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"My personal feeling is that citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self-defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for more meaningful democracy."-Noam Chomsky "Exercising intellectual self-defense is an act of citizenship. It is what has motivated me to write this little book, which offers exactly this: an introduction to critical thinking."-Normand Baillargeon What is the relationship between democracy and critical thinking? What must a citizen in a democracy know to make the word democracy meaningful? In A Short Course in Intellectual Self-Defense, radical pedagogue Normand Baillargeon trains readers to think, deconstruct, and ask the necessary questions to protect themselves from the manipulations of government, "authorities," and other elites. Whether the issue be the call to what we're told will be a bloodless war, the "debate" around Intelligent Design, understanding a government military expenditure, or simply reading the news, Baillargeon teaches readers to evaluate information and sort fact from official and media spin. In the spirit of advocates of critical thinking from every age, and including the famed late scientist Carl Sagan's "Baloney Detection Kit" and George Orwell's views on the political uses and abuses of language, this vivid, accessible primer empowers readers to take their education as citizens into their own hands. Normand Baillargeon is a professor of education fundamentals at the University of Quebec in Montreal, where he teaches on the history of pedagogy and the philosophy of education.
Normand Baillargeon is Professor of Education Fundamentals at the University of Quebec in Montreal, where he teaches the history of pedagogy and the philosophy of education.
Table of Contents
|Some Indispensable Tools for Critical Thinking|
|Tracherous Words||p. 24|
|The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation: Some Everyday Fallacies||p. 50|
|Mathematics: Those Who Refuse to Be Conned, Count!||p. 87|
|Treating Common Forms of Innumeracy||p. 89|
|Probability and Statistics||p. 110|
|On the Justification of Belief|
|Personal Experience||p. 171|
|Empirical and Experimental Science||p. 223|
|Science and Experimentation||p. 228|
|Science and Epistemology||p. 242|
|A Few Questions for the Critical Reading of Research Results||p. 261|
|The SEARCH Model||p. 263|
|The Media||p. 267|
|Another Kind of Democracy||p. 273|
|The Propaganda Model of Media||p. 277|
|Thirty-one Strategies for Fostering a Critical Approach to the Media||p. 290|
|Independent Media Guide||p. 309|
|Suggested Readings||p. 321|
|About the Author||p. 333|
|About Seven Stories Press||p. 335|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|