Before you even start analysing the fuzzy thinking or uncritical thinking of others, it is best to examine one’s own motivations and biases. To this end, there are two classics one must read first:
http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?AssumeGoodFaith – The MeatBall Wiki’s “AssumeGoodFaith” is a masterpiece “How To” for Internet based discussion and argumentation.
“A Code of Conduct for Effective Rational Discussion” is the best set of fallacy avoidance principles that I know.
LOGICAL FALLACIES and COGNITIVE BIASES
Wikipedia’s list of all cognitive biases
Philosophy 210: Critical Thinking (virtualsalt.com) (Excellent)
Professor Robert D Harris’ full Critical Thinking course.
TV Tropes Logical Fallacies Wiki
http://www.nowandfutures.com/large/Cognitive-Biases-A-Visual-Study-Guide-by-the-Royal-Society-of-Account-Planning.pdf [PDF] (Excellent)
Cognitive Biases: A Visual Study Guide by the Royal Society of Account Planning
Here Are The 25 Psychological Biases That Cause Us To Make Bad Decisions By Michael Simmons With Ian Chew
Cognitive Biases – a Visual Study Guide
http://www.psyfitec.com/2011/10/one-long-argument-big-list-of.html and http://www.psyfitec.com/p/list-of-behavioral-biases.html (Good)
Big List of Behavioural Biases
The Orange Papers – one of the best resources I have come across. Superb!
Biases and Belief Wiki
Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
List of Cognitive Biases
How Thinking Goes Wrong – Twenty-five Fallacies That Lead Us to Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer – Superb
The Fallacy Files – superb
A List Of Fallacious Arguments
A Handbook of Fallacies
Logical Fallacy article on wikipedia
Fallacy article from Wikipedia (different from the one above)
Logical fallacies super directory – Good
The fallacy Files – Excellent
http://www.246.dk/38tricks.html – Old but good
Thirty-eight dishonest tricks which are commonly used in argument, with the methods of overcoming them
Nizkor’s rendition of Dr. Michael C. Labossiere Fallacy Tutorial Pro 3
How to construct a logical argument from The Atheism Web – Excellent.
http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/7/18/205013/523 – Good
The Adequacy Style Troll (AST) – hilarious consequences of not understanding arguments.
Welcome to the Nonsense Traps
Reason and Rationality by Richard Samuels. An excellent paper excerpted from the forthcoming Handbook of Epistemology.
http://www.philosophypages.com/lg/index.htm – Good
Guide to Elementary Logic from Philosophy Pages
Argumentation/Persuasion: Logic in Argumentative Writing – Excellent
How to Spot Fallacies
The Atheism Web -Logic & Fallacies
Fallacies Of Anti-Reformers by Sydney Smith (1824)
Logical fallacies from Dissension.com – good
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Informal Logic
Open Directory Project on Informal Logic
MEDIA LITERACY AND MANIPULATION
Corrupt Techniques in Evidence Presentations by Edward Tufte [Excellent]
Stay Free! High School Media Literacy Curriculum [Excellent]
Winning CNN Wars – A primer on fighting media propaganda battles
Learn to use critical thinking skills in accessing, analysing, evaluating and creating media.
Media literacy and critical thinking for young people.
Unbiased non-partisan anti-spin site
Right wing media watchdog – ostensibly non-partisan but not
CRITICAL THINKING AND ARGUMENTATION
List of Cognitive Biases and Heuristics [Excellent]
Critical Thinking Mini-Lessons from Skepdic.com – [Excellent]
Critical Thinking on the Web – [Superb]
A Practical Guide To Critical Thinking – [Excellent]
Laetus in Praesens Critical Thinking Resources List
http://www.hozien.com/mih/arg/toc.htm – [Very Good]
A Rulebook for Arguments
Critical Thinking from Mindtools
Introduction to critical thinking using the JFK assassination as the subject matter to explore the issues.
Thinking Skills: Critical
How the Language Really Works: The Fundamentals of Critical Reading and Effective Writing
http://www.virtualsalt.com/think/ – [Very Good]
Critical Thinking Materials from professor Robert Harris’ wonderful Virtual Salt website
http://www.criticalthinking.org/ – [Good]
The centre for critical Thinking (includes books and educational resources)
Compendium – “The Compendium approach combines meeting facilitation and collaborative hypertext in an approach to mediating face-to-face or asynchronous discussions, capturing key aspects of meetings, integrating perspectives from multiple stakeholders in a project, and the construction of a collective memory resource.” [Methodology]
Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay [Methodology & Writing]
Articles published in the Practical Philosophy “Towards Wise Decision-Making” Series
TRAPS OF TRADITIONAL LOGIC & DIALECTICS: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW TO AVOID THEM by Robert E. Horn
Enhancing our Grasp of Complex Arguments By Paul Monk and Tim van Gelder
Simple tools for understanding risks: from innumeracy to insight
CIA Critical thinking manual
Excellent all round site covering thinking, creativity and problem solving and memory.
Mission Critical: Critical Thinking Primer form San Jose University
Ranging from De Bono to Buzan, a good look at thinking and reasoning methodologies.
Essay: Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts
Evaluation Techniques of Internet Resources
ARGUMENTATION AND CRITICAL THINKING interactive tutorial site. – [Excellent]
Rogerian Rhetoric: An Alternative to Traditional Rhetoric
Influencing through Argumentation
Complete textbook on argumentation
http://www.unl.edu/speech/comm109/Toulmin/index.htm The Toulmin Project </a>
Web-site containing the theory of Steven Toulmin, one of the most influential scholars on Argumentation.
A Field Guide to Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking from Wannalearn.com
Critical thinking from innumeracy.org
Open Directory Project on Critical Thinking
Research Group on Evolution and Higher Cognition. See especially Publications
Creativity and Thinking Skills
PROPAGANDA, COERCIVE PERSUASION AND BRAINWASHING
SourceWatch’s list of “propaganda techniques to influence opinions and to avoid the truth”. [Excellent]
Peitho’s Web – classical persuasion, oratory and sophistry [Excellent]
Wikipedia article on Brainwashing
Wikipedia article on Manipulation
Wikipedia article on Persuasion
Wikipedia article on Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion
MUSTAPHA MOND’S DEPARTMENT OF PROPAGANDA
Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab (Captology)
Sex and Psychological Operations
Attitude Channeling and Brainwashing by Robert L. Kocher
Lyndale’s Brilliant Propaganda Primer [Archive.org snapshot]
http://www.workingpsychology.com/ [Superb site]
Influence at Work – The psychology of persuasion
Steve’s Primer of Practical Persuasion and Influence
An Introduction to Propaganda – [excellent]
The Battle for Your Mind by Dick Sutphen [excellent]
The Science of Modern Propaganda [Warning – this site is heavily right wing and in parts succumbs to the very propaganda it castigates]
Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change
How does mind control work?: A technical overview of mind control tactics
The Institute of Propaganda Analysis – [Excellent]
A Propaganda primer
THE RAPE OF THE MIND – The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing
Propaganda and Disinformation from the Media Resource Centre
The excellent Modern Humorist anti-propaganda site
US army propaganda techniques
Propaganda Techniques related to Environmental Scares
Crisis of the Mind – an introduction to memetics and mind virus’
Mind Control – Technology, techniques, politics
The Economist magazine tackles the topic of persuasion.
List of some of the more commonly used propaganda techniques
East German and Nazi propaganda site
SCAMS AND FRAUD
Scam Fraud Alert
SCEPTICISM AND DEBUNKING
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/skept.htm – [Superb]
Peter Subers brilliant “Classical Skepticism”
Mythbusters – Every result from all programs [Excellent]
Truth or Fiction? Hoaxes, Scams and Swindles tracked and debunked
A SKEPTICAL MANIFESTO By Michael Shermer, Ph.D.
The Skeptic’s Dictionary
The Skeptic’s Refuge
The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible
The Debunker’s Domain
Junk science” is faulty scientific data and analysis used to used to further a special agenda”
Michael Fumento – crack debunker.
STATISTICS AND INNUMERACY
Glossary of Mathematical Mistakes – [Excellent]
http://www.math.temple.edu/~paulos/ – [Excellent]
John Allen Paulos -author of Innumeracy – homepage.
http://www.sophismata.com/ – [Excellent]
Raghu Ramachandran’s superb anti-sloppy thinking and innumeracy site.
“All about the scares, scams, junk, panics, and flummery cooked up by the media, politicians, bureaucrats, so-called scientists and others who try to confuse you with wrong numbers.”
http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i34/34b00701.htm – [Advanced]
Telling the Truth About Damned Lies and Statistics
Adding Art to the Rigor of Statistical Science
Understanding Statistics – learner.org exhibit
HyperStat Online Statistical Textbook
Superb Statistics resource – [Excellent]
How To Understand Statistics by the BBC – [V. Good]
A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking: Essential Steps for Developing Sound Reasoning and Arguments while Overcoming Hindrances to Rational Thinking by Greg R. Haskins [Amazon .com]
The Debunking Handbook by John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky [Good] [Free]
Click to access Debunking_Handbook.pdf
Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner [Amazon .co.uk / .com] [Wikipedia] [Superb]
THE absolute classic of debunking and critical thinking, happily remembered to me by Michael Meadon.
Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) by Tavris & Aronson [Amazon .co.uk / .com] [Excellent]
The Logic of Real Arguments by Alec Fisher [Amazon .co.uk /.com ]
Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb [Amazon .co.uk /.com] [Excellent]
Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by by Kerry Patterson et al [Amazon .co.uk / .com] [Excellent]
How we think by John Dewey (1910) [Online Book] [Excellent]
Brainwashing : The Science of Thought Control by Kathleen Taylor [Amazon .co.uk / .com] [Excellent]
Becoming a Critical Thinker: A Guide for the New Millennium [Amazon.com]
Decision by Objectives by Forman and Selly (PDF, 2.46mb)
“Complete textbook on decision making. Aimed at management, but the contains a lot for the general reader (or decider?). Centered on a general decision framework known as the Analytic Hierarch Process (AHP). This may not be the best textbook on decision making out there, but there is plenty of value here, and it does have the advantage of being freely downloadable.” – Tim van Gelder
Introduction to Probability – [Online book]
How Mumbo-jumbo Changed the World by Francis Wheen [amazon.co.uk] [Excellent]
Mind Wide Open: One Man’s Journey into the Workings of his Brain by Steven Johnson [Amazon.com/.co.uk] [Excellent]
The Power of Persuasion by Robert V. Levine [Amazon.co.uk or amazon.com] [Good]
With Good Reason by S. Morris Engel [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com] [Excellent]
The Book of the Fallacy by Madden Pirie [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com] [Excellent]
Persuasion, Social Influence, and Compliance Gaining (2nd Edition) by Robert H. Gass, John S. Seiter [Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com ]
Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero, Vincent Ruggiero [Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com ]
Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion by Anthony R. Pratkanis, Elliot Aronson [Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com] [Excellent]
Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Don’t Get Taken: Bunco & Bunkum Exposed How to Protect Yourself by by Robert A. Steiner
A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms by Richard A. Lanham [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought by David Hackett Fischer [ amazon.co.uk or amazon.com ]
Persuasion Analysis : A Companion to Composition – Hugh Rank
Critical Thinking: An Introduction by Alec Fisher [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Practical Reasoning in Natural Language by Stephen Naylor Thomas (1998) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
How to think Straight by Anthony Flew (1998) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Everyday Irrationality by Robyn M Dawes (2001) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland (1994) [amazon.co.uk] [Excerpt]
Competitive Communication by Barry Eckhouse (1999) [Business orientated] [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan (1996) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff (1991) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Analysing Controversy by Gark K Clabaugh and Edward G Rozycki (1998) [ amazon.co.uk or amazon.com ]
Attacking faulty reasoning by T. Edward Damer (2000) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Be Reasonable by Laird Wilcox – Quotations (1994) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
The Art of Deception by Nicholas Capaldi (1987) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Arguing Well by John Shand (2000) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Thinking from A to Z by Nigel Warburton( 1996) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer (1998) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos (2001) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Once upon a number by John Allen Paulos (1998) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Critical Thinking – A concise guide by Tracy Bowell and Gary Kemp (2002) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Argument: Critical Thinking, Logic and the Fallacies by John Woods, Andrew Irvine and Douglas Walton (1982) [amazon.co.uk]
Reckoning with Risk by Gerd Gigerenzer (2002) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com ]
How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life by Thomas Gilovich (1993) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Bad Astronomy by Philip Plait (2002) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Thinking and Deciding by Jonathan Baron (2001) [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Fashionable Nonsense : Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science
Alan D. Sokal et al [amazon.co.uk or amazon.com]
Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney, Howard Raiffa [Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com]
SOFTWARE AND WEB TOOLS
Rationale – The best argument mapping and Crirtical Thinking tool from the people behind Critical Thinking on the Web.
New logic and argumentation software from the makers of Sciral Consistency
“Flying Logic is a highly visual, easy to use software application that does for reasoning what spreadsheets do for numbers. Just as you would not do detailed financial projections in your head, you need Flying Logic for all nontrivial planning and reasoning endeavors.”
TruthMapping is a tool that addresses the most common problems in argumentation. It prevents digression by making the argument the context which can not be escaped; the information flow is always toward the argument unlike standard methods such as conversation, message boards and e-mail. It saves you time because others can not bury your contribution through repetitive posting. It is a content-rich view of a topic because only the true disagreements are visible by default. [Excellent]
Brainstorm, A multi purpose though assistant. “..thermonuclear grade intellectual organizing powers..”. [Excellent]
Thesis Builder & Online Outliner
A good list of current argument mapping software is available
Home of Inspiration
Home of Mindmanager, the undisputed best MindMapping application for Windows
Reason! Able – argument mapping
AUDIO, VIDEO AND PODCASTS
Thanks to Michael Meadon for these suggestions:
Six Vintage-Inspired Animations on Critical Thinking [Excellent]
New Critical Thinking powerhouse
Thanks to Michael Meadon for most of these suggestions.
Tim Van Gelders’ Rational Thoughts Weblog
First rate Critical Thinking blog
Dr Ben Goldacre’s superb critical thinking blog
Daily fix of Neuroscience, Skeptisism and Critical Thinking
Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and medicine
Ionian Enchantment is Michael Meadon’s superb generalist weblog covering some of my favourite subjects like science, psychology, neuroscience, skepticism, critical thinking, anthropology, politics and Africa.
Critical Thinking Academy [Excellent]
http://lesswrong.com/ – [Brilliant]
Less Is Wrong Critical Thinking Portal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Thinking – [Brilliant]
Wikipedia Thinking Portal
http://www.businessballs.com – [Brilliant]
Absolutely superb website about all manner of cognitive excellence
http://www.mindtools.com – [Brilliant]
“Discover the essential skills and techniques that help you excel in your career – whatever your profession”
http://changingminds.org – [Brilliant]
The largest site in the world on all aspects of how we change one another’s minds
Fine site on using Philosophy in everyday life – [Excellent]
http://www.mycoted.com/creativity/techniques/index.php – [Excellent]
Creativity Techniques – hundreds of ideas and methods
http://www.syque.com/quality_tools/index.htm – [Excellent]
Quality Tools – hundred of useful tools and articles about quality and quality improvement
Creativity and critical thinking at work.
An excellent article from The Guardian on Medical myths both ancient and modern
Cochran-Weiss-Shanteau (CWS) Home Page. CWS is the Cochran-Weiss-Shanteau index of performance a new approach to the evaluation of expert performance where there is no independent criterion.
This is an excellent resource! A couple of things (in no particular order):
1. I’m no so sure about Buzan and de Bono… they’re both borderline cranks IMHO.
2. The link to the critical thinking mini-guide has changed, it’s now here: http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/misc/ex-public-1.pdf
3. Overcoming bias (http://www.overcomingbias.com/) is an absolutely superb critical thinking blog.
4. Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) by Tavris & Aronson is the best critical thinking book I’ve read in quite a while — check it out.
5. I rather disliked Wheen’s How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World. Check out my review: http://ionian-enchantment.blogspot.com/2008/03/book-review-how-mumbo-jumbo-conquered.html
6. van Gelder has a blog (http://rtnl.wordpress.com/) and an audio podcast was made of one of his critical thinking courses, but I can’t seem to find it now.
7. There are lots and lots of great skeptical blogs, but my favs: Bad Science, NeuroLogica & Science-Based Medicine.
8. I can’t believe you didn’t mention Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner! 🙂
Thanks Michael. I have updated the broken links and added the weblogs and books you recommended.
This page needs to be thouroughly updated and restructured. It started out as a wiki page, then when I got sick of maintaining a copy of MediaWiki just for this page, so I moved it onto the blog.
There is plenty of junk on here now and the resources are badly described. This year I will make it a goal to tidy it up properly.
Thanks for the input and suggestions!
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