5 Steps of a Rational Analysis for Voting, Controversial Issues, and General Thinking

First, Put some major issues on the table, like racism, abortion, socialism-vs-capitalism, war, and education. Think about how passionate people are screeching at each other about these issues. Take a step back, and consider any of these issues through the following steps.

First, Put some major issues on the table, like racism, abortion, socialism-vs-capitalism, war, and education. Think about how passionate people are screeching at each other about these issues. Take a step back, and consider any of these issues through the following steps.


1. Diagnostic: What is the real problem?


2. Prescription: Given the diagnosis, what is the best solution?


3. Theoretical Dimensions/conflicts/foundations


4. Historical Application


5. Current Application

Watch for these: 

  • Watch for emotional appeals/divisive
  • Presumptive characterizations of the problems that need to investigate

Tips That You Can Do Now

  • Suspend judgement, admit ignorance, be impartial-before-partisan
  • Seek to know the basic beliefs of the people you are studying
  • Self-Test: if you agree with every policy from a given person or group, chances are, you’re not even thinking things through
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Author: TheCommoner

I am a philosopher that is interested in what makes life worth living, what is worth pursuing, and how we can learn from the past. I believe that good philosophy benefits everyone and that there should be philosophers that present philosophy to those outside of the academy.

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