"Know Thyself", advised the ancient Greek sages at a time when philosophers defined us as rational animals. Rationality was thought of as an ideal largely achievable by controlling the emotions and avoiding logical fallacies. Today, we know better. Biology and neuroscience have exposed the brain as a great deceiver. Unconscious biases drive us to believe and do things that the conscious mind explains in self-serving stories, making us appear more rational to ourselves than we really are. Modern science has taught us that rationality involves much more than just controlling the emotions and avoiding fallacies. Today's rational animal - what we call the critical thinker - must understand the unconscious biases that are directing many of our most important judgments and decisions. The Critical Thinker's Dictionary explores the insights of ancient and modern philosophers along with the latest findings in such fields as neuroscience and behavioral economics to lay out the many obstacles and snares that await anyone committed to a rational life. The Critical Thinker's Dictionary isn't a collection of dry definitions, but a colorful, three-dimensional portrait of the major obstacles to critical thinking and what we can do to overcome them.
©2013 Robert Todd Carroll (P)2014 Robert Todd Carroll
In a book about critical thinking, I would expect the author to present and analyze facts but steer away from overly including their own beliefs. The author's political and religious views are engrained in every page of this book. This gets annoying after a while. I do not expect the author to share my beliefs and political views, but at the same time if the topic of religion and politics is going to come up this often, the book loses its value as an impartial source of objective learning and pure science. The author takes the same route religious extremists take, except that this is about non-religious extremism.
"Excellent book on rational thought"
In the words of Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." This book is an account of a thought process based within logical reasoning and evidence based rationale. It was a pleasure to listen to.
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