26th July, 2012: this page used to be titled “Skepticism”. There are Deep Rifts™ reasons why I’ve just changed the name.
Critical Thought: skeptical approaches to extraordinary claims
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
tigtog and Lauredhel’s paths first crossed in online forums devoted to critical thinking in the context of folklore (ancient and modern). This shared experience shapes much of our approach to online discussions, transformed us into utter meanyheads regarding kooks and trolls, and left us as confirmed utterers of the following:
An entertaining introduction to skeptical thinking and fact-checking for anyone is any of the many books on urban legends by Jan Harold Brunvand. Highly recommended.
Formal Logic and Rhetorical Links
N.B. some of the links below are small subsections of sites devoted to particular rhetorical purposes. Some sites may state opinions in other sections of their sites with which not all readers will agree. Please note that it would be a logical fallacy to dismiss their accurate pages on logic and rhetoric merely because you may disagree with other material hosted on the site(s).
Infidels.org – Constructing a logical argument
Propositions, premises, inferences, implications, conclusions. Valid vs sound arguments, conditional arguments and more.
The Nizkor project – Fallacies
In logic, a fallacy is a technical flaw which makes an argument unsound or invalid. This is a simple to navigate listing of the most common examples of fallacious logic.
The Fallacy Files
A more comprehensive overview of logical fallacies complete with a fallacy-watch blog. The fallacy entries are rather technical, but the blog is aimed at a slightly more generalist level.
Via Rhetoric and Composition – Some definitions of Rhetoric
Some are more cynical than others about ‘the art of persuasion’. One of the great links at the Rhetoric and Composition pages.
A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices
A very readable overview of using rhetorical techniqes to evoke emotional responses in the audience.
Celebrating and analysing some of the most famously persuasive speeches in American history.
Skeptics, Contrarians and Debunkers
The Skeptic’s Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions
Paranormal abilities, Pseudoscience etc
The above links are just a taste of the skeptical thinking that’s out there. Heres a bunch of links on Critical Thought from the TalkOrigins site. Go nuts.