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The Critical Thinker's Dictionary: Biases, Fallacies, and Illusions and What You Can Do About Them
 
 

The Critical Thinker's Dictionary: Biases, Fallacies, and Illusions and What You Can Do About Them [Kindle Edition]

Robert Carroll
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

'Know Thyself' advised the ancient Greek sages at a time when philosophers defined us as rational animals. Rationality was thought of as an ideal largely achievable by controlling the emotions and avoiding logical fallacies. Today, we know better. Biology and neuroscience have exposed the brain as a great deceiver. Unconscious biases drive us to believe and do things that the conscious mind explains in self-serving stories, making us appear more rational to ourselves than we really are. Modern science has taught us that rationality involves much more than just controlling the emotions and avoiding fallacies. Today’s rational animal—what we call the critical thinker—must understand the unconscious biases that are directing many of our most important judgments and decisions. The Critical Thinker’s Dictionary explores the insights of ancient and modern philosophers along with the latest findings in such fields as neuroscience and behavioral economics to lay out the many obstacles and snares that await anyone committed to a rational life. The Critical Thinker’s Dictionary isn’t a collection of dry definitions, but a colorful, three-dimensional portrait of the major obstacles to critical thinking and what we can do to overcome them.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 760 KB
  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GNR0KT0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, shame about the cover 24 Nov. 2013
By SJJones
Format:Kindle Edition
An extremely informative and useful ebook by Rob Carroll of the 'Skeptic's Dictionary'.

My only criticism is cosmetic - the cover is really grim. If it's not home-made, it certainly looks it. The book deserves better.

Don't underestimate the importance of a good cover. It needn't be expensive ([...] has some good tips on the subject).
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5.0 out of 5 stars a nice reference source 26 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A collection of weekly blog posts fleshing out the main kinds of thinking errors we are all guilty of.

Clear definitions, examples and source lists for further research or to allow your view to be challenged and defended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this book! 31 Jan. 2014
By Reed Maxson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One might not consider reading a dictionary for entertainment, but this book is both informative, entertaining and perhaps somewhat frightening. For example, a trial by jury appears to be a fair manner in which to determine guilt or innocence, but how many jurors are aware of the many biases of their fellow jurors, as well as their own?

Having studied logic in the late 1960s, I was aware of many of the fallacies listed in this book, but certainly not all of them. This book was a pleasant “refresher course” for me. The chapter on the “backfire effect” is especially interesting to me, having recently read WHEN PROPHECY FAILS, as well as having discussions with an acquaintance who claims to be psychic. It seems that no evidence is strong enough to cause some folks to reconsider their beliefs, that, in fact, contrary evidence only strengthens those chosen beliefs.

The recent presidential campaign was rampant with faulty arguments and accusations, many of them apparently accepted at face value, without any degree of critical thinking.

Although not directly stated, Carol's book is a refreshing reminder that “common sense” should be reexamined, that perhaps we would be better citizens through recognizing fallacies and developing critical thinking, that we might even make better investment decisions, etc. Hopefully, this book might remedy some of the fallacies which abound in this Internet age; the mindless circulation of urban legends, pseudoscience, and the like. Thank you Robert Carroll!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book! 12 Jan. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book simply and effectively shows how we can't trust our judgements without some measure of objectivity. Its arrangement is straightforward. It creates almost instant humility. It also provides clear directions for sorting out good from bad arguments.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading 17 Dec. 2013
By Mario Preciado - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a lawyer and as a person interested in critical thinking, this book is a keeper. It has even made me realize how wrong I have been in some aspects of my reasoning. I'ts fascinating. I recommend it 100 %
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for the novice critical thinker. 28 Dec. 2013
By Pat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The world would be a safer place if everyone understood all of the terms in this wonderful précis to critical thinking.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigotry is a feature, not a bug 1 May 2014
By Richard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This helpful little tome is a useful resource to have with you at all times on your smart phone or tablet. Once you dive deeply into the brain's illusions, you are apt to be more forgiving of bigotry. We just cannot help being wedded strongly to our cherished convictions because they are indelibly etched in our neurons. We have scant control over the vital modules in our brain that carry out our thought processes. But it is critical to understand that what you focus on can repetitively can be indelibly recorded and control you insidiously. Eschew the supernatural all costs.
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