Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk

Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk

by Massimo Pigliucci

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226667874
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 05/15/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
File size: 660 KB

About the Author

Massimo Pigliucci is professor of philosophy at the City University of New York. He has written many books, including, most recently, Making Sense of Evolution, with Jonathan Kaplan, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Introduction Science versus Pseudoscience and the “Demarcation Problem” 

Chapter 1 Hard Science, Soft Science

Chapter 2 Almost Science

Chapter 3 Pseudoscience

Chapter 4 Blame the Media?

Chapter 5 Debates on Science: The Rise of Think Tanks and the Decline of Public Intellectuals

Chapter 6 Science and Politics: The Case of Global Warming

Chapter 7 Science in the Courtroom: The Case against Intelligent Design

Chapter 8 From Superstition to Natural Philosophy

Chapter 9 From Natural Philosophy to Modern Science

Chapter 10 The Science Wars I: Do We Trust Science Too Much?

Chapter 11 The Science Wars II: Do We Trust Science Too Little?

Chapter 12 Who’s Your Expert?

Conclusion So, What Is Science after All?



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Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Devil_llama on LibraryThing 26 days ago
With such a great title, I sort of expected this book to disappoint. It didn't. The author delivers a solid critique of pseudoscience and irrational thinking, explaining in the process how science is done and giving a good argument for philosophy and history, as well. There are a couple of week spots, particularly in the chapter on scientism where he makes some pronouncements without any real evidence, but for the most part, it is well thought out, well researched, and well written. It should be a vital part of the library of evrey thinking person (and is needed even more in the libraries of those persons who tend not to think too much).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Victor3000 More than 1 year ago
Massimo is one of the few examples of a scientist that is not only logical and bright, but also a witty and entertaining, making this book a great read. You will be amused and educated simultaneously. Why do we trust experts, even though some have been wrong? Should we trust journalism? Read and find out. Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jimpict More than 1 year ago
Having read some of Pigliucci's other writings, including some of his technical work, I was hopeful about the direction this book would take. I am please to say that I was not disappointed. Beginning with the demarcation problem (how do we distinguish science from nonscience or pseudoscience) and ending with an explanation of why one should trust the consensus of experts as well as a fairly good heuristic to tell who actually qualifies as such in particular fields, Pigliucci is clear and concise throughout the text. He provides enough detail to explain the issue under consideration without getting so bogged down in technical jargon that the reader would require a strong background in the subject matter to understand the material. I was also happy with his handing of a couple of the biggest issues concerning the public's understanding of science today, those of creationism and anthropogenic climate change, both of which have had in the past and will continue to have in the future dramatic consequences for public life. I would recommend this book to anyone interested getting a rough idea of just what the philosophy of science is as well as how the public sees scientific discussions and why that matters.