On being reasonable in an unreasonable world
For the last year or so, since the publication of my comic How to be Reasonable: By Someone Who Tried Everything Else I’ve been speaking to the general public and skeptic groups about critical thinking.
I generally speak about why I think being reasonable is such an important project for us as individuals and society as a whole and give a quick run down of some of the most handy critical thinking tools and common logical missteps to watch out for.
In the Q and A or at the pub afterwards people always say: ‘This is all very useful but, how can I make my mother/husband/colleague more reasonable?’ I used to reply ‘I don’t know’, but after thinking and researching the subject for a year or so I now have a few ideas on how to interact with the non-skeptics in your life. That is the topic of this talk written for Skepticamp Manchester 2018 and my new comic How to Change Minds.
Hope it helps.
Links and references
For more on the evolution of language read: Natural Language and Natural Selection, Pinker and Bloom (1990)
For more on signalling theory read: The Elephant in the Brain, Simler and Hanson (2017)
Find out more about Street Epistemology at streetepistemology.com
Being open to changing your own mind is what Peter Boghossian terms ‘doxastic openess’ in A Manual for Creating Atheists (2013)
‘True and useful’ is the heuristic suggested by Sam Harris in his book Lying (2011)
For more on the nature of dishonesty read: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, Ariely (2012)
The website whatstheharm.net documents the stories of people who are injured or killed as a result of not thinking critically.