The Skeptic's Dictionary and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£13.95
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 2 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Trade in your item
Get a £2.58
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (Social Science) Paperback – 19 Aug 2003


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£13.95
£9.28 £5.50

Frequently Bought Together

The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (Social Science) + Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time + Paranormality: Why we believe the impossible
Price For All Three: £32.98

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £2.58
Trade in The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (Social Science) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £2.58, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (19 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471272426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471272427
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.5 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

“…offers a remarkable range of information that puts to the test the best arguments of true believers…” ( Short Book Reviews , Vol.24, No.3, December 2004) “… I found myself engrossed in the information due to its vast collection of interesting entries…” ( M2 Best Books , 22 March 2004) "...Use this book as protection against attacks by New Agers, alternative therapists and others who have chosen to abandon reason..." ( The Times , 25 October 2003) "...Carroll is always interested in why such beliefs occur and points generously t further literature..." ( The Guardian , 18 October 2003) "...Anyone wanting an informed opinion with which to smack down an argumentative pal should start here..." ( Dorset Echo , 25 October 2003) "...A treat to savour...first reaction is pleasurable incredulity and occasional hilarity... an amazing assembly, elegantly written and level–headed...likely to be used so often it is a pity it is a softback book..." ( New Scientist ) "...No reasonable, logic–based library will be without a copy!" ( Good Book Guide , March 2004)

From the Back Cover

A wealth of evidence for doubters and disbelievers "Whether it’s the latest shark cartilage scam, or some new ‘repressed memory’ idiocy that besets you, I suggest you carry a copy of this dictionary at all times, or at least have it within reach as first aid for psychic attacks. We need all the help we can get." –James Randi, President, James Randi Educational Foundation, randi.org "From alternative medicine, aliens, and psychics to the farthest shores of science and beyond, Robert Carroll presents a fascinating look at some of humanity’s most strange and wonderful ideas. Refreshing and witty, both believers and unbelievers will find this compendium complete and captivating. Buy this book and feed your head!" –Clifford Pickover, author of The Stars of Heaven and Dreaming the Future "A refreshing compendium of clear thinking, a welcome and potent antidote to the reams of books on the supernatural and pseudoscientific." –John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper "This book covers an amazing range of topics and can protect many people from being scammed." –Stephen Barrett, M.D., quackwatch.org Featuring close to 400 definitions, arguments, and essays on topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies, The Skeptic’s Dictionary is a lively, commonsense trove of detailed information on all things supernatural, occult, paranormal, and pseudoscientific. It covers such categories as alternative medicine; cryptozoology; extraterrestrials and UFOs; frauds and hoaxes; junk science; logic and perception; New Age energy; and the psychic. For the open–minded seeker, the soft or hardened skeptic, and the believing doubter, this book offers a remarkable range of information that puts to the test the best arguments of true believers.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By MR DAVID DE ST CROIX on 10 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
Put the crystals away, snuff out the ear candles, let the dolphins swim on their own for a while, and read this book. If you've ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of beliefs that are being peddled these days then you have a use for the Skeptic's Dictionary. There is a great deal of information in here that will benefit the honest enquirer, answering questions, exposing lies, illustrating pit-falls and prompting further investigation. The style of writing and the format make it very readable, the content makes it worthwhile. You may be surprised at the breadth of subjects touched upon, you may even find some of your own pet beliefs challenged, but the challenge is to think, to reason, to understand, not just to engage in an exchange of assertions.
Bob Carroll describes himself as a "hardened skeptic" and makes no attempt to give equal weight to both sides of the debate, that isn't why he wrote the book, but the text is lively and humorous, not hectoring. I hope that the Skeptic's Dictionary will find its way into school libraries, no one will be impoverished by exposing themselves to this kind of critical approach and a few may be saved the pain and disillusionment of being duped, or the worse fate of becoming permanently gullible.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Stucumber VINE VOICE on 19 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If, like me, you have ever found your self in an argument, either with a peddler or believer, of some bizarre, non-sensical or illucid ideology, cult or quackery and needed some ammunition, then Carroll's book is for you.
While no subject is covered in fine detail, it is comprehensive, with everything, from new-age spirituality and the supernatural to paranoid conspiracy theorists covered, it provides a rich antidote to the flood of ill-thought and delusional beliefs that plague us daily.
With the popular media, uncritically promoting new-age fads (homeopathy etc.) or recycling old ones (psychic crime solvers), there is too little literature, championing critical thought and objective analysis. This book is just a part of the small canon of work that sets out to present a reasoned response to the fuzzy-thinking and self-deception that is passed off as spiritual truth.
I doubt whether it will manage to change the mind of many a true-believer, in fact that's not the author's purpose. It is more of an overview of what currently held beliefs and fallacies and their counter-arguments. Hopefully it will enable a person, unsure of what to make of the claims they are faced with, to make a more informed decision and also to strengthen the argument and thinking of the casual skeptic.
My only criticism of the book is purely on the low-grade quality of some of the images inside, a minor point as the strength of the book comes purely from the text.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Craig Spears on 21 Jan 2007
Format: Paperback
Despite the comments to the contrary, this is not a book about debunking. It is a glossary of paranormal terms explained from a skeptics point of view. On that count it is excellent. The terms included are surprisingly broad and there definitions are concise. This is a true coffee table book. If you want a deeper text on the subject I recommend any of the work by James Randi.

In one of the other reviewers defense Mr. Carroll is not in fact an expert in the paranormal. But since the laws of the paranormal change everyday it's kind of hard to become an expert.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Nov 2005
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book. The author does not pretend that he has conducted deep research into the topics discussed. The book merely applies philosophical rationalism to debunk the fantasies of those people who believe irrationalism is an adequate method of forming beliefs.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Tamsin Jones on 27 April 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an enjoyable book and is helping me to overcome my fears of the supernatural.
All Carroll does is point out that, to date, whenever paranormal phenomena and abilities have been put to the test (controlled studies), they have very rarely shown anything better than chance results.
Carroll also stresses that a lot of stuff is simply in the observer's mind. The Ouija board, for instance, tells you what's in the depths of your mind, not what some "spirit" thinks. The reason people frighten themselves silly is that they don't often like to find out what lurks beneath. The unconscious mind is often best left at that - unconscious.
Again: a crystal is a piece of glass for Heaven's sake. How can that heal anybody of anything?
Finally, he points out the many logical fallacies, e.g., post hoc reasoning, that believers use to justify their beliefs. Just because your results improve after donning a magnetic bracelet is not proof of a causal connection - they dip and rise naturally, and the placebo effect is well known.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tom Wise on 8 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback
I love this book. It is an entertaining list of information exposing the frauds that convince so many people. No wonder some people come out in spots seeing their favorite vanities and conceits outted.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback