When Bad Think­ing Hap­pens to Good Peo­ple: How Phi­los­o­phy Can Save Us from Ourselves

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2020

Philoso­phers Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro con­sid­er how large mass­es of peo­ple can embrace crazy, even dan­ger­ous ideas and how this bad think­ing dri­ves bad act­ing, inspir­ing excep­tion­al­ly bad behav­ior. Nadler and Shapiro offer a way for­ward: the best anti­dote for bad think­ing and act­ing is the wis­dom, insights, and prac­ti­cal skills of philosophy.

They pro­vide an engag­ing tour through the basic prin­ci­ples of log­ic, argu­ment, evi­dence, and prob­a­bil­i­ty; demon­strat­ing 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. In doing so, the book reveals how epis­te­mol­o­gy, which address­es the nature of belief and knowl­edge, and ethics, the study of moral prin­ci­ples that should gov­ern our behav­ior, can reduce bad think­ing and bad action and make us all bet­ter peo­ple and cit­i­zens. When Bad Think­ing Hap­pens to Good Peo­ple explores why phi­los­o­phy’s mil­len­nia-old advice about how to lead a good, ratio­nal, and exam­ined life is essen­tial for escap­ing our cur­rent predicament.

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