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How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age-[4]-[2004]-[pdf]-[Theodore Schick, Lewis Vaughn]

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    发表于 2017-11-1 13:05:50 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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    书籍信息:
    标题: How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age
    语言: English
    格式: pdf
    大小: 9.6M
    页数: 368
    年份: 2004
    作者: Theodore Schick, Lewis Vaughn
    版次: 4
    出版社: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages

    简介

    One cannot avoid thinking, sidestep decision making, nor elude the bombardment of poor logic and irrationality so abundant in society.  It makes perfect sense to learn to become as clear a thinker and decision maker as possible.  Schick and Vaughn, in their Critical Thinking masterpiece "How to Think About Weird Things" dive head first into the fundaments of rational thought, the aspects of human nature that produce irrationality, and the means to think as productively as possible.  Ripe with examples from absurd lines of thinking to common complex fallacies, the book covers all pertinent aspects of critical thinking.

    Put best in their own words on page 2, the authors state:

    "You hear a lot of `whats', but seldom any good `whys'.  You hear the beliefs, but seldom any solid reasons behind them - nothing substantial enough to indicate that these assertions are likely to be true.  You may hear naiveté, passionate advocacy, fierce denunciation, one-sided sifting of evidence, defense of the party line, leaps of faith, jumps to false conclusions, plunges into wishful thinking, and courageous stands on the shaky ground of subjective certainty.  But the good reasons are missing.  Without good `whys', our beliefs are simply arbitrary, with no more claim to knowledge than the random choice of a playing card.  Without good `whys' to guide us, our beliefs lose their value in a world where beliefs are already a dime a dozen."

    While this thinking may not resonate with everyone, the reality is that it should.  If society as a whole shifted to more rational thought and a consistent standard of scrutiny among all beliefs, there would be a lot less friction on this planet and a lot more level headed views.  How to Think About Weird Things offers a comprehensive overview of rational thinking aimed at causing such a positive shift, and thus I recommend this book to any serious thinker.


    目录
    Cover......Page 1
    Copyright page......Page 6
    Foreword......Page 9
    Preface......Page 11
    New Edition, New Material......Page 12
    Important Continuing Features......Page 13
    Acknowledgments......Page 14
    Contents......Page 15
    1  Introduction: Close Encounters with the Strange......Page 21
    The Importance of Why......Page 22
    Beyond Weird to the Absurd......Page 24
    A Weirdness Sampler......Page 26
    Pseudoteachers......Page 27
    Paranormal Profile......Page 31
    Notes......Page 34
    2  The Possibility of the Impossible......Page 35
    Paradigms and the Paranormal......Page 36
    Logical Possibility versus Physical Impossibility......Page 37
    Aristotle on Demonstrating the Laws of Thought......Page 39
    Just because something is logically or physically possible doesn't mean that it is, or ever will be, actual.......Page 41
    Just because you can't explain something doesn't mean that it's supernatural.......Page 43
    Quantum Mechanics and ESP......Page 44
    On Knowing the Future......Page 45
    Tachyons and Precognition......Page 46
    The Psychic Scorecard......Page 48
    Suggested Readings......Page 52
    Notes......Page 53
    3  Looking for Truth in Personal Experience......Page 55
    Seeming and Being......Page 56
    The Will to Believe or Disbelieve......Page 58
    Perceptual Constancies......Page 59
    Collective Hallucinations......Page 60
    Looking for Clarity in Vagueness......Page 61
    The Blondlot Case......Page 65
    PK Parties and Self-Delusion......Page 66
    "Constructing" UFOs......Page 68
    Tracking Down Bigfoot......Page 70
    The Loch Ness Monster......Page 73
    False Memory Syndrome......Page 74
    Remembering: Do We Revise the Past?......Page 75
    Past Life Remembered or Cryptomnesia?......Page 77
    Denying the Evidence......Page 80
    Spooky Presidential Coincidences......Page 82
    Subjective Validation......Page 83
    God's Salvation Church......Page 84
    Confirmation Bias......Page 87
    Crop Circles......Page 88
    The Availability Error......Page 90
    When evaluating a claim, look at all the relevant evidence, not just the psychologically available evidence.......Page 91
    The Representativeness Heuristic......Page 94
    Against All Odds......Page 96
    What Are the Odds? You Wouldn't Believe It......Page 97
    Rationalizing Homo Sapiens......Page 99
    It's reasonable to accept personal experience as reliable evidence only if there's no reason to doubt its reliability.......Page 100
    Notes......Page 104
    4  Relativism, Truth, and Reality......Page 108
    We Each Create Our Own Reality......Page 110
    The Crime of Gabriel Gale......Page 112
    Just because you believe something to be true doesn't mean that it is.......Page 115
    The Sokal Hoax......Page 116
    A Closer Look at the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon......Page 119
    Reality Is Constituted by Conceptual Schemes......Page 121
    On Good Myth and Bad Myth......Page 122
    The Relativist's Petard......Page 126
    Facing Reality......Page 127
    Notes......Page 132
    5  Knowledge, Belief, and Evidence......Page 134
    Babylonian Knowledge-Acquisition Techniques......Page 135
    Propositional Knowledge......Page 136
    Reasons and Evidence......Page 137
    The more background information a proposition conflicts with, the more reason there is to doubt it.......Page 141
    Expert Opinion......Page 143
    Coherence and Justification......Page 147
    Sources of Knowledge......Page 148
    The Appeal to Faith......Page 151
    The Appeal to Intuition......Page 153
    The Strange Case of Ilga K.......Page 156
    The Appeal to Mystical Experience......Page 157
    The Miracle of Marsh Chapel......Page 161
    Astrology Revisited......Page 162
    Julius Caesar—A Confirming Instance?......Page 164
    Suggested Readings......Page 170
    Notes......Page 171
    6  Arguments Good, Bad, and Weird......Page 174
    Claims and Arguments......Page 175
    Deductive Arguments......Page 180
    Enumerative Induction......Page 182
    Analogical Induction......Page 183
    Hypothetical Induction (Abduction, or Inference to the Best Explanation)......Page 184
    Informal Fallacies......Page 185
    False Dilemma......Page 186
    Division......Page 187
    Appeal to Authority......Page 188
    Appeal to Fear......Page 189
    False Cause......Page 190
    Notes......Page 194
    7  Science and Its Pretenders......Page 195
    Science and Dogma......Page 196
    Science and Scientism......Page 197
    Scientific Methodology......Page 198
    Confirming and Confuting Hypotheses......Page 202
    The Hollow Earth......Page 205
    Criteria of Adequacy......Page 207
    A hypothesis is scientific only if it is testable, that is, only if it predicts something more than what is predicted by the background theory alone.......Page 208
    Falsification and Psychoanalysis......Page 209
    Fruitfulness......Page 210
    Scope......Page 212
    Nazi Cosmology......Page 213
    Other things being equal, the best hypothesis is the one that has the greatest scope, that is, that explains and predicts the most diverse phenomena.......Page 214
    Other things being equal, the best hypothesis is the one that is the most conservative, that is, the one that fits best with established beliefs.......Page 217
    Creationism, Evolution, and Criteria of Adequacy......Page 218
    Scientific Creationism......Page 219
    Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?......Page 224
    Intelligent Design......Page 225
    God the Extraterrestrial......Page 227
    Parapsychology......Page 230
    Probability and Belief......Page 231
    The Army and ESP......Page 233
    Psychic Trains......Page 235
    The Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge......Page 237
    Project Alpha......Page 241
    Notes......Page 247
    8  How to Assess a "Miracle Cure"......Page 252
    Personal experience alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.......Page 254
    The Placebo Effect......Page 255
    Firewalking to Weil-Being......Page 256
    Overlooked Causes......Page 258
    A Shark's Tale......Page 259
    The Doctor's Evidence......Page 261
    Weasels Are on the Loose!......Page 262
    The Failure of Therapeutic Touch......Page 267
    The Appeal to Tradition......Page 268
    Testing Iridology......Page 269
    Scientific evidence gained through controlled experiments—unlike personal experience and case studies—generally can establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.......Page 270
    Medical Research......Page 271
    Single Studies......Page 272
    Single medical studies generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.......Page 273
    When the results of relevant studies conflict, you cannot know that the treatment in question is effective.......Page 274
    New study results that conflict with well-established findings cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.......Page 275
    Test-tube studies alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.......Page 276
    Animal studies alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.......Page 277
    Is It Right to Promote Unproven Treatments?......Page 278
    Observational studies alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.......Page 281
    Acupuncture, Advocacy, and Science......Page 282
    Notes......Page 288
    9  Case Studies in the Extraordinary......Page 291
    The Search Formula......Page 293
    Step 2: Examine the Evidence for the Claim......Page 294
    Step 3: Consider Alternative Hypotheses......Page 295
    Step 4: Rate, According to the Criteria of Adequacy, Each Hypothesis......Page 296
    Homeopathy......Page 298
    Dowsing......Page 301
    The Experience behind the Ouija Experience......Page 303
    UFO Abductions......Page 306
    Alien Astronauts from Yesteryear......Page 308
    The Roswell Incident......Page 318
    Communicating with the Dead......Page 320
    Channeling......Page 322
    The Biblical View of Souls......Page 325
    Near-Death Experiences......Page 327
    The Amityville Horror—Mongers......Page 329
    Spontaneous Human Combustion......Page 334
    Moody's Crystal Ball......Page 339
    Ghosts......Page 343
    Bad Vibes......Page 350
    Notes......Page 353
    Epilogue: Mysteries in Perspective......Page 357
    Credits......Page 359
    Index......Page 361
    Just because something seems (feels, appears) real doesn't mean that it is.......Page 57
    When evaluating a claim, look for disconfirming as well as confirming evidence.......Page 89
    Just because a group of people believe that something is true doesn't mean that it is.......Page 118
    There is an external reality that is independent of our representations of it.......Page 128
    There is good reason to doubt a proposition if it conflicts with other propositions we have good reason to believe.......Page 140
    When there is good reason to doubt a proposition, we should proportion our belief to the evidence.......Page 142
    Just because someone is an expert in one field doesn't mean that he or she is an expert in another.......Page 145
    If we have no reason to doubt what's disclosed to us through perception, introspection, memory, or reason, then we're justified in believing it.......Page 150
    Other things being equal, the best hypothesis is the one that is the most fruitful, that is, makes the most successful novel predictions.......Page 211
    Other things being equal, the best hypothesis is the simplest one, that is, the one that makes the fewest assumptions.......Page 216
    We should accept an extraordinary hypothesis only if no ordinary one will do.......Page 236
    Case studies alone generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt......Page 265
    When claims of a treatment's effectiveness are based solely on case studies or personal experience, you generally cannot know that the treatment is effective.......Page 266
    Clinical trials limited by lack of a control group, faulty comparisons, or small numbers generally cannot establish the effectiveness of a treatment beyond a reasonable doubt.......Page 286

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