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

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

8th Edition
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ISBN10: 1260687074 | ISBN13: 9781260687071

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ISBN10: 1259922553 | ISBN13: 9781259922558

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ISBN10: 1260687139 | ISBN13: 9781260687132

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Program Details

Foreword
Preface

Chapter 1 Introduction: Close Encounters with the Strange
The Importance of Why
Beyond Weird to the Absurd
A Weirdness Sampler

Notes

Chapter 2 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

Chapter 3 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
Evaluating Sources: Fake News

Summary
Study Questions
Evaluate These Claims
Discussion Questions
Field Problem
Critical Reading and Writing
Notes

Chapter 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

Summary
Study Questions
Evaluate These Claims
Discussion Questions 
Field Problem
Critical Reading and Writing
Notes

Chapter 5 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 Can’t 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

Chapter 6 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

Chapter 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 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

Chapter 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 

Summary
Study Questions
Evaluate These Claims
Discussion Questions
Field Problem
Critical Reading and Writing
Notes

Credits
Index