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How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age Paperback – 1 Dec 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education; 5 edition (1 Dec. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0073386626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073386621
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 1.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,136,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Publisher

A section on logic in Chapter 6 explains the nature and function of both deductive and inductive reasoning, and is followed by a case study and exercises for analysis.
A new section focuses on communicating with the dead and cold reading.
Treatment of evolution and creationism has been updated (see Chapter 4), and coverage of intelligent design theory has been expanded.
Many additional exercises, discussion questions, and 'field problems' have been added.
A revised chapter on cognitive relativism covers subjectivism, social constructivism, and conceptual relativism.
The text utilizes a detailed, step-by-step procedure-the SEARCH formula-for evaluating extraordinary claims.
Explanations of vital principles of knowledge, reasoning, and evidence help students sharpen their judgment and problem-solving skills.
Numerous boxes are integrated throughout the text, offering details on various beliefs, assessments by believers and skeptics, and reports of relevant scientific research.
Study questions appear at the end of each chapter.
An appendix contains additional information on informal fallacies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By arronax on 4 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was recommended this book buy someone who was helping me improve my academic writing skills.
I have, in the past, taken compulsory classes on critical thinking without ever getting much out of them. But critical thinking is an essential skill for anyone looking to be successful in business, science, academia - the list goes on.

The difference with this book is that a find it more accessible and instead of just bashing the "weird things" it truly objectively looks at them whilst introducing you to key concepts and terminology.
The book points out the weakness of both people who propose and try to refute certain claims, this is a huge strength.

In short if you want to improve your reasoning/logic/critical thinking abilities, especially if you have had trouble with formalised teaching of this subject this book is very likely to help.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Psimikakis Chalkokondylis on 17 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one excellent little book!

In the spirit of Michael Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time", it is a book I believe every child in every school of the world should read and be taught. (It is slightly more academic than Shermer's book, and more clearly laid out with less personal stuff, but that makes for a very easily accessible content, and very transparent laying-out of the key concepts, ideas and arguments of the book.)

It shows the vulnerabilities of knowing, the dangers of thinking you know, the benefits of really knowing, and the tools with which you can come closer to establishing when to believe in something or not.

It lays out simple concepts of philosophy of knowledge, logical thinking, epistemology, and scientific evaluation, and they are all illustrated very interestingly by a big variety of footnotes, examples, and case-studies. A very comprehensive bibliography follows at the end of each chapter with material related to what has just been covered, along with some thought-experiments and questions to think about.

Great great book, but I wouldn't say read this *instead* of Shermer's book - I would say, read both!
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By Barrie Davis on 16 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a considerable disappointment, especially after all the trouble I had getting a copy. It just didn't apply a high enough level of intellectual rigour, in that its OWN arguments were vulnerable to the SAME "critical thinking" the authors were meting out to the oddball ideas they were there to refute. This despite its writers strutting around within the text as if they were the brightest people we were ever likely to encounter. (Huh! Get over yourselves!)
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