Critically Thinking About Important Issues

October 24 -28 November, 2024

In this lecture series, Dr. Christopher DiCarlo – a philosopher and author  – will examine and discuss a wide variety of topics dealing with some of the most important issues that face us today. These will be examined through the lens of Critical Thinking and range from the study of ethics, love, the social and political issues of abortion and euthanasia, the debate between evolution vs. creationism, the advancements of Artificial Intelligence, and how to deal with misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.
Series Coordinator:

Cheryl Kryzaniwsky 

Lecturer - Christopher DiCarlo

Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He is the Principal and Founder of Critical Thinking Solutions, a consulting business for individuals, corporations, and not-for-profits in both the private and public sectors. He currently holds the position of Senior Researcher and Ethicist at Convergence Analysis – a UK-based agency focusing on AI Risk and Governance.

Dr. DiCarlo is also the Ethics Chair for the Canadian Mental Health Association and a past Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. DiCarlo has won several awards including TV Ontario’s Best Lecturer in Ontario Award, and Canada’s Humanist of the Year. 

6 lectures, live at the Bayshore Centre and Online on Vimeo

Replays on demand until Dec. 31 on Vimeo

The ABC’s of Critical Thinking: An Introduction

  • Date: Thursday Oct. 24, 2024, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound
    Throughout history, philosophers, mathematicians, logicians, scientists, writers, and many others have developed the Critical Thinking skills that require all of us to make distinctions regarding the value of information. I have taken these skills, and distilled them into six easy-to-remember steps.
    Each of the tools of the Critical Thinking skill set matches the first six letters of the English alphabet.
    A is for Argument, B is for Bias, C is for Context
    D is for Diagram, E is for Evidence, F is for Fallacies
    Remember the letters, and you can easily remember and apply the most basic steps for becoming a better thinker. Combined, these steps form a skill set allowing anyone to have more meaningful discussions about all issues – from the simple to the sublime. What you think is up to you. But there are specific rules that govern better and worse ways regarding ‘how’ we think.


    Good vs Evil - How Should I Behave?

    • Date: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2024  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound

    In this talk we shall examine some of the foundational concepts in the branch of Philosophy called Ethics. We shall consider some thought experiments or ‘What would you do?’ scenarios which pose some ethical dilemmas and challenge us to carefully consider how we might act. We will also consider the ethical theories of various philosophers throughout history to see how their theories apply to such dilemmas. And finally, we will consider to what extent other animal species practice ethical codes of conduct.



    • Date: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2024  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound

    In this lecture, we will consider the contentious issue which separates the so- called Pro-Choice advocates from Pro-Lifers. We will consider the positions and difficulties of the three different schools of thought: Conservative, Legalist/Feminist, and Gradualist. And we will look at comparisons between the United States and Canadian histories of abortion, especially in light of the overturn of Roe vs Wade.


    Critically thinking About Artificial Intelligence

    • Date: Thursday, Nov. 14, 2024  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound
    What is Artificial Intelligence or AI? How will it affect and change our lives? What are its benefits and, more importantly, what are the risks associated with its inevitable developments? In this lecture, we will consider some of the main advances of AI which will change our lives forever. We will also look at some of the potential obstacles and pitfalls which may become apparent as we move into the future. From naysayers to doomsdayers, we will consider all perspectives as these new forms of technology undoubtedly change our lives.


      Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

      • Date: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2024  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
      • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound

      Why is there so much misinformation and disinformation circulating on popular media? And why do there seem to be so many conspiracy theories? In this lecture, we'll consider the causal factors which have led to our current state of confusion. In order to find out what goes into the making of a conspiracy theorist, we must consider the relevant causal influences that have contributed to their particular states of mind. In so doing, we become better enabled in understanding both the physical and cultural constraints which bias their particular points of view. We will also look at the simultaneous demise of newsprint journalism and the rise of social media as contributing factors behind the proliferation of such information. And finally, we will consider some of the ways in which we might be able to engage with those in our lives who subscribe to such views.



      • Date: Thursday, Nov. 28, 2024  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
      • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound

      From the Greek eu meaning ‘well’ or ‘good’ and thanatos meaning ‘death’, the term ‘euthanasia’ literally means ‘to have a good death’. But what does that mean? And who should decide? And why? In this lecture, we will consider the history of mercy killing and its evolution and development as Medical Assistance in Dying (or MAID) in Canada.