For February 13th, we will be reading "How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Asking the Right Questions", by Christopher Dicarlo. We will finish reading the last half-ish, pages 125-350. Don't let the page count scare you off, because it is a fast read. Also, you could skip chapters 7 and 10 if you have to because you probably already know the crucial information from those chapters. Definitely read chapters 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, and the conclusion.
Here is the review of the book:
"Faulty reasoning is frustrating and has become ubiquitous—astonishingly even in academic circles. Do your part to help stem the tide of pseudoscience and other breathtaking absurdities by reading and enacting the shrewd ideas of How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass." --Brian Alters, PhD, author of Defending Evolution
"This is a wonderful introduction to the art of thinking. DiCarlo is to be commended for presenting philosophically challenging material in an engaging and accessible manner, while demonstrating both the relevance and the moral significance of critical thinking. It is well designed to prepare the reader to be 'a really good pain in the ass,' and to convince you that this is a good thing to be." --John Teehan, professor of religion, Hofstra University, author, In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence
"Chris DiCarlo's How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass, is certainly different from your typical logic book. For one thing, it ranges from Aristotle to Steven Spielberg to Shakespeare to Tom Nagel to...well, you get the idea! Anyone who reads through this book is going to emerge with a broad education, and with a solid acquaintance with a great many principles of elementary logic, plus an introduction to epistemology, the philosophy of religion, and a lot more (including, recent and prominent findings in evolutionary biology and biosociology drawn from serious sources). DiCarlo combines real erudition with a very down-to-earth, upbeat expository style, which should attract many readers." --Jan Narveson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, philosophy, University of Waterloo
"Lively and entertaining in an informal but important manner, this work on critical reasoning should be read by students in all fields." --Michael Ruse, director of the program in history and philosophy of science, Florida State University
"A perceptive, incisive critical thinker is the very best pain in the ass there is. This book is DiCarlo's enlightening master class in critical thinking, couched in language any curious reader can profit from. From an introduction to formal logic that everyone can understand to a guide to the big questions about knowledge, meaning, ethics, and purpose in life, it's all in here—buttressed by exemplary unpackings of religious, paranormal, and pseudo-scientific bunkum." --Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry magazine, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, and editor of The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief