By Jonathan Haber on Monday, November 20th, 2019 at 10:00 p.m.
LogicCheck was inspired by the many fact-checking sites and sources dedicating 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 the how much you want to trust what you read here.