Critical Reasoning Week 2 Discussion DQ

Initial Post Instructions Select one of the following options to research for this discussion:

Before you read the news articles, try to look at the artworks through an image search in Google. Then, read the news articles to see the different viewpoints about the murals.

For the initial post, address at least four (4) of the following questions for the option you selected:

Textbook: Chapter 4, 5 Lesson At least 1 news article (e.g.,,, Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)

  • Option 1: Google <California Washington mural>. You will find numerous reports concerning a California school district that voted to paint over a mural in the high school. The Life of Washington was painted by Depression-era artist Victor Arnautoff.
  • Option 2: Google <Indiana University Thomas Hart Benton mural>. You will find numerous articles on the controversy surrounding a panel from Benton’s A Social History of Indiana (1933) murals.
  • Option 3: Conduct research on a mural or statue or monument in your town that is the subject of controversy.
  1. What do you think should be done with the artwork (e.g., painted over, covered, destroyed, left as is in plain view, etc.)?
  2. Why? Should the context in which the artwork was created (the Great Depression of the 1930s in the case of the Benton and Arnautoff murals) have an impact on the decision of what to do with the artwork?
  3. Should the context in which people now view the artwork have an impact on the decision of what to do with it?
  4. What message do you think the artwork conveys?
  5. Do you think there is ambiguity in the message? Do you think the message is vague?
  6. Does the artistic value of the artwork require that it be saved regardless of message?
  7. Does the historic value of the artwork require that it be saved regardless of message?
  8. Do you think the message of the artwork is sufficiently important that the message alone requires that it be saved?
  9. Do you think the artists were biased or prejudiced? If yes, explain specifics about the artwork that support

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Search entries or author

” Reply

Follow-Up Post Instructions Respond to at least two peers or one peer and the instructor. Respond to one peer who chose a controversial artwork other than the one you chose. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification. Do you agree or disagree with your peers’ positions? Explain why. In addition, address different issues than what your peers focused on.

Writing Requirements

Grading This activity will be graded using the Discussion Grading Rubric. Please review the following link:

Course Outcomes (CO): 5, 6

Due Date for Initial Post: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Wednesday Due Date for Follow-Up

Posts: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday Critical Reasoning Week 2 Discussion DQ your opinion. Do you think viewers might be bringing bias or prejudice to their opinions? Are you?

Minimum of 3 posts (1 initial & 2 follow-up) Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside source) APA format for in-text citations and list of references

Sonja Sheffield

(Instructor) Jun 22, 2020

Greetings Students,

You are only required to post an initial answer post and ONE follow-up post in each required discussion, each week.

Please make your TWO posts each week between Monday and Sunday. Your posts must occur on different days with the first post occurring by Wednesday. If there are extenuating circumstances, please communicate with your professor.

One of the topics for this week focused on context, purpose, and quality. The text also mentioned interpreting science and pseudoscience. When it comes to interpreting claims of science and/or pseudoscience, how would you go about doing so?

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Edited by Sonja Sheffield on Jun 22 at 12:37pm

Science is a means for uncovering truth that investigates causal explanations to discover empirical facts about how the world works. Science is not the only way of constructing knowledge, since we also learn about the world from direct perception, by reasoning, and through aspects of life that are not empirically measurable, such as humor, dignity, and love. The reliability of science comes from its use of precise definitions, clearly defined contexts, and replicable results. If no one else can recreate your experiment, it’s more anecdote than science.

Some claims look like science but aren’t. We call this pseudoscience. Pseudoscience doesn’t follow the rules of the scientific method. To protect yourself from being taken in by pseudoscience, look out for the following signs:

A pseudoscientific explanation will often fail many of the standards of a good explanation in the following ways:

Think about how context and purpose affect the quality of interpretation. Watch the following video for more information on context, meaning and value.



Providing the explanation after the fact Failing to consider alternatives Not being open to the possibility of error Bypassing peer review before reporting widely Relying heavily on anecdotal evidence

Not empirically testable Doesn’t explain anything beyond the phenomenon it’s supposed to explain Overly complex / raises more questions Doesn’t fit in with what we already know about how the world works 7/16/20, 2:09 PM Page 3 of 51 

Monica Hernandez

Option 1: Google California Washington

This mural was painted in 1936. There have been many debates on having the mural removed from San Francisco High School because of the reference to slavery. According to the article of Los Angeles Times it mentions, “The Depression-era mural, which depicts black slaves and dead Native Americans in Colonial-era scenery, is in the lobby of George Washington High School on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco’s Richmond District. The 13 frescoes, known collectively as “The Life of Washington,” were painted by Russian artist Victor Arnautoff in 1936, and funded by the New Deal Works Progress Administration” (Wick 2019).


In my opinion, the mural should be left in plain view, because the issue after many years doesn’t show any good manners. We should understand that we cannot erase or change the history of America but we can change our behavior and attitude. I don’t think every mural is a symbol of race or slavery, we are living in the 21st century, and we cannot be stuck with conservative ideologies.

The mural issues are nothing more than the conservative ideology and teasing. Students and schools should make an open environment to develop better interpersonal relations. I am not sure that the creator of this artwork was intentional to show the racism or slavery, they just have done a job in effective manners but now we are searching for racist ideas in everything.

I don’t know why modern American society is tilting towards conservatism and social identity. I think the artwork should be considered as the artwork rather than anything else, any traditional idea can ruin the value of the artwork. The artwork is just a symbol of American history and it should remain safe. History is a part of our present as well as the future so destroying history will affect the future. For example, many Tsars humiliated their people but it does not mean we should have destroyed buildings and beautiful structures.

The artwork conveys the ideological and socio-economic values of contemporary America, it helps us to understand the history and present. If we see any social discrimination in the artwork is just an apperception. We should see the artwork as part of American history and culture which is changing gradually.