Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
Do you feel like I do? That it is becoming so much more necessary for us to learn how to discern the truth from the lies? Critical thinking and logic has always been one of those things that I just love! That said I was so excited for my family to receive a copy of the book, The Fallacy Detective for review. This is over 200 pages, 38 lessons, on how to recognize bad reasoning as well as exactly what it is.
Written by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn, they enjoyed so many adventure stories read to him by his mother. These stories developed his imagination and stirred in him a passion for writing first discovered through the classic tale, Beowulf. I love how they say that with these books you are able to learn to solve thinking problems just like the way that a plumber fixes faucets!
Something even cooler – shortly after we got this book in the mail and started reading and discussing – we found a group of home educators that are going to be meeting to work through this and other materials – this fall! Talk about excellent timing. The idea of meeting new friends and exploring logic and reasoning together…It is so very exciting!
So how does this work? What is a Red Herring? Or an Ad Hominem or a Tu Quoque? This book does a fabulous job of introducing exactly what a fallacy is and why it is good for us to stretch and exercise our minds with logic training. We learn how to spot bad reasoning, to put a higher value on good reasoning and how to avoid fallacies in our own thinking because we all have them sometimes.
While this is recommended for ages 12 and up, my older daughter (10) did enjoy being a part of some of the lessons. As I mentioned, this is a favorite study for momma, so I made sure we did this as a family. As you work through the chapters in this book, you gain confidence in your ability to think reasonably; you begin to recognize the many errors that are all around you, both in your thinking and in that of the world we live in. Certainly this is a very necessary and timely study for the days we live in.
Our family would gather to read each chapter together and then complete the exercises also together. This book contains many concrete examples as well as fun exercises for a variety of levels of difficulty. The concepts are easy to understand, the skills are easy to learn. With this book– discover the logic already written in your mind by God. Starting with inquiring minds and moving through topics such as propaganda, assumptions, statistical fallacies this is an amazing workout for minds of all ages! Did I mention, there are some great comic strips strewn about throughout the lessons! Serious work, seriously fun!
At the end of each chapter are some exercises you can do together, or individually. Some of them, such as Find the Propaganda, it was fun to have the kids locate some examples (I mean, this stuff is everywhere right now) and then come back so we can share what we found and talk about it a bit.
One thing I really stress with my children, in learning anything, we need to have an Inquiring Mind. What does this mean exactly? It means exercising our mind; our mind is a muscle so it needs a good workout regularly. We need to be willing to consider things, to test all things. We are told in the Bible to come and reason together. There is nothing worse than engaging in a conversation with someone who already has their mind made up and believes they already “know.”
Perhaps it is most valuable for us to be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove, in that we are willing to learn and unlearn things as we think critically about them. There is far too much false information out there, we cannot allow ourselves to get stuck in unhealthy thoughts and false facts. This is a very valuable skills for everyone to have in their toolbox!
We are definitely going to continue reading and discussing and seeking out the bad reasoning in ourselves and in those people and things around us using this book. We will even be working through it a second time this fall with a local group so we should have some strong logic skills growing in this home!
Click on the banner below and read reviews from other members of the Review Crew for Fallacy Detective and also the additional book, Archer and Zowie.