Author Topic: Looking for a book to imporve my critical thinking and/or debating skills  (Read 2232 times)

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Offline funkture

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Hi SGU Forum,

I am looking to expand my critical thinking and debating skills and in turn want to open up some skeptical/scientific books I haven't read.  Michael Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things" is probably on top of my to-read list right now although it would be great to hear some of your collective suggestions.
I've read a lot of Dawkins and Sagan so ideally other authors would be better.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 04:03:27 PM by funkture »

Offline EvilSarah

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For debating try 'Thank you for arguing' by Jay Heinrichs.  Its a very readable (sp?) introduction to rhetoric.  But, if you're looking for something more scholarly, there's always Aristotle's rhetoric.  That's kind of slow reading though, depending on which translation you get.  In the mean time, try:  http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm
No matter what the experiment's result, there will always be someone eager to: (a) misinterpret it. (b) fake it. or (c) believe it supports his own pet theory

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!

Bart, don't make fun of grad students. They just made a terrible life choice.

Offline spiney

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Rhetoric? That's Cicero!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Oratore

(there's a copy at project gutenberg).

Offline funkture

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Going to give 'Thank you for arguing' a shot, just placed it on hold at my local library. Thanks

Offline EvilSarah

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Rhetoric? That's Cicero!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Oratore

(there's a copy at project gutenberg).

And Aristotle!  Since we're going the wikipedia route:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric_%28Aristotle%29
No matter what the experiment's result, there will always be someone eager to: (a) misinterpret it. (b) fake it. or (c) believe it supports his own pet theory

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!

Bart, don't make fun of grad students. They just made a terrible life choice.

Offline pandamonium

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are there any other good ones out there?  or just reeeeaaaaaaaaallly basic logic skills books.  i'm talking 'logical fallacies for dummies' kinda basic.
I am become destroyer of biology.

Offline musteion

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I would read Logic and Legal Reasoning by Douglas Lind and...

...read up on the topics you'd like to be knowledgeable about.

Offline pandamonium

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thanks 8D
I am become destroyer of biology.

Offline Empty Soul

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Hi SGU Forum,

I am looking to expand my critical thinking and debating skills and in turn want to open up some skeptical/scientific books I haven't read.  Michael Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things" is probably on top of my to-read list right now although it would be great to hear some of your collective suggestions.
I've read a lot of Dawkins and Sagan so ideally other authors would be better.

Thanks!

I didn't do a search to see if this book was discussed but I would strongly recommend Innumeracy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innumeracy_%28book%29

The book is a little more than 130 pages long so it is easy to read but the contents are excellent. I think the content will help hone your skeptical skills.
Wizard's First Rule: "People are stupid.... They will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true."

Offline DaveTheReader

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Not a book, but a free 40 minute video. He does have a reading list at the end of the video. I agree with all of his choices.
Brian Dunning has a 40 minute free video available at http://herebedragonsmovie.com/ - an Introduction to Critical Thinking.
There is a donation button on his site http://skeptoid.com/

Offline MikeSmith

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Anything by Ben Radford.  His Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias is great.

Carl Sagan, Michael Shermer, Sam Harris...

My personal favorite is to pick a topic and read everything I can on it from both perspectives.  I've just started doing that with the Roswell Incident, and have over thirty books on it already.

And if you haven't already, get a subscription to the Skeptical Inquirer.  It's only $20 a year if you order online.
2012  <---Google Bomb it!

www.mystrangenewmexico.com