Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Magical thinking: the attitude at different times and in different places and historical contexts that thinking itself can have an effect outside of thinking.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Michael Polanyi on Magical Thinking - Dictionary of Arguments

Weizenbaum I 174
Magical Thinking/Science/Polanyi/Weizenbaum: As Polanyi notes, the imperturbability of scientific beliefs is defended with the same tricks that protect magical belief systems: (M. Polanyi, The Tacit Dimension, NY, 1966, p. 292):
Every contradiction between a certain scientific statement and the facts of experience is explained by a different scientific statement; the stock of possible scientific hypotheses, with which every conceivable event can be explained, is inexhaustible... Within the natural sciences themselves, the constancy of theories against experience is guaranteed by epicyclic auxiliary hypotheses that nip alternative approaches in the bud.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Pola I
M. Polanyi
Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy Eastford 2013

Pola II
M. Polanyi
The Tacit Dimension Chicago 2009

Weizenbaum I
Joseph Weizenbaum
Computer Power and Human Reason. From Judgment to Calculation, W. H. Freeman & Comp. 1976
German Edition:
Die Macht der Computer und die Ohnmacht der Vernunft Frankfurt/M. 1978

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