By Jonathan Haber on Monday, November 20th, 2019 at 10:00 p.m.
LogicCheck was inspired by the many fact-checking sites and sources dedicated to using principles and best practices of journalism to help citizens sort truth from falsehood during an age of political polarization and “fake news.” The LogicCheck project supports this same goal with a mission to look at not just facts, but arguments into which those facts fit.
Why logic check political arguments? As the late philosopher and New York Times columnist Gary Gutting once observed: “strictly speaking, facts by themselves provide only the premises of a rational argument. To draw a conclusion, we also need a logical process of reasoning.” In many cases, a political speech, editorial or debate “zinger,” uses true facts to support an untrue, unsupported or unjust conclusion. In order to know when facts are being marshalled not to inform but manipulate, we all need to become not just fact checkers, but critical thinkers.
The mission of LogicCheck is not political, nor journalistic but educational. As a researcher and author dedicated to supporting and expanding critical-thinking education, my hope is that lessons drawn from the headlines can help learners of any age better understand the process of logical analysis and apply it not just to political matters but to all aspects of their lives.
Many of the biggest players in fact-checking journalism subscribe to a code of principles developed by a group called the International Fact Checking Network which requires participants to commit to transparency and neutrality in their work. While I’m not sure if the educational mission of LogicCheck puts this site in the same category as those of fact-checking organizations, I wanted to provide an equivalent level of transparency to help readers determine how much you want to trust what you read here.
I am an educational researcher and consultant specializing in online teaching and learning, assessment, and critical-thinking education. I am the author of four books, including Critical Thinking and MOOCs from MIT Press and Critical Voter, a how-to guide that uses election politics to teach critical-thinking skills. My writing and interviews on the subject of critical thinking can be found here. My Degree of Freedom site also includes writing and interviews on massive open online courses (MOOCs) and general education topics.
I have also created, and am in the process of evangelizing, a set of high-leverage critical-thinking teaching practices that integrate critical-thinking instruction into traditional course subjects from Kindergarten through college. Feel free to use the Contact page to connect with me about anything that interests you.