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    How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age

    ISBN-10: 0078038367
    ISBN-13: 9780078038365
    Author(s): Theodore Schick, Lewis Vaughn
    Description: 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  More...
    List price: $73.50
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    List Price: $73.50
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill College
    Binding: Paperback
    Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
    Weight: 1.232
    Language: English

    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 Thingshelps the reader develop the skills needed to tell the true from the false and the reasonable from the unreasonable.

    Foreword
    Preface
    Introduction: Close Encounters with the Strange
    The Importance of Why
    Beyond Weird to the Absurd
    A Weirdness Sampler
    Notes
    The Possibility of the Impossible
    Paradigms and the Paranormal
    Logical Possibility Versus Physical Impossibility
    The Possibility of ESP
    Theories and Things
    On Knowing the Future
    Summary
    Study Questions
    Evaluate These Claims
    Discussion Questions
    Field Problem
    Critical Reading and Writing
    Notes
    Arguments Good, Bad, and Weird
    Claims and Arguments
    Deductive Arguments
    Inductive Arguments
    Enumerative Induction
    Analogical Induction
    Hypothetical Induction (Abduction, or Inference to the Best Explanation)
    Informal Fallacies
    Unacceptable Premises
    Begging the Question
    False Dilemma
    Irrelevant Premises
    Equivocation
    Composition
    Division
    Appeal to the Person
    Genetic Fallacy
    Appeal to Authority
    Appeal to the Masses
    Appeal to Tradition
    Appeal to Ignorance
    Appeal to Fear
    Straw Man
    Insufficient Premises
    Hasty Generalization
    Faulty Analogy
    False Cause
    Slippery Slope
    Statistical Fallacies
    Misleading Averages
    Missing Values
    Hazy Comparisons
    Summary
    Study Questions
    Evaluate These Claims
    Discussion Questions
    Field Problem
    Critical Reading and Writing
    Notes
    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
    Summary
    Study Questions
    Evaluate These Claims
    Discussion Questions
    Field Problem
    Critical Reading and Writing
    Notes
    Looking for Truth in Personal Experience
    Seeming and Being
    Perceiving: Why You Can't Always Believe What you See
    Perceptual Constancies
    The Role of Expectation
    Looking for Clarity in Vagueness
    The Blondlot Case
    "Constructing" UFOs
    Remembering: Why You Cant Always Trust What You Recall
    Conceiving: Why You Sometimes See What You Believe
    Denying the Evidence
    Subjective Validation
    Confirmation Bias
    The Availability Error
    The Representativeness Heuristic
    Anthropomorphic Bias
    Against All Odds
    Anecdotal Evidence: Why Testimonials Can't be Trusted
    The Variable Nature of Illness
    The Placebo Effect
    Overlooked Causes
    Scientific Evidence: Why Controlled Studies Can be Trusted
    Summary
    Study Questions
    Evaluate These Claims
    Discussion Questions
    Field Problem
    Critical Reading and Writing
    Notes
    Science and Its Pretenders
    Science and Dogma
    Science and Scientism
    Scientific Methodology
    Confirming and Refuting Hypotheses
    Criteria of Adequacy
    Testability
    Fruitfulness
    Scope
    Simplicity
    Conservatism
    Creationism, Evolution, and Criteria of Adequacy
    Scientific Creationism
    Intelligent Design
    Parapsychology
    Summary
    Study Questions
    Evaluate These Claims
    Discussion Questions
    Field Problem
    Critical Reading and Writing
    Notes
    Case Studies in the Extraordinary
    The Search Formula
    State the Claim
    Examine the Evidence for the Claim
    Consider Alternative Hypotheses
    Rate, According to the Criteria of Adequacy, Each Hypothesis
    Homeopathy
    Intercessory Prayer
    UFO Abductions
    Communicating with the Dead
    Near-Death Experiences
    Ghosts
    Conspiracy Theories
    Climate Change
    Summary
    Study Questions
    Evaluate These Claims
    Field Problem
    Critical Reading and Writing
    Notes
    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
    Summary
    Study Questions
    Evaluate These Claims
    Discussion Questions
    Field Problem
    Critical Reading and Writing
    Notes
    Credits
    Index

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