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Phil 105: Practical Reasoning — Fall 2019

Study Guide for Exam 3

Exam 3 will be held during our final exam period, on Friday, December 13, 2019, from 1pm to 3pm in our regular room (LGRT 123).

It is not cumulative: it covers only unit 3. As usual, about 60% will be multiple choice, and the rest short answer.

You should be prepared to do all of the following.

  1. Understand the terms listed in the “key terms” box below, and employ them correctly and answer questions about them.
  2. Identify potential factors/concerns affecting the reliability of different kinds of evidence, and apply this knowledge to described situations.
  3. Understand the different possible explanations for a correlation, and suggest alternative explanations besides the most obvious cause-effect relationship.
  4. Identify issues and complications that can make statistical information, as well as graphs and diagrams representing statistics, potentially misleading or confusing.
  5. Suggest a number of hypotheses for explaining something or solving a problem, as well as suggest inquiries or experiments to test them.
  6. List criteria that can be used to evaluate a scientific hypothesis or theory, as well as those features that are shared by trustworthy scientific studies.
  7. Identify issues that can hinder open-minded thinking, and be able to make suggestions for improving it.
  8. Identify certain issues that can hinder or promote creative thinking, and be able to make suggestions for improving creative thinking in an imagined situation.

Key terms

abductive reasoning


actively open-minded thinking

base (of a percentage)

cognitive dissonance

contributing factor

correlation coefficient


creativity cycle

degree of confidence


dissonance resolution







implicitly (speaker-)relative



knowledge (tripartite analysis)

margin of error

mean / median / mode


necessary condition

negative correlation

Occam's razor

one-sided thinking


order principle

overriding evidence

perspective shift

positive correlation

random sample

range (statistical)

relativity (relative)

reliability (reliable)


scientific law

scientific theory

standard deviation

subjective / objective

sufficient condition


two-sided thinking

undermining evidence

© 2024 Kevin C. Klement