Philosopher of B.S.
Sep 4, 2011 10:00 AM EDT
British academic Stephen Law is intent on warning people about the perils of bullshit.
First, a credulity test. Do you believe the Bible foretold the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Or that 9/11 was a Jewish conspiracy? Or that, despite the fossil record, the world is less than 10,000 years old?
If so, the news is bad. Chances are you’ve tumbled into “an intellectual black hole,” the favored term of British philosophy professor Stephen Law for a mental accident that’s dangerously common and is “capable of sucking people in and holding them captive so they become willing slaves of claptrap.” Your wacky belief may seem reasonable to you; be assured, it isn’t.
Now, the good news. Law’s latest work, Believing Bullshit, sets out a spotter’s guide to the standard techniques of intellectual quackery, to help the unwitting among us.