How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age / Edition 7 available in Paperback
This concise and engaging text teaches the basic principles of good reasoning through an examination of widely held beliefs about the paranormal, the supernatural, and the mysterious. By explaining what distinguishes knowledge from opinion, science from pseudoscience, and evidence from hearsay, How to Think about Weird Things helps the reader develop the skills needed to tell the true from the false and the reasonable from the unreasonable.
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|Publisher:||McGraw-Hill Higher Education|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
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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