Any good recommendations?
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25-02-2012, 10:05 AM
Any good recommendations?
As someone who never learned the art of critical thinking, I've got some catching up to do and would love some book recommendations that might help me. Thanks, all...

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25-02-2012, 10:39 AM
RE: Any good recommendations?
there are puzzle books you can buy at your local grocery store that include 'logic puzzles'. i suspect those can be very helpful in building your thinking process.
also minesweeper (included with windows) is a very good game for building your mind.

i know these aren't the solutions you are looking for but they are quite fun and useful tools when you just want to pass a few minutes and don't have the time to contemplate deeper subjects

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25-02-2012, 02:16 PM
RE: Any good recommendations?
You're right, not quite what I was hoping for.

But I ran across a title at the bookstore and decided to try it out..."Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking," by D. Q. McInerny.

We'll see, huh? Smile

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25-02-2012, 02:29 PM
RE: Any good recommendations?
(25-02-2012 02:16 PM)ValerieAnn1975 Wrote:  You're right, not quite what I was hoping for.

But I ran across a title at the bookstore and decided to try it out..."Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking," by D. Q. McInerny.

We'll see, huh? Smile

Hi Valerie Ann.
The book you mention could be quite helpfull.

Voltaire's Bastards by John Raulston Saul indicates how the masses have been manipulated throughout history and is fairly easy reading....Smile
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25-02-2012, 02:36 PM
RE: Any good recommendations?
I know, I know...you asked for books. Calm down and accept a video recommendation too, why don't you? Big Grin





On my "to read" list is Michael Shermer's The Believing Brain
From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.


Here's a link about The Believing Brain.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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25-02-2012, 06:13 PM
RE: Any good recommendations?
(25-02-2012 02:36 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  I know, I know...you asked for books. Calm down and accept a video recommendation too, why don't you? Big Grin

...

On my "to read" list is Michael Shermer's The Believing Brain
From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.


Here's a link about The Believing Brain.

Excellent video. Now the book is on my "to read" list as well.

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25-02-2012, 06:18 PM
RE: Any good recommendations?
(25-02-2012 06:13 PM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  
(25-02-2012 02:36 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  I know, I know...you asked for books. Calm down and accept a video recommendation too, why don't you? Big Grin

...

On my "to read" list is Michael Shermer's The Believing Brain
From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.


Here's a link about The Believing Brain.

Excellent video. Now the book is on my "to read" list as well.

One of things I appreciate about Michael Shermer is that he was once a True Believer who found his way out of the darkness of theism into the light of reality.

Actually, this is the video I initially went in search for since it has to do with the OP's matter of critical thinking:




"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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25-02-2012, 06:24 PM
RE: Any good recommendations?
i mention gaming because when you actually have fun and put a smile on your face with success, i think it helps the process (and also because i love games)
can you get the same results without 'fun'? sure. (you'll likely say "i love to read" but that's somewhat misinterpreted)

memory can play a large role in thinking as well i believe. associating a deep thought with a memory really helps hold those thoughts in place, i can't tell you how many amazing thoughts i've had that have simply been forgotten

i think you should widen your search to memory as well as thinking. there are many books etc that you can find to improve memory. (there are even memory competitions)

and seriously don't discount simple games such as minesweeper, chess or even those logic puzzles. your brain is like your body, you need to exercise it. mastering a silly puzzle game almost no doubt has effects outside of the game itself in the long term.

also: Metaphors. i have no idea how to explain this in a way that won't be shot down by 100 nay-sayers but if you improve your ability to make strong/good metaphors on anything and everything it will vastly increase your thinking capacity. there is some connection to relating unlike things that really helps move your mind along on subjects you may not be as educated in. (i wish i could convince you to just trust me on this one)

so here's the compilation (with a couple extras i left out)
1. books/etc on thinking
2. exercise your brain with fun and games
3. improve your memory
4. improve metaphorical thinking
5. your diet and wellness can also greatly help you
6. learn something new (somehow, someway, learning a new subject will help)

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25-02-2012, 07:12 PM
RE: Any good recommendations?
One of the best websites the world has ever created is this one:

Ted. This link takes you specifically to the talks list.

Worth perusing.

Also if you enjoy humor in you blasphemy, start here:

Penn and Teller: Bible is Bullshit, part one. The whole show is quite funny, and informative. Though some can't enjoy the abrasiveness that is Penn.

There are many lists on this site pertaining to literature. So I won't even bother with that. Matter of fact all you have to do is click on the what are you reading thread within our literature section and you'll find title after title of books to read.

Here are a couple other websites:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/index.htm
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Main_Page
http://www.loc.gov/index.html
http://www.khanacademy.org/

There is a ton of free info and education floating around the web, which is really why religion is beginning to lose some ground. It can sure be hard to find though, especially with the vast amount of stupidity and pornography burying everything truly valuable. welcome to the world Jersey Shore created.

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25-02-2012, 07:44 PM
RE: Any good recommendations?
A mix of suggestions so far.

Broadly these cover Critical thinking and Logical thinking so I will add Lateral thinking into the mix. I'm not going to recommend any particular book as I think the best path to enlightenment is to follow a trail... start with Wikipedia and see where it takes you.

As your question was about Critical thinking, I would to point out that this is very, very, very easy to do.
Mastering it is another matter.
Hitchens' (and other good journalists') greatest gift was his memory coupled with the ability to ask the right questions and then probe deeper. And the best journos have built up a body of knowledge and have trained their instinct to ask the right questions when it matters.
It takes time to develop that instinct and takes time to build wisdom from knowledge.

I say it's easy because you just have to start with one word....

.... WHY?

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