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Paperback The Fallacy Detective : Thirty-Six Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning Book

ISBN: 0974531502

ISBN13: 9780974531502

The Fallacy Detective : Thirty-Six Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning

This description may be from another edition of this product. What is a fallacy? A fallacy is an error in logic a place where someone has made a mistake in his thinking. A cloud is 90% water. A watermelon is 90% water. Therefore, since a plane can fly through a...


Format: Paperback

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Have a blast while learning

This is the second book I have read from the Bluedorns. The first was the The Thinking Toolbox. The Bluedorns sent me this book to review. It is titled The Fallacy Detective and was written by Nathaniel & Hans Bluedorn. They again have done a wonderful job of laying out the fallacies in a way that is easy to understand. It is broken down into 36 lessons, so you can 1 per day if you wish. The problems they have at the end of each section are great and build on each other. Don't forget to try out the Fallacy Game they provide at the end of the book. You'll have a blast while learning. I have been using this book to watch my own writings and the comments I receive on my blog so I will improve. It has been very helpful. I read a section a day and them try to apply it to my writings and questions from commenter's. I have learned to recognize many of the fallacies quickly and not get drawn into the traps that others are trying to set for me. I don't always succeed at that, but I am improving thanks to the Bluedorns'. Keep up the good work guys. I would recommend this book to all writers, politicians whether you are a novice or an expert. There is always some little tidbit of knowledge to learn. I have learned a lot. I would stick to the recommendation on this book that it book be read or studied by teenagers and above. Most younger kids would not understand the differences between the fallacies.

Excellent and practical

One of the most important gifts any parents can give their child is wisdom. The book of Proverbs tells us to acquire wisdom, pursue it, love it, and guard it. The Fallacy Detective, teaching classical logic from a Christian worldview, is one practical tool that will help you and your children down the path to wisdom. With thirty-six lessons you will be well on your way to a discerning, inquiring mind. The book explains such things as what are fallacies, assumptions, generalizations, analogies, and propaganda. But more than that, it will teach you good reasoning skills in a biblical way. Written in an intelligent, yet easy to grasp manner, the Bluedorn brothers have produced a fine book here. Peppered with humor and an occasional comic strip, your children will enjoy using this book and playing the Fallacy Detective game to help them apply what they've learned. The book is "self-teaching" with lessons that are short, interesting and fun. However, it is recommended that lessons be done together with your children, as discussions are crucial to help develop thinking skills and abilities to spot bad reasoning. If you homeschool for reasons of faith or worldview, it's important for your children to be able to discern truth from lie, spot fallacies and defend their view. The Fallacy Detective will help you to equip your children to stand firm against the moral relativism of this world. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. - 1 Peter 3:15

Hilarious and educational

A wonderful little logic book, that can be enjoyed on several levels. First of all it is a great homeschooling resource. Second, it's a useful way to get research if you're stuck on a logic test. Thirdly, it is peppered throughout with great cartoons from the classics "Calvin and Hobbes" and "Peanuts" as well as the less classic "Dilbert." Lastly, it's just plain hilarious! You'll laugh your head off with anecdotes about putting a smoke detector in the fireplace. Absolutely, don't miss.

Great For Kids or Adults

The Fallacy Detective, written by Hans and Nathaniel Bluedorn, is a book designed for teens or adults that teaches how to spot common errors in reasoning. The goals for this book are clearly laid out in the introduction. When the reader has completed this book he should be able to put a high value on good reasoning, know how to spot many forms of bad reasoning and know how to avoid using many fallacies in his own reasoning. The authors provide a vision of Christian logic in which they appeal to the need for Christians to strive for a higher standard of reasoning, in order to attain greater ability in discernment. Logic is an important foundation for the science of discernment. Thus they seek to define good reasoning in a biblical way. "Logic is the science of thinking the way God thinks - the way Jesus taught us to think" (page 14). The book contains thirty-six lessons which progress from the most common and basic fallacies, to statistical fallacies and even propaganda. All those terms I have not heard since my university Critical Thinking courses are present as well as some that are commonly used and misused: red herring, ad hominem, tu quoque, appeal to the people, part-to-whole, whole-to-part and so on. Each lesson is followed by several questions which allow the reader to apply what he has just learned. I was glad to see that the questions are cumulative, meaning that what has been taught in previous lessons is continually reviewed in the application questions for subsequent chapters. The authors write in a style that will appeal to teens and young people. The text is interspersed with comics (such as Calvin & Hobbes, Peanunts and Dilbert) and anecdotes. It is also a funny book, as there are many places where the authors turn to humor to make the book enjoyable. A typical lesson may begin similar to this one, which discusses weak analogies: "Let's are a budding scientist wanting to write your graduate thesis on the long term effects of Pop-Tarts on humans. The only problem is, you can't find enough people who are willing to eat thirty-four Pop-Tarts a day for one year" (page 131). Can learning logic be fun? With The Fallacy Detective it appears that it can be. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to improve his reasoning skills. While its primary usefulness will be for teenagers, adults will also enjoy it and benefit from the lessons. If you homeschool your children, this may be a useful title. You can read more about it at

Cute with a critical thinking point

The Fallacy Detective cannot be a good book because it was written by homeschoolers. Ooops, there I go again, using a genetic fallacy. It's what you'll learn from a couple of home-school educated detectives who aim their book at those 13 and older. There are a number of cartoons--from Peanuts and Dilbert to a cartoon written by the authors' sister--that help keep interest in the simple, straightforward book as it deals with several dozen common fallacies. The exercises will help keep the student on the straight and narrow, making sure the ideas are solidified in the mind. I do recommend this book for kids as well as adults who would like to sharpen their critical thinking skills.
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