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“A flawless compendium of flaws.” —Alice Roberts, PhD, anatomist, writer, and presenter of The Incredible Human Journey
The antidote to fuzzy thinking, with furry animals!
Have you read (or stumbled into) one too many irrational online debates? Ali Almossawi certainly had, so he wrote An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments! This handy guide is here to bring the internet age a much-needed dose of old-school logic (really old-school, a la Aristotle).
Here are cogent explanations of the straw man fallacy, the slippery slope argument, the ad hominem attack, and other common attempts at reasoning that actually fall short—plus a beautifully drawn menagerie of animals who (adorably) commit every logical faux pas. Rabbit thinks a strange light in the sky must be a UFO because no one can prove otherwise (the appeal to ignorance). And Lion doesn’t believe that gas emissions harm the planet because, if that were true, he wouldn’t like the result (the argument from consequences).
Once you learn to recognize these abuses of reason, they start to crop up everywhere from congressional debate to YouTube comments—which makes this geek-chic book a must for anyone in the habit of holding opinions.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful.
Wikipedia Article Summaries on Each Page
I found the logical fallacies here are no better explained than just reading the first paragraph of each fallacy's Wikipedia article. The value of this book to me is that it selects a few of the most popular ones (the Wikipedia "List of fallacies" article is quite long).
The cartoons, although very well drawn, aren't very good at illustrating the logical fallacy they're meant to represent. Many of them feel like they were doodled randomly and it was up to the author to find a way to make them fit with the page's material.
I feel like this book is a missed opportunity. With cutesy animal illustrations, simplified vocabulary, and more relevant examples, this could've been a great gift to give to a kid.
149 of 167 people found the following review helpful.
Not for kids
By Andrew Felsher
This book is awful. My sister read it to my niece. Said niece has yet to make a single logical statement, even though she never committed any fallacies before being exposed to this book.
Obviously, this must be because the book is defective. There are no other explanations.
Therefore, we can conclude that the author intends to ruin children's minds, setting us down a slippery slope towards a world of mindless zombies.
In any case, my dad - a tenured professor of Something Unrelated at Prestigious University - says that we can safely ignore this book, as Ali Almossawi is clearly a silly man.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
Exactly what is promised- A fun single reference for better thinking and listening.
Ali Almossawi’s Bad Arguments is exactly the kind of book more people should keep at hand. In a few pages 20 different logical fallacies are identified and clarified. As something of a freebie there is a short glossary appended.
I never quite understood ‘post hoc, propter hoc’. I only thought I understood ‘slippery slope’. New to me were the terms that address things like 'not a cause for a cause’ or ‘composition and division’.
Having read this slender book I cannot claim to have mastered these terms, nor will I always recognize them in the wild. Still for a book of barely 50 pages; almost ½ given to illustrative cartoons, the learning experience is efficient.
A few words about the illustrations. For all their childlike appeal each one is well captioned to reinforce the point of the explanation.
This is one time I have to question the negative reviews. Too many are obviously driven by a demand for political purity that has nothing to do with the total content of the book. A few other complain that the logic is wrong – I disagree. Others are of the opinion that the discussion is too shallow. This is not a text book.
Unless you are a serious student of logical argument, Bad Argument may be the only reference you will ever need. A light hearted book with the ability to seriously improve your thinking, speaking and listening.
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