects our reasoning. Roles are much more dynamic than world views. One's role can change throughout the day.

  • Here are a few examples of roles which can affect our reasoning;
    • pedestrian
    • motorist
    • teacher
    • student
    • parent
    • child
    • employee
    • friend

  • Regarding Frame of Reference,
  • Identify your point of view.
    Seek other points of view and identify their strengths as well as weaknesses.
    Strive to be fair-minded in evaluating all points of view.
  • Related Term: Paradigm
  • A paradigm is a model or representation of reality. It is a broader way of thinking about world views. An entire culture often share the key elements of a paradigm.
  • Here are some examples:
  • naturalism: The model which assumes that all that exists is matter.
    theism: The model which assumes that there is a god who exists in addition to matter, and that this god created the matter.
    nihilism: The model that says that claims about morality are without meaning.

Paradigm

  • A paradigm is a model or representation of reality. It is a broader way of thinking about world views. An entire culture often share the key elements of a paradigm.
  • Here are some examples:
    • naturalism: The model which assumes that all that exists is matter.
    • theism: The model which assumes that there is a god who exists in addition to
    • matter, and that this god created the matter.
    • nihilism: The model that says that claims about morality are without meaning.
  • Paradigms and Science:
    • In science, there is always a dominant model that is the basis for all presuppositions regarding research in virtually every area of science. When the paradigm changes, all fields of scientific research and research adjust to conform to it.
    • Here are some examples:
      • The geocentric model of the universe (The earth is the center of everything.)
      • The heliocentric model (the sun is the center of the solar system.)
      • Newton's Laws of Motion
      • Einstein's Theory of Relativity
      • Darwin's Theory of Evolution
    • Notice that these affect not only science, but the way everyone tends to see the world.

Checklist

  • Regarding Frame of Reference,
  • Identify your point of view.
  • Seek other points of view and identify their strengths as well as weaknesses.
  • Strive to be fair-minded in evaluating all points of view.
  • Consider the possibility that paradigms by which you live could be wrong. What are alternatives? What are the most reasonable arguments for them?
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