Thursday, March 19, 2015
The Fallacy Detective, by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn, is a humorous, easy to read book for ages 12 and up, on how to identify errors in logic and reasoning, from a Christian worldview.
So what exactly is a fallacy? According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a fallacy is a wrong belief or a false or mistaken idea. A deceptive appearance.
“A cloud is 90% water. A watermelon is 90% water. Therefore, since a plane can fly through a cloud, a plane can fly through a watermelon.”
It is an important skill for our children to be able to discern the truth from a lie and to defend their point of view clearly. And while some fallacies are easy to spot, many others are not.
The Fallacy Detective is divided up into 38 lessons. Each lesson uses humor and real life situations to get the point across. The cartoon illustrations and comic strips from Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert, and more, make this book a great introduction to logic and reasoning and enjoyable for young readers.
The book is divided into the most common errors in reasoning into three sections: avoiding the question, making assumptions, and statistical fallacies, followed by propaganda techniques used by advertisers and politicians.
After each short lesson there is a series of questions pertaining to what the student just read. It's recommended that the book is worked through in a group of two or more people, encouraging parents to learn along with their children.
In the back of the book there are instructions to play The Fallacy Detective Game, where students get to make their own fallacies.
According to the authors, when you complete this book, you should:
* Know how to spot bad reasoning
* Put a higher value on good reasoning
* Know how to avoid fallacies in your own reasoning
Thoughts of an 11-Year Old: The Fallacy Detective is a book about how to decipher bad logic and errors in reasoning. It helps you figure out things like propaganda to red herrings. If someone was trying to prove something like:
"They steal bases in baseball. If it's okay for baseball players to steal, logically, it's okay for me,
what could you do to figure out if this is good logic? Should this statement be backed up or figured out? Is it really logical? What kind of tricks is the crook using to get his way? Is this a fallacy?
In The Fallacy Detective, you can find out!
I really like The Fallacy Detective because it has funny cartoons, silly stories, and teaches you a lot! I am actually waiting to finish this book next year in seventh grade, so I can't wait to read more!
Find Out More: You can find out more online about The Fallacy Detective. The Fallacy Detective is for ages 12 and up and just $22 in paperback or $9.99 from the Amazon Kindle Store. They also offer a 35% discount to schools and homeschool co-ops.
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