How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age

Seventh Edition

Author: Theodore Schick,Lewis Vaughn

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

ISBN: 0077526317

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 333

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This concise and engaging text teaches the basic principles of good reasoning through an examination of widely held beliefs about the paranormal, the supernatural, and the mysterious. By explaining what distinguishes knowledge from opinion, science from pseudoscience, and evidence from hearsay, How to Think about Weird Things helps the reader develop the skills needed to tell the true from the false and the reasonable from the unreasonable.

How to Think about Weird Things

Critical Thinking for a New Age

Author: Theodore Schick,Lewis Vaughn

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781259095511

Category:

Page: 318

View: 5591

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This concise and engaging text teaches the basic principles of good reasoning through an examination of widely held beliefs about the paranormal, the supernatural, and the mysterious. By explaining what distinguishes knowledge from opinion, science from pseudoscience, and evidence from hearsay, How to Think about Weird Things helps the reader develop the skills needed to tell the true from the false and the reasonable from the unreasonable.

Why People Believe Weird Things

Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time

Author: Michael Shermer

Publisher: Holt Paperbacks

ISBN: 9781429996761

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 942

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Revised and Expanded Edition. In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, "Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things," Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science. Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them.

Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal

A Critical Thinker's Toolkit

Author: Jonathan C. Smith

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1444358944

Category: Psychology

Page: 432

View: 1370

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Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit provides readers with a variety of "reality-checking" tools to analyze extraordinary claims and to determine their validity. Integrates simple yet powerful evaluative tools used by both paranormal believers and skeptics alike Introduces innovations such as a continuum for ranking paranormal claims and evaluating their implications Includes an innovative "Critical Thinker’s Toolkit," a systematic approach for performing reality checks on paranormal claims related to astrology, psychics, spiritualism, parapsychology, dream telepathy, mind-over-matter, prayer, life after death, creationism, and more Explores the five alternative hypotheses to consider when confronting a paranormal claim Reality Check boxes, integrated into the text, invite students to engage in further discussion and examination of claims Written in a lively, engaging style for students and general readers alike Ancillaries: Testbank and PowerPoint slides available at www.wiley.com/go/pseudoscience

Confrontations with the Reaper

A Philosophical Study of the Nature and Value of Death

Author: Fred Feldman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780195358339

Category: Philosophy

Page: 249

View: 1750

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What is death? Do people survive death? What do we mean when we say that someone is "dying"? Presenting a clear and engaging discussion of the classic philosophical questions surrounding death, this book studies the great metaphysical and moral problems of death. In the first part, Feldman shows that a definition of life is necessary before death can be defined. After exploring several of the most plausible accounts of the nature of life and demonstrating their failure, he goes on to propose his own conceptual scheme for death and related concepts. In the second part, Feldman turns to ethical and value-theoretical questions about death. Addressing the ancient Epicurean ethical problem about the evil of death, he argues that death can be a great evil for those who die, even if they do not exist after death, because it may deprive them of the goods they would have enjoyed if they had continued to live. Confrontations with the Reaper concludes with a novel consequentialist theory about the morality of killing, applying it to such thorny practical issues as abortion, suicide, and euthanasia.

Evolution as a Religion

Strange Hopes and Stranger Fears

Author: Mary Midgley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134470150

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 555

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According to a profile in The Guardian, Mary Midgley is 'the foremost scourge of scientific pretensions in this country; someone whose wit is admired even by those who feel she sometimes oversteps the mark'. Considered one of Britain's finest philosophers, Midgley exposes the illogical logic of poor doctrines that shelter themselves behind the prestige of science. Always at home when taking on the high priests of evolutionary theory - Dawkins, Wilson and their acolytes - she has famously described evolution as 'the creation-myth of our age'. In Evolution as a Religion, she examines how science comes to be used as a substitute for religion and points out how badly that role distorts it. As ever, her argument is flawlessly insightful: a punchy, compelling, lively indictment of these misuses of science. Both the book and its author are true classics of our time.

The Borderlands of Science

Where Sense Meets Nonsense

Author: Michael Shermer

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195157982

Category: Science

Page: 360

View: 6976

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Presents a collection of essays on various topics in science and personalities in science, including Carl Sagan, Sigmund Freud, and Alfred Russel Wallace.

Critical Thinking, Science, and Pseudoscience

Why We Can't Trust Our Brains

Author: Caleb W. Lack, PhD,Jacques Rousseau, MA

Publisher: Springer Publishing Company

ISBN: 0826194265

Category: Psychology

Page: 304

View: 2483

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This unique text for undergraduate courses teaches students to apply critical thinking skills across all academic disciplines by examining popular pseudoscientific claims through a multidisciplinary lens. Rather than merely focusing on critical thinking grounded in philosophy and psychology, the text incorporates the perspectives of biology, physics, medicine, and other disciplines to reinforce different categories of rational explanation. The book is also distinguished by its respectful approach to individuals whose ideas are, according to the authors, deeply flawed. Accessible and engaging, it describes what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to learn and apply skillsóusing scientific methods--that promote it. The text also examines why critical thinking can be difficult to engage in and explores the psychological and social reasons why people are drawn to and find credence in extraordinary claims. From alien abductions and psychic phenomena to strange creatures and unsupported alternative medical treatments, the text uses examples from a wide range of pseudoscience fields and brings evidence from diverse disciplines to critically examine these erroneous claims. Particularly timely is the text's examination of how, using the narrative of today's "culture wars," religion and culture impact science. The authors focus on how the human brain, rife with natural biases, does not process information in a rational fashion, and the social factors that prevent individuals from gaining an unbiased, critical perspective on information. Authored by a psychologist and a philosopher who have extensive experience teaching and writing on critical thinking and skeptical inquiry, this work will help students to strengthen their skills in reasoning and debate, become intelligent consumers of research, and make well-informed choices as citizens. Key Features: Addresses the foundations of critical thinking and how to apply it through the popular activity of examining pseudoscience Explains why humans are vulnerable to pseudoscientific claims and how critical thinking can overcome fallacies and biases Reinforces critical thinking through multidisciplinary analyses of pseudoscience Examines how religion and culture impact science Enlightens using an engaging, entertaining approach Written by experienced and innovative scholar/educators well known in the skeptic community Features teaching resources including an Instructor's Guide and Powepoint slides

Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues

Author: Vincent Ruggiero

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education

ISBN: 9780078119057

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 5274

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Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues invites readers to apply ethical principles to issues that exemplify the kinds of moral challenges encountered in everyday life. It provides an overview of the need for ethics and then focuses on strategies for effective decision making. Ruggiero emphasizes doing ethical analysis rather than comparing ethical theories. The history of ethics is covered in the concluding chapter.

Born Believers

The Science of Children's Religious Belief

Author: Justin L. Barrett

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439196575

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 9290

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Infants have a lot to make sense of in the world: Why does the sun shine and night fall; why do some objects move in response to words, while others won’t budge; who is it that looks over them and cares for them? How the developing brain grapples with these and other questions leads children, across cultures, to naturally develop a belief in a divine power of remarkably consistent traits––a god that is a powerful creator, knowing, immortal, and good—explains noted developmental psychologist and anthropologist Justin L. Barrett in this enlightening and provocative book. In short, we are all born believers. Belief begins in the brain. Under the sway of powerful internal and external influences, children understand their environments by imagining at least one creative and intelligent agent, a grand creator and controller that brings order and purpose to the world. Further, these beliefs in unseen super beings help organize children’s intuitions about morality and surprising life events, making life meaningful. Summarizing scientific experiments conducted with children across the globe, Professor Barrett illustrates the ways human beings have come to develop complex belief systems about God’s omniscience, the afterlife, and the immortality of deities. He shows how the science of childhood religiosity reveals, across humanity, a “natural religion,” the organization of those beliefs that humans gravitate to organically, and how it underlies all of the world’s major religions, uniting them under one common source. For believers and nonbelievers alike, Barrett offers a compelling argument for the human instinct for religion, as he guides all parents in how to effectively encourage children in developing a healthy constellation of beliefs about the world around them.

Waking Up

A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Author: Sam Harris

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451636032

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 256

View: 4211

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For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s latest New York Times bestseller is a guide to meditation as a rational practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. From Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, Waking Up is for the twenty percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that important truths can be found in the experiences of such figures as Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives. Waking Up is part memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.

The Righteous Mind

Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

Author: Jonathan Haidt

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307455777

Category: Philosophy

Page: 500

View: 6088

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Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

Critical Thinking

Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life

Author: Richard Paul,Linda Elder

Publisher: FT Press

ISBN: 0133115690

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 480

View: 6099

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Use better thinking to empower yourself, discover opportunities, avoid disastrous mistakes, build wealth, and achieve your biggest goals! This is your complete, up-to-the-minute blueprint for assessing and improving the way you think about everything – from business decisions to personal relationships. Drs. Richard W. Paul and Linda Elder, of the Center for Critical Thinking, offer specific guidance for making more intelligent decisions, and overcoming the irrationalities and "sociocentric" limits we all face. Discover which of the "six stages" of thinking you’re in and learn how to think with clarity, relevance, logic, accuracy, depth, significance, precision, breadth, and fairness. Master strategic thinking skills you can use everywhere and learn how to critically assess what experts tell you. Packed with new examples and exercises, this guide won’t just help you think more effectively: it will help you use those skills to empower yourself, discover new opportunities, avoid disastrous mistakes, and grow your wealth. Above all, it will help you gain the confidence and clarity you need to pursue and achieve your most important goals in life – whatever they are!

12 Rules for Life

An Antidote to Chaos

Author: Jordan B. Peterson

Publisher: Random House Canada

ISBN: 0345816048

Category: Psychology

Page: 320

View: 1917

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#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

The Lost Book of Mormon

A Quest for the Book That Just Might Be the Great American Novel

Author: Avi Steinberg

Publisher: Anchor Books

ISBN: 0307948366

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 9875

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An engaging history of the controversial text at the center of the Mormon faith traces the author's experiences at the sides of Mormon pilgrims, during a production of the Book of Mormon and at the Jackson County site identified by Joseph Smith as the Garden of Eden. 25,000 first printing.

How We Believe

The Search for God in an Age of Science

Author: Michael Shermer

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 071674161X

Category: Science

Page: 302

View: 8390

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Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? In How We Believe, Michael Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. The result offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions.

The Science of Superstition

How the Developing Brain Creates Supernatural Beliefs

Author: Bruce M. Hood

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780062009029

Category: Psychology

Page: 320

View: 9061

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“In an account chock full of real-world examples reinforced by experimental research, Hood’s marvelous book is an important contribution to the psychological literature that is revealing the actuality of our very irrational human nature.” — Science In the vein of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Mary Roach’s Spook, and Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, The Science of Superstition uses hard science to explain pervasive irrational beliefs and behaviors: from the superstitious rituals of sports stars, to the depreciated value of houses where murders were committed, to the adoration of Elvis.

Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders

Author: Jamie Whyte

Publisher: McGraw Hill Professional

ISBN: 007178439X

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 8366

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Uncover the truth under all the BS In the daily battle for our hearts and minds--not to mention our hard-earned cash--the truth is usually the first casualty. It's time we learned how to see through the rhetoric, faulty reasoning, and misinformation that we're subjected to from morning to night by talk-radio hosts, op-ed columnists, advertisers, self-help gurus, business "thinkers," and, of course, politicians. And no one is better equipped to show us how than award-winning philosopher Jamie Whyte. In Crimes Against Logic Whyte take us on a fast-paced, ruthlessly funny romp through the mulligan stew of can, folderol, and bogus logic served up in the media, at the office, and even in your own home. Applying his laserlike wit to dozens of timely examples, Whyte cuts through the haze of facts, figures, and double-talk and gets at the real truth behind what they're telling us. "An incisive philosopher." --Sunday Telegraph

The Untethered Soul (EasyRead Edition)

Author: Michael A. Singer

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1458727351

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 240

View: 5247

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The chapters of this book are nothing but mirrors for seeing your ''self'' from different angles. And though the journey we are about to embark on is an inner one, it will draw upon every aspect of your life. The only requirement asked of you is the willingness to honestly look at yourself in the most natural, intuitive manner. Remember, if we are seeking the root of ''self,'' what we are actually seeking is you. As you read through these pages, you will find that you know much more than you thought you did about some very deep subjects. The fact is, you already know how to find yourself; you have just gotten distracted and disoriented. Once refocused, you will realize that you not only have the ability to find yourself, you have the ability to free yourself. Whether you choose to do so or not is entirely up to you. But upon completion of your journey through these chapters, there will be no more confusion, no more lack of empowerment, and no more blaming others. You will know exactly what must be done. And should you choose to devote yourself to the ongoing journey of self-realization, you will develop a tremendous sense of respect for who you really are. It is only then that you will come to appreciate the full depth of meaning in the advice: ''This above all: to thine own self be true.'' ---- Introduction