When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People:
How Philosophy Can Save Us from Ourselves
Moderated by Dr. Betsy Stone, PhD, Psychologist and Adjunct Lecturer, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
In a world in which irrationality has exploded to deadly effect, When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People is a timely and essential guide for a return to reason showing how we can more readily spot and avoid flawed arguments and unreliable information; determine whether the evidence supports or contradicts an idea; distinguish between merely believing something and knowing it; and much more.
There is an epidemic of bad thinking in the world today. An alarming number of people are embracing crazy, even dangerous ideas. They believe that vaccinations cause autism. They reject the scientific consensus on climate change as a “hoax.” And they blame the spread of COVID-19 on the 5G network or a Chinese cabal. Worse, bad thinking drives bad acting—it even inspired a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol.
When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People: How Philosophy Can Save Us from Ourselves provides an engaging tour through the basic principles of logic, argument, evidence, and probability that can make all of us more reasonable and responsible citizens. In this book, Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro argue that the best antidote for bad thinking is the wisdom, insights, and practical skills of philosophy.
When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People shows how we can more readily spot and avoid flawed arguments and unreliable information; determine whether evidence supports or contradicts an idea; distinguish between merely believing something and knowing it; and much more.
Moreover, the book shows why philosophy’s millennia-old advice about how to lead a good, rational, and examined life is essential for escaping our current predicament.
Dr. Lawrence Shapiro, Ph.D., is the Berent Enç Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he has received the Honored Instructor Award multiple times. Professor Shapiro was a senior Fellow, at the Institute for Research in the Humanities and Visiting Scholar at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. He was the President, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Wisconsin Alpha Chapter.
His books include The Miracle Myth and Embodied Cognition and was honored with The American Philosophical Association’s Joseph P. Gittler Award for outstanding contribution in the field of the philosophy of the social sciences for Embodied Cognition.
Dr. Betsy Stone, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist, is an Adjunct Lecturer at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where her classes include Human Development for Educators, Adolescent Development, and Teens In and Out of Crisis. She is an experienced teacher in synagogue schools, and consults for groups of educators, Rabbis and parents, and Jewish professionals across the country.
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