Minkowski Institute Press
Academic publisher dedicated to excellence



Doctoral Theses Series

Master's Theses Series

Lecture Notes Series

Understanding Reality Series

Forthcoming Books

Our Books at Amazon et al.

Book Proposals

Contact Us

Minkowski Institute

    Bernard N. Wills, Believing Weird Things (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2018), 147 pages.

ISBN: 9978-1-927763-59-9 (ebook) - $5.00

ISBN: 978-1-927763-58-2 (softcover) - $16.60

Buy the ebook (PDF with hyperlinks)

Published on 24 August 2018


Believing Weird Things is a somewhat playful response to the author happening upon a book by Michael Shermer entitled Why People Believe Weird Things. It may be read as a set of skeptical exercises following the tradition that runs from Cicero and Sextus Empiricus to Feyerabend and Latour. Some weird beliefs, the author finds, can be defended as rational if one or two crucial assumptions are changed. Conversely, putatively rational beliefs can be made to seem quite bizarre. The reader may enjoy this process as an intellectual parlor game but it becomes an important consideration when epistemic privilege is at stake: the uses to which notions of 'rationality' and 'irrationality' can be put are not always politically or socially innocent Though begun in a playful mode the author could not ignore the events about him as he worked on this book. Accordingly, the second part of this collection takes on a more serious tone as dogmas that animate both the right and left in contemporary politics and society come under scrutiny. Once, long ago, the author held corrosive skepticism to be the chief ill of contemporary society. Somewhat ruefully, he has concluded that our problem is in fact corrosive dogmatism. In science, religion and politics credulity reigns in forms ranging from un-sophisticated fundamentalism to dense, complex rationalizations of largely a-rational belief systems. In short, the world could use a healthy dose of responsible skepticism in the Antique tradition.

The physical (paper) book can be ordered from (for more options see):