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How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age Paperback – February 3, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0073535777 ISBN-10: 007353577X Edition: 6th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 6 edition (February 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007353577X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073535777
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of several books, including: Philosophy Here and Now (2013); Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases, Second Edition (2013); Great Philosophical Arguments (2012); Classics of Philosophy (2011); Philosophy: The Quest for Truth, Eighth Edition (2012); How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age, Sixth Edition (2011); Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues, Third Edition (2013); Doing Philosophy: An Introduction Through Thought Experiments, Fourth Edition (2010); The Moral Life, Fourth Edition (2011); and Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays (OUP, 2005).

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Oregon Jaybird on September 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is my go-to book for so many things: entertainment, leisure, education, deep thought, humor, argument building, and on and on and on.
There are complete paragraphs in this book I've memorized, because this book is able to put into words those ideas and beliefs I've always had but have never been able to articulate with any substantial strength or conviction. The book basically is a tutorial on debunking the ridiculous, the metaphysical, the belief systems of unproveable hocus-pocus. It does so in a way that is both unintentionally humorous, while at the same time quite empowering. It's a perfect book for agnostics or aethiests, myself being the former. It's also a great book for practicioners of stoicism and/or cynicism, again myself being the former.
My whole life I'd been looking for a book exactly like this. I feel more well-rounded for reading it. And again, I believe like me, if you purchase this book and are of liberal mind, you will refer to it time and again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is one text book i won't be sending back. Really interesting- scientific way of thinking about the paranormal. Reads like a novel- couldn't put it down.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By bronx book nerd VINE VOICE on June 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book teaches critical thinking skills to methodically evaluate any sort of claim. These could include medical, scientific or paranormal claims, among others. The authors take the reader on a step-by-step lesson plan that teaches one how to look critically at claims made about things like alternative medicine, out-of-body experiences and the like. At the end of each chapter they provide questions and problems to challenge the reader and reinforce the lessons taught. For anyone who needs to deal with these issues on a personal level, or who needs to deal with people who believe some outlandish things, this is excellent training ground. What I found most satisfying in the book is that, true to their own teaching, where a claim cannot be proven or disproven beyond a reasonable doubt, the authors state so, even though you can pretty much figure out what side they are on.
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By anthony on July 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
item as describe
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Eric John on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
True skepticism is always agnostic to new theories. And yet so-called skeptics, like the author, are always bogged down in dogma. Consider the opening of the book:

"We show that there are good reasons for believing that the following claims are, in fact, FALSE:

* There's no such thing as objective truth. We make our own truth.
* There's no such thing as objective reality. We make our own reality.
* There are spiritual, mystical, or inner ways of knowing that are
superior to our ordinary ways of knowing.
* If an experience seems real, it is real.
* If an idea feels right to you, it is right.
* We are incapable of acquiring knowledge of the true nature of reality.
* Science itself is irrational or mystical. It's just another faith or belief system or myth, with no more justification than any other.
* It doesn't matter whether beliefs are true or not, as long as they're meaningful to you."

________________________

Never mind that these fields are wide and varied, the author has essentially lumped it all together as mass delusion: ESP, UFOs, Eastern mysticism, etc etc., It's all the same for him.

And never mind that almost weekly there are studies in physics which are challenging our previous assumptions, (Quantum Entanglement comes to mind), but the entire
field of paranormal - (as in, goes against current scientific notions) - is just wrong since it can't be backed up by a peer-reviewed paper from Yale.

It's all subjective and therefore hooey.

Don't get me wrong- I love science. The accomplishments of Western science are unparalleled. However, it is a science of Materialism, and for that reason it is limited by its' *instrumentation*. Better toys invariably lead to a more complete (and "weirder") understanding of the universe. At the moment I would argue we're still playing with Legos.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CT on September 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our world is increasingly reliant on science yet our daily lives are assaulted with pseudo-science distributed by the misinformed or the mischievous. This book is essential reading for those who would like to be able to differentiate between the two and develop or hone their critical thinking skills.
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