What's So Wrong with Being Absolutely Right? The Dangerous Nature of Dogmatic Belief Paperback – Sep 23 2008
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"A powerful and fascinating work that reads like a book for a general audience, but maintains all the rigor of a serious scientific publication… I urge any reader wishing to understand why so many people (many of whom you’ve met, or are perhaps related to) insist on replacing clear thinking with dogmatism. Ms. Johnson’s book is a major achievement."
--Steven Goldberg, Professor Emeritus of City College, City University of New York
and author of Fads and Fallacies in The Social Sciences
"Dr. Johnson ably confronts one of the most pressing dangers of our time, dogmatic thinking in all its forms. This important and timely examination of its roots, the processes involved, and possible societal remedies will be interest to all who value reason, and should be required reading for anyone dealing with the many enemies of reason on society's behalf."
--Professor James Alcock, PhD, Department of Psychology, Glendon College,
York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
From the Publisher
Written in a clear, engaging style that is professional in tone yet accessible to a wide audience, Johnson's insightful work will enlighten readers on one of the most important issues of our time.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
My first thought was, there's another catchy book title, but what will the book really entail?
The subtitle: ¡§the dangerous nature of dogmatic belief¡¨ intrigued me and after glancing through it I got the impression that it was a valuable piece of work. The dimensions of dogmatic behavior are explained from various angles. Judy Johnson uses the following definition of dogmatism: ¡§dogmatism is a personality trait that combines cognitive, emotional and behavioral characteristics to personify prejudicial, close-minded belief systems that are pronounced with a rigid certainty¡¨. She builds her thesis regarding dogmatism on 13 characteristics, divided over cognitive, emotional and behavioral traits. Using a number of cases all these characteristics are explained in-depth and her proposition is that when 6 of these 13 characteristics are present in a recognizable way in a person then dogmatic behavior is more likely.
In the second half Jonah appears and using his life, which is immersed in dogmatism, Judy Johnson approaches dogmatism from a broad variety of psychological and philosophical angles. Themes are ¡§Theories of evolution¡¨, ¡§Our neuronal hardware¡¨, ¡§Psychodynamic perspectives¡¨, ¡§Humanistic, existential contribution¡¨ and even the very interesting chapter ¡§Buddhist philosophy¡¨. The relation between dogmatic behavior and anxiety plays an important role. The finishing chapter ¡§Where to go from here? carries a subtitle ¡§Open-minded optimism¡¨ but for the real dogmatic that's easier said than done. The book however, gives a lot of clues for understanding and support. This book is not a real page turner but the many cases make it a challenging book and if you might have thought before reading that there should be a question mark behind the title, then after reading it there will probably be a big exclamation mark! If not then it is probable that you will score on at least six of the characteristics in a recognizable way º.
Published in the September 2009 newsletter of VANLIT Management Consultants, The Netherlands