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.
Revised and Expanded Edition. In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, "Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things," Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science. Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them.
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. Instructors and students can now access their course content through the Connect digital learning platform by purchasing either standalone Connect access or a bundle of print and Connect access. McGraw-Hill Connect® is a subscription-based learning service accessible online through your personal computer or tablet. Choose this option if your instructor will require Connect to be used in the course. Your subscription to Connect includes the following: • SmartBook® - an adaptive digital version of the course textbook that personalizes your reading experience based on how well you are learning the content. • Access to your instructor’s homework assignments, quizzes, syllabus, notes, reminders, and other important files for the course. • Progress dashboards that quickly show how you are performing on your assignments and tips for improvement. • The option to purchase (for a small fee) a print version of the book. This binder-ready, loose-leaf version includes free shipping. Complete system requirements to use Connect can be found here:
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.
Philosophical Skepticism provides a selection of texts drawn from the skeptical tradition of Western philosophy as well as texts written by opponents of skepticism. Taken together with the historical introduction by Landesman and Meeks, these texts clearly illustrate the profound influence that skeptical stances have had on the nature of philosophical inquiry. Draws a selection of texts from the skeptical tradition of Western philosophy as well as texts written by opponents of skepticism. Spans centuries of skeptical and anti-skeptical arguments, from Socrates to Rorty. Includes essays by Plato, Cicero, Diogenes Laertius, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Russell, Quine, Nagel, and many others. Provides a solid foundation for further study.
Designed for students with no prior training in logic, INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC AND CRITICAL THINKING offers an accessible treatment of logic that enhances understanding of reasoning in everyday life. The text begins with an introduction to arguments. After some linguistic preliminaries, the text presents a detailed analysis of inductive reasoning and associated fallacies. This order of presentation helps to motivate the use of formal methods in the subsequent sections on deductive logic and fallacies. Lively and straightforward prose assists students in gaining facility with the sometimes challenging concepts of logic. By combining a sensitive treatment of ordinary language arguments with a simple but rigorous exposition of basic principles of logic, the text develops students' understanding of the relationships between logic and language, and strengthens their skills in critical thinking. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues invites readers to apply ethical principles to issues that exemplify the kinds of moral challenges encountered in everyday life. It provides an overview of the need for ethics and then focuses on strategies for effective decision making. Ruggiero emphasizes doing ethical analysis rather than comparing ethical theories. The history of ethics is covered in the concluding chapter.
Asking, How could they do it? about the many ordinary people who have been perpetrators and those who resist extensive evils—genocide, human trafficking, endemic sexualized violations of females, economic exploitation—the book delves into historic, contemporary, national, and international examples. The author, a moral philosopher, draws also on literature, psychology, economics, journalism, pop culture. Reversing Arendt’s banality of evil, she finds that mind-deadening banality, thoughtless conventionality, ambition, greed, status-seeking enable the evil of banality.
Brief yet also comprehensive, Think with Socrates: An Introduction to Critical Thinking uses the methods, ideas, and life of Socrates as a model for critical thinking. It offers a more philosophical, historical, and accessible introduction than longer textbooks while still addressing all of the key topics in logic and argumentation. Applying critical thinking to the Internet, mass media, advertising, personal experience, expert authority, the evaluation of sources, writing argumentative essays, and forming a worldview, Think with Socrates resonates with today's students and teaches them how to apply their skills to the real world. At the same time, it also covers the ancient intellectual roots and history of the field, placing critical thinking in its larger context to help students appreciate its perennial value. Author Paul Herrick incorporates original sources from newspapers, a variety of media, and philosophical writing, along with engaging "interludes" featuring selections from Plato's dialogues. A Companion Website at offers resources for students and instructors.
The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims, Third Edition, presents the broadest range of tools for today's critical thinking students to apply in any arena, from everyday life to academia, and from science to the media. It explores the essentials of critical reasoning, argumentation, logic, and argumentative essay writing while also incorporating important topics that most other texts leave out, such as "inference to the best explanation," scientific reasoning, evidence and authority, visual reasoning, and obstacles to critical thinking. The Power of Critical Thinking, Third Edition, integrates many pedagogical features, including hundreds of diverse exercises, examples, and illustrations; text boxes that apply critical thinking to student experience; step-by-step guidelines for evaluating claims, arguments, and explanations; a glossary of important terms; many reminders, summaries, and review notes; and five progressive, stand-alone writing modules interspersed throughout the text. Written in a student-friendly style and enhanced by humor, this text is ideal for courses in critical thinking, introduction to logic, informal logic, argumentative writing, and introduction to argumentation. New to the Third Edition: * Six new "Essays for Evaluation" (three pairs arranged in a pro/con format, each pair debating a single issue) * An expanded Chapter 11 on moral reasoning * New, more instructive photos that encourage critical thinking about visual elements * More guidance on doing research and judging sources * A revised text box program that includes "Newsmakers" and "From the Web" in addition to "For Further Thought" * Updated pop culture and political references and examples--many ripped from the headlines or drawn from everyday life Companion Resources * The Power of Critical Thinking, Third Edition, is supplemented by an Instructor's Manual and Test Bank in print and an Instructor's Manual with Computerized Test Bank on CD. The Computerized Test Bank is a completely customizable bank of questions to aid in the creation of exams and quizzes. Both versions of the Instructor's Manual feature notes on using the text effectively, sample syllabi, links to websites of interest, lectures in PowerPoint format, chapter summaries, and answers to the exercises in the text. * Also available is a Companion Website at that includes all the information found in the Instructor's Manual along with a student study guide featuring a summary of the main points of each chapter, study questions, short review quizzes, flashcards, web links, and additional chapter exercises. * Course Cartridges for a variety of e-learning environments allow instructors to create their own course websites with the interactive material from the instructor and student companion websites.
Now in its second edition, Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Analytical Reading and Reasoning provides a nontechnical vocabulary and analytic apparatus that guide students in identifying and articulating the central patterns found in reasoning and in expository writing more generally. Understanding these patterns of reasoning helps students to better analyze, evaluate, and construct arguments and to more easily comprehend the full range of everyday arguments found in ordinary journalism. Critical Thinking, Second Edition, distinguishes itself from other texts in the field by emphasizing analytical reading as an essential skill. It also provides detailed coverage of argument analysis, diagnostic arguments, diagnostic patterns, and fallacies. Opening with two chapters on analytical reading that help students recognize what makes reasoning explicitly different from other expository activities, the text then presents an interrogative model of argument to guide them in the analysis and evaluation of reasoning. This model allows a detailed articulation of "inference to the best explanation" and gives students a view of the pervasiveness of this form of reasoning. The author demonstrates how many common argument types--from correlations to sampling--can be analyzed using this articulated form. He then extends the model to deal with several predictive and normative arguments and to display the value of the fallacy vocabulary. Ideal for introductory courses in critical thinking, critical reasoning, informal logic, and inductive reasoning, Critical Thinking, Second Edition, features hundreds of exercises throughout and includes worked-out solutions and additional exercises (without solutions) at the end of each chapter. An Instructor's Manual--offering solutions to the text's unanswered exercises and featuring other pedagogical aids--is available on the book's Companion Website at
This unique text for undergraduate courses teaches students to apply critical thinking skills across all academic disciplines by examining popular pseudoscientific claims through a multidisciplinary lens. Rather than merely focusing on critical thinking grounded in philosophy and psychology, the text incorporates the perspectives of biology, physics, medicine, and other disciplines to reinforce different categories of rational explanation. The book is also distinguished by its respectful approach to individuals whose ideas are, according to the authors, deeply flawed. Accessible and engaging, it describes what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to learn and apply skillsóusing scientific methods--that promote it. The text also examines why critical thinking can be difficult to engage in and explores the psychological and social reasons why people are drawn to and find credence in extraordinary claims. From alien abductions and psychic phenomena to strange creatures and unsupported alternative medical treatments, the text uses examples from a wide range of pseudoscience fields and brings evidence from diverse disciplines to critically examine these erroneous claims. Particularly timely is the text's examination of how, using the narrative of today's "culture wars," religion and culture impact science. The authors focus on how the human brain, rife with natural biases, does not process information in a rational fashion, and the social factors that prevent individuals from gaining an unbiased, critical perspective on information. Authored by a psychologist and a philosopher who have extensive experience teaching and writing on critical thinking and skeptical inquiry, this work will help students to strengthen their skills in reasoning and debate, become intelligent consumers of research, and make well-informed choices as citizens. Key Features: Addresses the foundations of critical thinking and how to apply it through the popular activity of examining pseudoscience Explains why humans are vulnerable to pseudoscientific claims and how critical thinking can overcome fallacies and biases Reinforces critical thinking through multidisciplinary analyses of pseudoscience Examines how religion and culture impact science Enlightens using an engaging, entertaining approach Written by experienced and innovative scholar/educators well known in the skeptic community Features teaching resources including an Instructor's Guide and Powepoint slides
"What does everyone in the modern world need to know? [The author's] answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. [The author discusses] discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life"
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.
As a celebrated cultural critic and a writer for national publications like The Atlantic and Harper's, Alan Jacobs has spent his adult life belonging to communities that often clash in America's culture wars. And in his years of confronting the big issues that divide us--political, social, religious--Jacobs has learned that many of our fiercest disputes occur not because we're doomed to be divided, but because the people involved simply aren't thinking. Most of us don't want to think. Thinking is trouble. Thinking can force us out of familiar, comforting habits, and it can complicate our relationships with like-minded friends. Finally, thinking is slow, and that's a problem when our habits of consuming information (mostly online) leave us lost in the spin cycle of social media, partisan bickering, and confirmation bias. In this smart, endlessly entertaining book, Jacobs diagnoses the many forces that act on us to prevent thinking--forces that have only worsened in the age of Twitter, "alternative facts, " and information overload--and he also dispels the many myths we hold about what it means to think well. (For example: It'simpossible to "think for yourself.").
The author shares his insights into the craft of writing and offers a humorous perspective on his own experience as a writer.
“Wrenching and revelatory.” An instant #1 bestseller, the widely acclaimed Turtles All the Way Down is John Green's brilliant and shattering new novel. “A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control.” – People Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.
This stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist! Oddlot Entertainment has acquired the screen rights to The Thing About Jellyfish, with Gigi Pritzker set to produce with Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon. After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don't just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.

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