Can Reason Reunite Us?

Can Reason Reunite Us?

October 10, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


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The Stillwater Critical Thinking Club is hosting a presentation by Jerry Smith on the topic, “Can Reason Reunite Us?”

Since the 18th century Enlightenment, reason has been regarded as the key to individual well-being and Western civilization’s social and technological progress. This presentation will explain reason and reasoning, distinguishing between deductive and non-deductive or practical reasoning. We will identify major types of practical reasoning and discuss their limitations. Post-modernist challenges to reason will be considered, as will psychological tendencies that undermine our ability to reason effectively. Admitting that reason alone cannot overcome the disagreements dividing red and blue Americans, we will consider what reason can contribute to our achieving a more perfect union.

Jerry Smith is a recently retired college professor whose academic career was spent in business schools at the University of Minnesota and the University of Northern Iowa. His primary teaching responsibilities and research interests were decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking. A long-time member of the Humanists of Minnesota, Jerry currently serves on their Board of Directors and hosts various events for the organization, notably the monthly Discussion, Debate, and Dinner series and the Think! book club. Jerry is a zealous reader, a fairly successful gardener, and a not-always-successful angler. He lives with his wife, Juliet, in St. Paul, enjoying time with their five adult children and five grandchildren, all of whom live in the Twin Cities metro.

What is important is not what you think, but how you think. The Critical Thinking Club is devoted to presentations on controversial topics followed by group discussions to evaluate the quality of available information and help individual members to reach justified conclusions, and to avoid error. Critical Thinking Clubs meet monthly in St. Paul, Stillwater, Mankato and Minnetonka.

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