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Tall Tales about the Mind and BrainSeparating fact from fiction$
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Sergio Della Sala

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.001.0001

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Critically thinking about paranormal belief

Critically thinking about paranormal belief

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter 2 Critically thinking about paranormal belief
Source:
Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain
Author(s):

Peter Lamont

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.003.0003

There are many examples of believers in spiritualism coming to similarly strange conclusions. They can be seen as glaring illustrations of how people can base their beliefs upon a lack of critical thinking, and as evidence to support a very old argument that continues to this day: that belief in the paranormal is the product of ignorance, gullibility and wishful thinking. The history of the paranormal illustrates that there are all sorts of people who believe in the paranormal, as there are all sorts of people who disbelieve. Meanwhile, disbelief in the paranormal has also been based upon ignorance, gullibility and wishful thinking, and paranormal phenomena have been not only supported but also rejected by appealing to misleading evidence. It may be that there is an overall difference between believers and disbelievers in terms of how they observe and think, but the findings at present are, at best, inconclusive.

Keywords:   spiritualism, paranormal phenomena, paranormal belief, ignorance

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