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Assumptions

Assumptions

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Assumptions

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  1. Assumptions

  2. Assumptions: What Are They? Assumption: An assumption is something we take for granted or presuppose. Usually it is something we previously learned and do not question. It is part of our system of beliefs. We assume our beliefs to be true and use them to interpret the world about us. If we believe that it is dangerous to walk late at night in big cities and we are staying in Chicago, we will infer that it is dangerous to go for a walk late at night. We take for granted our belief that it is dangerous to walk late at night in big cities. If our belief is a sound one, our assumption is sound. If our belief is not sound, our assumption is not sound. Beliefs, and hence assumptions, can be unjustified or justified, depending upon whether we do or do not have good reasons for them.

  3. Assumptions: Example “I heard a scratch at the door. I got up to let the cat in.” My inference was based on the assumption (my prior belief) that only the cat makes that noise, and that he makes it only when he wants to be let in. If my assumption is justified, I should open the door to find the cat.

  4. But, what if my assumption is unjustified and I open the door to find a raccoon determined loot my kitchen? My assumption will have led me to misinterpret the scratch at the door and invite chaos into my house.

  5. Assumptions can range from negative stereotypes to warranted and well supported rules to live by. -Blonds are dumb. -People with glasses are smart. -Low fat foods are healthy. -Don’t eat yellow snow. -Loud noises indicate danger.

  6. Assumptions can range from negative stereotypes to warranted and well supported rules to live by. -Blonds are dumb. -People with glasses are smart. -Low fat foods are healthy. -Don’t eat yellow snow. -Loud noises indicate danger. What are some other commonly held assumptions that you think are unwarranted?