OCTOBER 13-16, 2022

and year round


When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People - Steven Nadler, Lawrence Shapiro - <span class="date-display-single">10/23/2021 - 11:00am</span>

When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People

10/23/2021 - 11:00am

Discovery Building - DeLuca Forum

Watch a replay of this event at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_ZYwpVdpfk


There is an epidemic of bad thinking in the world today. An alarming number of people are embracing crazy, even dangerous ideas. They believe that vaccinations cause autism. They reject the scientific consensus on climate change as a "hoax." And they blame the spread of COVID-19 on the 5G network or a Chinese cabal. Worse, bad thinking drives bad acting--it even inspired a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol. In this book, Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro argue that the best antidote for bad thinking is the wisdom, insights, and practical skills of philosophy. When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People provides an engaging tour through the basic principles of logic, argument, evidence, and probability that can make all of us more reasonable and responsible citizens.


When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People shows how we can more readily spot and avoid flawed arguments and unreliable information; determine whether evidence supports or contradicts an idea; distinguish between merely believing something and knowing it; and much more. In doing so, the book reveals how epistemology, which addresses the nature of belief and knowledge, and ethics, the study of moral principles that should govern our behavior, can reduce bad thinking. Moreover, the book shows why philosophy's millennia-old advice about how to lead a good, rational, and examined life is essential for escaping our current predicament. In a world in which irrationality has exploded to deadly effect, When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People is a timely and essential guide for a return to reason.


Presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Steven Nadler

About Presenter Steven Nadler


Steven Nadler is the William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy and Evjue-Bascom Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His books include Spinoza: A Life, which won the Koret Jewish Book Award, and Rembrandt's Jews, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Madison. 


Heretics!: The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy

About Presenter Lawrence Shapiro


Professor Shapiro’s research spans philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. Within philosophy of mind he has focused on issues related to reduction, especially concerning the thesis of multiple realization. His books The Mind Incarnate and The Multiple Realization Book (co-authored with Professor Thomas Polger at U. of Cincinnati) as well as articles in The Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research examine these issues. His interests in philosophy of psychology include topics in computational theories of vision, evolutionary psychology, and embodied cognition.  His recent interest in philosophy of religion resulted in The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural is Unjustified.


When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People

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