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Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

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Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:31 am

I needed somewhere to toss bits and pieces of things on the subject skepticism and objectivity in sociological examinings of topics. This seemed as good a place as any to put it.

I haven't decided if I'll include any commentary or not on any of it. Mostly it's for my reference purposes.

Cy


*************************


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcello_Truzzi

Marcello Truzzi
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marcello Truzzi

Born September 6, 1935
Copenhagen
Died February 2, 2003 (aged 67)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Occupation Professor of Sociology
Employer Eastern Michigan University
Known for CSICOP
Zetetic Scholar (journal)
International Remote Viewing Association (advisor)


Marcello Truzzi (September 6, 1935 – February 2, 2003) was a professor of sociology at New College of Florida and later at Eastern Michigan University, founding co-chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), a founder of the Society for Scientific Exploration,[1] and director for the Center for Scientific Anomalies Research.

Truzzi was an investigator of various protosciences and pseudosciences and, as fellow CSICOP cofounder Paul Kurtz dubbed him "the skeptic's skeptic". He is credited with originating the oft-used phrase "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."

Contents [hide]
1 Biography
2 Pseudoskepticism
3 "Extraordinary claims"
4 Books by Truzzi
5 Obituaries
6 See also
7 References
8 External links
[edit]Biography

Truzzi was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was the only child of famed juggler Massimiliano Truzzi and his wife Sonya. His family moved to the United States in 1940 where his father performed with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Truzzi served in the United States Army between 1958 and 1960; he became a naturalized citizen in 1961.

Truzzi founded the skeptical journal Explorations and was invited[by whom?] to be a founding member of the skeptic organization CSICOP as its co-chairman with Paul Kurtz. Truzzi's journal became the official journal of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and was renamed The Zetetic ("zetetic" is another name for "skeptic"). The journal remained under his editorship. He left CSICOP about a year after its founding, after receiving a vote of no confidence from the group's Executive Council. Truzzi wanted to include pro-paranormal people in the organization and pro-paranormal research in the journal, but CSICOP felt that there were already enough organizations and journals dedicated to the paranormal. Kendrick Frazier became the editor of CSICOP's journal and the name was changed to Skeptical Inquirer.


The Zetetic Scholar journal founded by Marcello Truzzi
After leaving CSICOP, Truzzi started another journal, the Zetetic Scholar.[2] He promoted the term "zeteticism" as an alternative to "skepticism", because he thought that the latter term was being usurped by what he termed "pseudoskeptics". A zetetic is a "skeptical seeker". The term's origins lie in the word for the followers of the skeptic Pyrrho in ancient Greece. Skeptic's Dictionary memorialized Truzzi thus: “Truzzi considered most skeptics to be pseudoskeptics, a term he coined to describe those who assume an occult or paranormal claim is false without bothering to investigate it. A kind way to state these differences might be to say that Marcello belonged to the Pyrrhonian tradition, most of the rest of us belong to the Academic skeptical tradition.”[3]

Truzzi was skeptical of investigators and debunkers who determined the validity of a claim prior to investigation. He accused CSICOP of increasingly unscientific behavior, for which he coined the term pseudoskepticism. Truzzi stated:

They tend to block honest inquiry, in my opinion. Most of them are not agnostic toward claims of the paranormal; they are out to knock them. [...] When an experiment of the paranormal meets their requirements, then they move the goal posts. Then, if the experiment is reputable, they say it's a mere anomaly.[4]

Truzzi held that CSICOP researchers sometimes also put unreasonable limits on the standards for proof regarding the study of anomalies and the paranormal. Martin Gardner writes: "In recent years he (Truzzi) has become a personal friend of Uri Geller; not that he believes Uri has psychic powers, as I understand it, but he admires Uri for having made a fortune by pretending he is not a magician."[5]


Truzzi co-authored a book on psychic detectives entitled The Blue Sense: Psychic Detectives and Crime. It investigated many psychic detectives and concluded: "[W]e unearthed new evidence supporting both sides in the controversy. We hope to have shown that much of the debate has been extremely simplistic."[6] The book also stated that the evidence didn't meet the burden of proof demanded for such an extraordinary claim.[7]
Although he was very familiar with folie à deux, Truzzi was very confident a shared visual hallucination could not be skeptically examined by one of the participators. Thus he categorized it as an anomaly. In a 1982 interview Truzzi stated that controlled ESP (ganzfeld) experiments have "gotten the right results" maybe 60 percent of the time.[8] This question remains controversial. Truzzi remained an advisor to IRVA, the International Remote Viewing Association, from its founding meeting until his death.[9]
Truzzi died from cancer on February 2, 2003.
[edit]Pseudoskepticism

Main article: Pseudoskepticism
Marcello Truzzi popularized the term pseudoskepticism in response to skeptics who, in his opinion, made negative claims without bearing the burden of proof of those claims.[10]
While a Professor of Sociology at Eastern Michigan University in 1987, Truzzi discussed pseudoskepticism in the journal Zetetic Scholar which he had founded:
In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact". Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis—saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact—he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof.

— Marcello Truzzi, On Pseudo-Skepticism, Zetetic Scholar, 12/13, pp3-4, 1987

The term has found occasional use in fringe fields where opposition from those within the scientific mainstream or from scientific skeptics is strong.[citation needed] In 1994 Susan Blackmore, a parapsychologist who became more skeptical and eventually became a CSICOP fellow in 1991, described what she termed the "worst kind of pseudoskepticism":
There are some members of the skeptics' groups who clearly believe they know the right answer prior to inquiry. They appear not to be interested in weighing alternatives, investigating strange claims, or trying out psychic experiences or altered states for themselves (heaven forbid!), but only in promoting their own particular belief structure and cohesion...I have to say it—most of these people are men. Indeed, I have not met a single woman of this type.[11]
Commenting on the labels "dogmatic" and "pathological" that the "Association for Skeptical Investigation"[12] puts on critics of paranormal investigations, Robert Todd Carroll of the Skeptic's Dictionary[13] argues that that association "is a group of pseudo-skeptical paranormal investigators and supporters who do not appreciate criticism of paranormal studies by truly genuine skeptics and critical thinkers. The only skepticism this group promotes is skepticism of critics and [their] criticisms of paranormal studies."[14]
[edit]"Extraordinary claims"

An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.

— Marcello Truzzi, On the Extraordinary: An Attempt at Clarification, Zetetic Scholar, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 11, 1978

Carl Sagan popularized this as "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".[15] However, this may have been based on a quote by Laplace which goes, "The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness."[citation needed] This, in turn, may have been based on the statement "A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence" by David Hume.[16]
[edit]Books by Truzzi

Truzzi, Marcello (1968). Sociology and Everyday Life. Prentice-Hall.
Truzzi, Marcello (1969). Caldron cookery: An authentic guide for coven connoisseurs. Meredith Press.
Truzzi, Marcello (1971). Sociology: the classic statements. Random House.
Peterson, David M; Truzzi, Marcello (1972). Criminal Life: Views from the Inside. Prentice-Hall.
Stoll, Clarice Stasz; Truzzi, Marcello (1973). Sexism: scientific debates. Addison-Wesley.
Truzzi, Marcello; Springer, Philip B (1973). Revolutionaries on Revolution: Participants' Perspectives on the Strategies of Seizing Power. Goodyear Publishing Co.
Truzzi, Marcello (1973). The humanities as sociology;: An introductory reader. Merrill.
Truzzi, Marcello (editor) (1974). Chess in Literature: A Rich and Varied Selection of the Great Literature of Chess-Poetry and Prose from the Past and Present. Avon. ISBN 0-380-00164-0.
Truzzi, Marcello (1974). Verstehen: Subjective Understanding in the Social Sciences. Addison-Wesley.
Truzzi, Marcello (1974). Sociology for pleasure. Prentice-Hall.
Jorgensen, Joseph G; Truzzi, Marcello (1974). Anthropology and American Life. Prentice-Hall.
Truzzi, Marcello; Springer, Philip B (1976). Solving social problems: Essays in relevant sociology. Goodyear Publishing Co.
Truzzi, Marcello (1984), "Sherlock Holmes, Applied Social Psychologist", in Umberto Eco; Thomas Sebeok, The Sign of Three: Dupin, Holmes, Peirce, Bloomington, IN: History Workshop, Indiana University Press, pp. 55–80, ISBN 978-0-253-35235-4, 236 pages. Ten essays on methods of abductive inference in Poe's Dupin, Doyle's Holmes, Peirce and many others.
Lyons, Arthur; Truzzi, Marcello (1988). Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America. The Mysterious Press.
Lyons, Arthur; Truzzi, Marcello (1991). The Blue Sense: Psychic Detectives and Crime. The Mysterious Press. ISBN 0-89296-426-X.
Truzzi, Marcello; Moran, Sarah. Psychic Detectives.
Clark, Jerome; Truzzi, Marcello (1992). UFO Encounters: Sightings, visitations and Investigations. Publications International Ltd.


_________________
"This is an indeterminite problem. How shall I solve it? Pessimistically? Or optimistically? Or a range of probabilities expressed as a curve, or several curves?..........Well.....we're Loonies. Loonies bet. Hell, we have to! They shipped us up and bet us we couldn't stay alive. We fooled 'em. We'll fool 'em again!" Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
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Re: Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:41 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrhonism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoskepticism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_skepticism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debunker

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folie_%C3%A0_deux



******


In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact". Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis—saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact—he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof.

— Marcello Truzzi, On Pseudo-Skepticism, Zetetic Scholar, 12/13, pp3-4, 1987


**********


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeptic%27s_Dictionary


**********


REVISITED:

"Extraordinary claims"

An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.

— Marcello Truzzi, On the Extraordinary: An Attempt at Clarification, Zetetic Scholar, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 11, 1978

Carl Sagan popularized this as "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".[15] However, this may have been based on a quote by Laplace which goes, "The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness."[citation needed] This, in turn, may have been based on the statement "A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence" by David Hume.[16]


_________________
"This is an indeterminite problem. How shall I solve it? Pessimistically? Or optimistically? Or a range of probabilities expressed as a curve, or several curves?..........Well.....we're Loonies. Loonies bet. Hell, we have to! They shipped us up and bet us we couldn't stay alive. We fooled 'em. We'll fool 'em again!" Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
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Re: Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:58 am

Fallibilism

Fallibilism is a modern, fundamental perspective of the scientific method, as put forth by Karl Popper and Charles Sanders Peirce, that all knowledge is, at best, an approximation, and that any scientist must always stipulate this in his research and findings. It is, in effect, a modernized extension of Pyrrhonism.[3] Indeed, historic Pyrrhonists are sometimes described by modern authors as fallibilists. Modern fallibilists also are sometimes described as pyrrhonists.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallibilism



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"This is an indeterminite problem. How shall I solve it? Pessimistically? Or optimistically? Or a range of probabilities expressed as a curve, or several curves?..........Well.....we're Loonies. Loonies bet. Hell, we have to! They shipped us up and bet us we couldn't stay alive. We fooled 'em. We'll fool 'em again!" Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
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Re: Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:17 am

Truzzi attributed the following characteristics to pseudoskeptics:[5]

1. Denying, when only doubt has been established
2. Double standards in the application of criticism
3. The tendency to discredit rather than investigate
4. Presenting insufficient evidence or proof
5. Assuming criticism requires no burden of proof
6. Making unsubstantiated counter-claims
7. Counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence
8. Suggesting that unconvincing evidence provides grounds for completely dismissing a claim

Truzzi characterized "true" skepticism as:[5]
1. Acceptance of doubt when neither assertion nor denial has been established
2. No burden of proof to take an agnostic position
3. Agreement that the corpus of established knowledge must be based on what is proved, but recognising its incompleteness
4. Even-handedness in requirement for proofs, whatever their implication
5. Accepting that a failure of a proof in itself proves nothing
6. Continuing examination of the results of experiments even when flaws are found



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"This is an indeterminite problem. How shall I solve it? Pessimistically? Or optimistically? Or a range of probabilities expressed as a curve, or several curves?..........Well.....we're Loonies. Loonies bet. Hell, we have to! They shipped us up and bet us we couldn't stay alive. We fooled 'em. We'll fool 'em again!" Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
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Re: Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:24 am

Wilson argues that the characteristic feature of false skepticism is that it "centres not on an impartial search for the truth, but on the defence of a preconceived ideological position".[14]


_________________
"This is an indeterminite problem. How shall I solve it? Pessimistically? Or optimistically? Or a range of probabilities expressed as a curve, or several curves?..........Well.....we're Loonies. Loonies bet. Hell, we have to! They shipped us up and bet us we couldn't stay alive. We fooled 'em. We'll fool 'em again!" Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
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Re: Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:31 am

^ Leiter, L. David (2002). "The Pathology of Organized Skepticism". Journal of Scientific Exploration (Society for Scientific Exploration).

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_16_1_leiter.pdf


_________________
"This is an indeterminite problem. How shall I solve it? Pessimistically? Or optimistically? Or a range of probabilities expressed as a curve, or several curves?..........Well.....we're Loonies. Loonies bet. Hell, we have to! They shipped us up and bet us we couldn't stay alive. We fooled 'em. We'll fool 'em again!" Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
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Re: Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:41 am

Admin wrote:^ Leiter, L. David (2002). "The Pathology of Organized Skepticism". Journal of Scientific Exploration (Society for Scientific Exploration).

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_16_1_leiter.pdf


and members of other Skeptics’ organizations seem to wear their skeptical persuasion as a badge of honor, as self-proclaimed protectors of the rational and the scientific. However, it is hard to understand why
anyone would willingly (or worse, proudly) wish to be QUOTE: "....known as a “Skeptic”, which is to say an organized (pathological, pseudo) skeptic. From my stand- point, that labels an individual as someone whose mental processes are contin- ually and rigidly out of balance, in the direction of disbelief. I would no more wish to be known as such a Skeptic, than I would wish to be known as a dupe, the opposite extreme, i.e. someone who is extremely gullible. For me, the most desirable mind-set is exactly in the center of these two extremes, in a middle ground I would call rational balance. That middle ground is where true science thrives. Where the willingness to follow the data wherever they lead is balanced by the rigor to properly collect, analyze, and report those data, and what they appear to indicate. This middle ground is the natural habitat..."


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"This is an indeterminite problem. How shall I solve it? Pessimistically? Or optimistically? Or a range of probabilities expressed as a curve, or several curves?..........Well.....we're Loonies. Loonies bet. Hell, we have to! They shipped us up and bet us we couldn't stay alive. We fooled 'em. We'll fool 'em again!" Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
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Re: Cy's Collection of Notes & Readings on Skepticism and Objectivity

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:14 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.[1][2] The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 27% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.[3]

Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.”[4] One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they no longer become a threat.[5]

Battered-person syndrome is an example of activating the capture–bonding psychological mechanism, as are military basic training and fraternity bonding by hazing.[6][7][8]

Stockholm syndrome is sometimes erroneously referred to as Helsinki syndrome.[9][10]


_________________
"This is an indeterminite problem. How shall I solve it? Pessimistically? Or optimistically? Or a range of probabilities expressed as a curve, or several curves?..........Well.....we're Loonies. Loonies bet. Hell, we have to! They shipped us up and bet us we couldn't stay alive. We fooled 'em. We'll fool 'em again!" Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

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