How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age Paperback – 1 Dec 2007
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
Small size means it is succinct but with just enough real world examples to make it comprehensible.
It has changed my view on a number of issues.
If you like you books to get to the point then this is the one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mentally stimulating book, helps us think critically. Somethings that happen to us in life cant be explained away.Published 6 months ago by agapephileo777
I initially thought this book would simply debunk a number of commonly held non-scientific beliefs; a book that will give Astrology, Faith, etc, a good kick. Read morePublished on 13 Oct. 2007 by ShammyB