Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole

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Prometheus Books, Apr 1, 2011 - Philosophy - 271 pages
This book identifies eight key mechanisms that can transform a set of ideas into a psychological flytrap.

The author suggests that, like the black holes of outer space, from which nothing, not even light, can escape, our contemporary cultural landscape contains numerous intellectual black-holes—belief systems constructed in such a way that unwary passers-by can similarly find themselves drawn in. While such self-sealing bubbles of belief will most easily trap the gullible or poorly educated, even the most intelligent and educated of us are potentially vulnerable. Some of the world’s greatest thinkers have fallen in, never to escape.

This witty, insightful critique will help immunize readers against the wiles of cultists, religious and political zealots, conspiracy theorists, promoters of flaky alternative medicines, and others by clearly setting out the tricks of the trade by which such insidious belief systems are created and maintained.
 

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User Review  - Razinha - LibraryThing

Well composed, excellent coverage of critical knowledge, this will go on the "to re-read" shelf. I'm also adding to to the Must read homeschool list. Law does a very good job illustrating the traps ... Read full review

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

A very lively introduction to the mistakes we make in our beliefs and thoughts. The author identifies eight intellectual "black holes" that a person can fall into when they have a cherished belief ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
Playing the Mystery Card
But It Fits and The Blunderbuss
Pseudoprofundity
Piling Up the Anecdotes
Pressing Your Buttons
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Stephen Law (Oxford, England) is a senior lecturer in philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London; provost for the Centre for Inquiry UK; and the editor of Think: Philosophy for Everyone (a journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy). He is the author of numerous books for adults as well as children, including The Greatest Philosophers, Companion Guide to Philosophy, The War for Children’s Minds, and Really, Really Big Questions, among other works.

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