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Rationalizing human behavior is our most compelling pastime. We are all disposed to offer and accept insufficient evidence and invalid arguments when these seem to support conclusions that we merely wish were true. We need to know how to think clearly about our social thinking, how to resist the allure of self-deception how best to choose.
Everyone skeptical about or confused by the findings of the social sciences will appreciate Antony Flew's crisp analysis of the methodological flaws and systematic misunderstandings corrupting their content and application. Thinking About Social Thinking seeks to establish what can and cannot be learned from such studies, indicating where good work has been ignored, or much-needed work has yet to be done. Flew's clear and incisive arguments are illustrated with abundant examples and references many entertaining, others surprising. Flew issues a refreshing, impassioned warning against the perils of complacent, muddled thinking and false but comfortable conclusions.
|1||The Need for Honesty||1|
|2||The Call for Criticism||11|
|3||Our Reasons for Acting||33|
|4||Social Parts and Social Wholes||61|
|5||Making Visible the Invisible Hands||83|
|6||Natural or Human Science, Necessity or Choice?||113|
|7||Natural Laws of Human Action?||135|
|8||Matters of Fact and Relations of Ideas||169|
|9||Facts and Values||201|
|10||Subjective or Objective: Relative or Absolute?||221|
|Index of Names||271|
|Index of Notions||275|