Critical Thinking: When thinking attacks

Yet another resource to put in the Critical Thinking file. Maybe I should create a category for it. Nahh, I’m thinking too much.

McGee’s Musings points out Shermer’s “How Thinking Goes Wrong”, an excerpt from his 1997 book, “Why People Believe Weird Things.” He lists 25 fallacies:

Problems in Scientific Thinking

  1. Theory Influences Observations
  2. The Observer Changes the Observed
  3. Equipment Constructs Results

Problems in Pseudoscientific Thinking

  1. Anecdotes Do Not Make a Science
  2. Scientific Language Does Not Make a Science
  3. Bold Statements Do Not Make Claims True
  4. Heresy Does Not Equal Correctness
  5. Burden of Proof
  6. Rumors Do Not Equal Reality
  7. Unexplained Is Not Inexplicable
  8. Failures Are Rationalized
  9. After-the-Fact Reasoning
  10. Coincidence
  11. Representativeness

Logical Problems in Thinking

  1. Emotive Words and False Analogies
  2. Ad Ignorantiam
  3. Ad Hominem and Tu Quoque
  4. Hasty Generalization
  5. Overreliance on Authorities
  6. Either-Or
  7. Circular Reasoning
  8. Reductio ad Absurdum and the Slippery Slope

Psychological Problems in Thinking

  1. Effort Inadequacies and the Need for Certainty, Control, and Simplicity
  2. Problem-Solving Inadequacies
  3. Ideological Immunity, or the Planck Problem