23. How to Think Straight About Psychology | Keith E. Stanovich

Francis Bacon’s 1605 seminal The Advancement of Learning proclaimed “that knowledge hath in it somewhat of the serpent, and, therefore, where it entereth into a man it makes him swell.”

He argued that instead of being corrupted by knowledge, we can and should return to prelapsarian glory by using the purity of the scientific method. While modern scientists would chuckle at the irony of this sentiment, it is in this method that intellectual and technological progress has propelled us into the present day. Though we may have progressed a great distance, still, the scientific method itself may be grossly misunderstood by the wider public.

Keith E. Stanovich, the author of How to Think Straight About Psychology paints the picture of a society still largely plagued by a medieval tribe of soothsayers, mystics, pseudo-scientists, celebrity-therapists, folk-psychologists, YouTube conspiracists and climate-change-deniers, suggesting that there is still some disjunct in our understanding. Or even, those who ‘trust the science,’ may have become lazy in their reliance on it, without understanding its mechanics, thus cultivating a quasi-religious belief...

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