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

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

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Description

This brief, affordable text helps students to think critically, using examples from the weird claims and beliefs that abound in our culture to demonstrate the sound evaluation of any claim. It explains step-by-step how to sort through reasons, evaluate evidence, and tell when a claim (no matter how strange) is likely to be true. The emphasis is neither on debunking nor on advocating specific assertions, but on explaining principles of critical thinking that enable readers to evaluate claims for themselves. The authors focus on types of logical arguments and proofs, making How to Think about Weird Things a versatile supplement for logic, critical thinking, philosophy of science, or any other science appreciation courses.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 15mm | 426g
  • MCGRAW-HILL Professional
  • United States
  • English
  • 6th edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 007353577X
  • 9780073535777
  • 310,452

Table of contents

ForewordPrefaceChapter 1. Introduction: Close Encounters with the StrangeThe Importance of WhyBeyond Weird to the AbsurdA Weirdness SamplerNotesChapter 2. The Possibility of the ImpossibleParadigms and the ParanormalLogical Possibility Versus Physical ImpossibilityThe Possibility of ESPTheories and ThingsOn Knowing the FutureStudy QuestionsEvaluate These ClaimsDiscussion QuestionsField ProblemCritical Reading and WritingSuggested ReadingsNotesChapter 3. Arguments Good, Bad and Weird Claim and Arguments Deductive Arguments Inductive Arguments Enumerative Induction Analogical Induction Hypothetical Induction (Abduction, or Inference to the Best of Explanation) Informal Fallacies Unacceptable Premises Irrelevant Premises Insufficient Premises Study Questions Evaluate These Claims Discussion Questions Field Problem Critical Reading and Writing Suggested Readings NotesChapter 4. Knowledge, Belief, and Evidence Babylonian Knowledge-Acquisition Techniques Propositional Knowledge Reasons and Evidence Expert Opinion Coherence and Justification Sources of Knowledge The Appeal to Faith The Appeal to Intuition The Appeal to Mystical Experience Astrology Revisited Study Questions Evaluate These Claims Discussion Questions Field Problem Critical Reading and Writing Suggested Readings NotesChapter 5. Looking for Truth in Personal Experience Seeming and Being Perceiving: True or False? Perceptual Constancies The Role of Expectation Looking for Clarity in Vagueness The Blondlot Case "Constructing" UFOs Remembering: Do We Revise the Past? Judging: The Habit of Unwarranted Assumptions Denying the Evidence Subjective Validation Confirmation Bias The Availability Error The Representativeness Heuristic Against All Odds The Limits of Personal Experience Study Questions Evaluate These Claims Discussion Questions Field Problem Critical Reading and Writing Suggested Readings NotesChapter 6. Science and Its PretendersScience and DogmaScience and ScientismScientific MethodologyConfirming and Confuting HypothesesCriteria of AdequacyTestabilityFruitfulnessScopeSimplicityConservatismCreationism, Evolution, and Criteria of Adequacy Scientific CreationismIntelligent DesignParapsychologyStudy QuestionsEvaluate These ClaimsDiscussion QuestionsField ProblemCritical Reading and WritingSuggested ReadingsNotesChapter 7. Case Studies in the Extraordinary The Search Formula Step 1: State the Claim Step 2: Examine the Evidence for the Claim Step 3: Consider Alternative Hypotheses Step 4: Rate, According to the Criteria of Adequacy, Each Hypothesis Homeopathy Intercessory PrayerUFO Abductions Communicating with the Dead Near-Death Experiences Ghosts Study Questions Evaluate These Claims by Using the Search Method Field Problem Critical Reading and Writing Suggested Readings NotesChapter 8. Relativism, Truth, and Reality We Each Create Our Own Reality Reality Is Socially Constructed Reality Is Constituted by Conceptual Schemes The Relativist's Petard Facing Reality Study Questions Evaluate These Claims Discussion Questions Field Problem Critical Reading and Writing Suggested Readings NotesChapter 9. How to Assess a "Miracle Cure"Personal ExperienceThe Variable Nature of IllnessThe Placebo EffectOverlooked CausesThe Doctor's EvidenceThe Appeal to TraditionThe Reasons of ScienceMedical ResearchSingle StudiesConflicting ResultsStudies Conflicting with FactLimitations of StudiesTypes of StudiesIn Vitro ExperimentsAnimal StudiesObservational StudiesClinical TrialsStudy QuestionsEvaluate These ClaimsDiscussion QuestionsField ProblemCritical Reading and WritingSuggested ReadingsNotesCreditsIndex
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About Theodore Schick

Theodore Schick received his B.A. in philosophy from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Brown University. He is currently professor of philosophy at Muhlenberg College where he has served as Director of Academic Computing, Director of Freshman Seminars, Director of the Muhlenberg Scholars Program, and Chair of the Philosophy Department. He is the author of Doing Philosophy: An Introduction through Thought Experiments, the editor of The Philosophy of Science: From Positivism to Post-modernism, and has published articles in several fields of philosophy including: philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, meta-philosophy, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics. He has also contributed to a number of volumes in Open Courts Philosophy and Popular Culture series as well as Blackwells Philosophy for Everyone series.



Lewis Vaughn is the author of numerous textbooks in philosophy, critical thinking, and ethics, including The Power of Critical Thinking, sixth edition (2019); Concise Guide to Critical Thinking (2017); Philosophy Here and Now, third edition (2019); Living Philosophy: A Historical Introduction to Philosophical Ideas, second edition (2018); Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, fifth edition (2019); Beginning Ethics: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy (2015); Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases, third edition (2017); and Writing Philosophy, Second Edition (2018).
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505 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
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4 33% (169)
3 22% (112)
2 5% (24)
1 2% (12)
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