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Magical Thinking
Magical thinking, or superstitious thinking, is the belief that unrelated events are causally connected despite the absence of any plausible causal link between them, particularly as a result of supernatural effects. Examples include the idea that personal thoughts can influence the external world without acting on them, or that objects must be causally connected if they resemble each other or have come into contact with each other in the past. Magical thinking is a type of fallacious thinking and is a common source of invalid causal inferences. Unlike the confusion of correlation with causation, magical thinking does not require the events to be correlated. The precise definition of magical thinking may vary subtly when used by different theorists or among different fields of study. In anthropology (the earliest research), the posited causality is between religious ritual, prayer, sacrifice, or the observance of a taboo, and an expected benefit or recompense. Later research indic ...
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Logical Fallacy
In philosophy, a formal fallacy, deductive fallacy, logical fallacy or non sequitur (; Latin for " tdoes not follow") is a pattern of reasoning rendered invalid by a flaw in its logical structure that can neatly be expressed in a standard logic system, for example propositional logic.Harry J. Gensler, ''The A to Z of Logic'' (2010) p. 74. Rowman & Littlefield, It is defined as a deductive argument that is invalid. The argument itself could have true premises, but still have a false conclusion. Thus, a formal fallacy is a fallacy where deduction goes wrong, and is no longer a logical process. This may not affect the truth of the conclusion, since validity and truth are separate in formal logic. While a logical argument is a non sequitur if, and only if, it is invalid, the term "non sequitur" typically refers to those types of invalid arguments which do not constitute formal fallacies covered by particular terms (e.g., affirming the consequent). In other words, in practice, "'' ...
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Incantation
An incantation, a spell, a charm, an enchantment or a bewitchery, is a magical formula intended to trigger a magical effect on a person or objects. The formula can be spoken, sung or chanted. An incantation can also be performed during ceremonial rituals or prayers. In the world of magic, wizards, witches, and fairies allegedly perform incantations. In medieval literature, folklore, fairy tales, and modern fantasy fiction, enchantments are charms or spells. This has led to the terms "enchanter" and "enchantress" for those who use enchantments. The English language borrowed the term "incantation" from Old French in the late 14th century; the corresponding Old English term was '' gealdor'' or '' galdor'', "song, spell", cognate to ON galdr. The weakened sense "delight" (compare the same development of "charm") is modern, first attested in 1593 ( OED). Words of incantation are often spoken with inflection and emphasis on the words being said. The tone and rhyme of how the wor ...
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Sir James Frazer
Sir James George Frazer (; 1 January 1854 – 7 May 1941) was a Scottish social anthropologist and folklorist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. Personal life He was born on 1 January 1854 in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Katherine Brown and Daniel F. Frazer, a chemist. Frazer attended school at Springfield Academy and Larchfield Academy in Helensburgh. He studied at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with honours in classics (his dissertation was published years later as ''The Growth of Plato's Ideal Theory'') and remained a Classics Fellow all his life. From Trinity, he went on to study law at the Middle Temple, but never practised. Four times elected to Trinity's Title Alpha Fellowship, he was associated with the college for most of his life, except for the year 1907–1908, spent at the University of Liverpool. He was knighted in 1914, and a public lectureship in socia ...
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Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print books by decree in 1586, it is the second oldest university press after Cambridge University Press. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics known as the Delegates of the Press, who are appointed by the vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford. The Delegates of the Press are led by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as OUP's chief executive and as its major representative on other university bodies. Oxford University Press has had a similar governance structure since the 17th century. The press is located on Walton Street, Oxford, opposite Somerville College, in the inner suburb of Jericho. For the last 500 years, OUP has primarily focused on the publication of pedagogical texts an ...
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Edward Burnett Tylor
Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (2 October 18322 January 1917) was an English anthropologist, and professor of anthropology. Tylor's ideas typify 19th-century cultural evolutionism. In his works ''Primitive Culture'' (1871) and ''Anthropology'' (1881), he defined the context of the scientific study of anthropology, based on the evolutionary theories of Charles Lyell. He believed that there was a functional basis for the development of society and religion, which he determined was universal. Tylor maintained that all societies passed through three basic stages of development: from savagery, through barbarism to civilization. Tylor is a founding figure of the science of social anthropology, and his scholarly works helped to build the discipline of anthropology in the nineteenth century.Paul Bohannan, ''Social Anthropology'' (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1969) He believed that "research into the history and prehistory of man ..could be used as a basis for the reform of Britis ...
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Representativeness Heuristic
The representativeness heuristic is used when making judgments about the probability of an event under uncertainty. It is one of a group of heuristics (simple rules governing judgment or decision-making) proposed by psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman in the early 1970s as "the degree to which n event(i) is similar in essential characteristics to its parent population, and (ii) reflects the salient features of the process by which it is generated". Heuristics are described as "judgmental shortcuts that generally get us where we need to go – and quickly – but at the cost of occasionally sending us off course." Heuristics are useful because they use effort-reduction and simplification in decision-making. When people rely on representativeness to make judgments, they are likely to judge wrongly because the fact that something is more representative does not actually make it more likely. The representativeness heuristic is simply described as assessing similarity of obj ...
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Middle Age
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, the collapse of centralized authority, invasions, and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in late antiquity, continued into the Early Middle Ages. The large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—most recently part of the Eastern Rom ...
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Doctrine Of Signatures
The doctrine of signatures, dating from the time of Dioscorides and Galen, states that herbs resembling various parts of the body can be used by herbalists to treat ailments of those body parts. A theological justification, as stated by botanists such as William Coles, was that God would have wanted to show men what plants would be useful for. It is today considered to be pseudoscience, and has led to many deaths and severe illnesses. For instance birthwort (so-called because of its resemblance to the uterus), once used widely for pregnancies, is carcinogenic and very damaging to the kidneys, owing to its aristolochic acid content. As a defense against predation, many plants contain toxic chemicals, the action of which is not immediately apparent, or easily tied to the plant rather than other factors History The concept dates from the time of Dioscorides and Galen. Paracelsus (1493–1541) developed the concept, writing that "Nature marks each growth ... according to it ...
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Victorian Era
In the history of the United Kingdom and the British Empire, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the '' Belle Époque'' era of Continental Europe. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodists and the evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period, and an increasing turn towards romanticism and even mysticism in religion, social values, and arts. This era saw a staggering amount of technological innovations that proved key to Britain's power and prosperity. Doctors started moving away from tradition and mysticism towards a science-based approach; medicine advanced thanks to the adoption ...
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Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
''Post hoc ergo propter hoc'' (Latin: 'after this, therefore because of this') is an informal fallacy that states: "Since event Y ''followed'' event X, event Y must have been ''caused'' by event X." It is often shortened simply to ''post hoc fallacy''. A logical fallacy of the questionable cause variety, it is subtly different from the fallacy '' cum hoc ergo propter hoc'' ('with this, therefore because of this'), in which two events occur simultaneously or the chronological ordering is insignificant or unknown. Post hoc is a logical fallacy in which one event seems to be the cause of a later event because it occurred earlier. ''Post hoc'' is a particularly tempting error because correlation sometimes appears to suggest causality. The fallacy lies in a conclusion based ''solely'' on the order of events, rather than taking into account other factors potentially responsible for the result that might rule out the connection. A simple example is "the rooster crows immediately befo ...
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Good Luck Charm
In most contexts, the concept of good denotes the conduct that should be preferred when posed with a choice between possible actions. Good is generally considered to be the opposite of evil and is of interest in the study of ethics, morality, philosophy, and religion. The specific meaning and etymology of the term and its associated translations among ancient and contemporary languages show substantial variation in its inflection and meaning, depending on circumstances of place and history, or of philosophical or religious context. History of Western ideas Every language has a word expressing ''good'' in the sense of "having the right or desirable quality" ( ἀρετή) and ''bad'' in the sense "undesirable". A sense of moral judgment and a distinction "right and wrong, good and bad" are cultural universals. Plato and Aristotle Although the history of the origin of the use of the concept and meaning of "good" are diverse, the notable discussions of Plato and Aristotle on ...
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