There's pretty much nothing more frustrating than bad logic. It confuses issues, hinders justice, and basically causes problems wherever it shows up. But fallacies seem more common than good reasoning, so it's particularly important to learn to recognize them and understand how to avoid them in formulating arguments of our own. The Fallacy Detective aims at just that, illustrating each point with humorous text and cartoons while remaining informative and deeply practical.
Intended for readers aged 13 to adult, The Fallacy Detective introduces, illustrates and inoculates students against the most familiar (and a few uncommon) fallacies in 38 short chapters. Fallacies are grouped according to kind, with sections on avoiding the question, making assumptions, statistical fallacies and propaganda. Self-teaching, most students will have no difficulty navigating this text on their own, though it's a good idea for parents to check kids' work rather than having them check it themselves.
Each chapter includes simple but informative text, illustrations (including Dilbert and Calvin and Hobbes cartoons), and extensive exercises to review and internalize the content. The back of the book includes a short easy-reference list of fallacies, a full answer key to all exercises, and the Fallacy Detective Game which is basically a form of Balderdash in which players write down their own fallacies and everyone votes for their favorite.
The first three chapters are devoted to encouraging students to think and to carefully weigh opposing viewpoints, rather than to identifying specific fallacies. The Fallacy Detective is published by Christian Logic, a company devoted to training young people to be open minded yet savvy, innocent as doves and wise as serpents as the Bible puts it. This book is an excellent place to start that journey, and a great guide for both students and adults to help guide them from making the kind of mistakes in reason all too common in our generally confused society.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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