Beyond Belief: Skepticism, Science and the Paranormal

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Overview

Whether ghosts, astrology or ESP, up to 80 per cent of the population believes in one or more aspects of the paranormal. Such beliefs are entertaining, and it is tempting to think of them as harmless. However, there is mounting evidence that paranormal beliefs can be dangerous - cases of children dying because parents rejected orthodox medicine in favour of alternative remedies, and 'psychics' who trade on the grief of the bereaved for personal profit and gain. Expenditure on the paranormal runs into billions of dollars each year. In Beyond Belief: Skepticism, Science and the Paranormal Martin Bridgstock provides an integrated understanding of what an evidence-based approach to the paranormal - a skeptical approach - involves, and why it is necessary. Bridgstock does not set out to show that all paranormal claims are necessarily false, but he does suggest that we all need the analytical ability and critical thinking skills to seek and assess the evidence for paranormal claims.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521758932
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/9/2009
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Bridgstock is a Senior Lecturer in School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences at Griffith University.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: The paranormal and why it matters 1

Chapter 1 The nature of science 12

Chapter 2 The paranormal 38

Chapter 3 Skepticism-from Socrates to Hume 64

Chapter 4 Modern skepticism 86

Chapter 5 Bringing skepticism down to earth 111

Chapter 6 Skepticisms, ethics and survival 140

Chapter 7 Skepticisms beyond the paranormal 164

Bibliography 186

Index 197

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