The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it.
Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?
How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.
Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.
Gordon Marino is professor of philosophy and director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. A recipient of the Richard J. Davis Ethics Award for excellence in writing on ethics and the law, he is the author of Kierkegaard in the Present Age, co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard, and editor of the Modern Library’s Basic Writings of Existentialism. His essays have appeared in The New York Times.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
The ancients regarded rhetoric as the crowning intellectual discipline — the synthesis of logical principles and other knowledge attained from years of schooling. Modern readers will find considerable relevance in Aristotelian rhetoric and its focus on developing persuasive tools of argumentation. Aristotle's examinations of how to compose and interpret speeches offer significant insights into the language and style of contemporary communications, from advertisements to news reports and other media.
Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions, perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.
"Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime." - Bo Bennett
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Using straightforward graphics and artworks, as well as thoroughly accessible text that elucidates more than two thousand years of philosophical thought, The Philosophy Book makes abstract concepts concrete.
From moral ethics to the philosophies of religions, The Philosophy Book sheds a light on the famous ideas and thinkers from the ancient world through the present day. Including theories from Pythagoras to Voltaire and Mary Wollstonecraft to Noam Chomsky, The Philosophy Book offers anyone with an interest in philosophy an essential resource to the great philosophers and the views that have shaped our society.
Eric Steinhart provides lucid explanations of the basic mathematical concepts and sets out most commonly used notational conventions. Furthermore, he demonstrates how mathematics applies to many fundamental issues in branches of philosophy such as metaphysics, philosophy of language, epistemology, and ethics.
Utilizing real questions submitted to his popular website ReasonableFaith.org, Dr. Craig models well-reasoned, skillful, and biblically informed interaction with his inquirers. A Reasonable Response goes beyond merely talking about apologetics; it shows it in action. With cowriter Joseph E. Gorra, this book also offers advice about envisioning and practicing the ministry of answering people’s questions through the local church, workplace, and in online environments.
Whether you're struggling to respond to tough objections or looking for answers to your own intellectual questions, A Reasonable Response will equip you with sound reasoning and biblical truth.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Kaufmann's version of psychohistory stays clear of gossip and is carefully documented. He offers us a radically new understanding of two centuries of intellectual history, but his primary focus is on self-knowledge. He is in a unique position to perform this task by virtue of being, according to Stephen Spender, "the best translator of "Faust"; "and in Sidney Hook's view, "unquestionably the most interesting and informative writer of Hegel in English."
The foremost interpreter of Kant, Lewis White Beck, has called this book on "Goethe, Kant, and.Hegel ""fascinating" - a work which "will stir up a good many people by telling them things they have never heard, and providing an alternative to what is the accepted reading of that part of the history of philosophy. The story of how personality affects philosophy has never been better told." We are shown how Goethe advanced the discovery of the mind more than anyone before him, while Kant was in many ways a disaster. Hegel, like others between 1790 to 1990, tried to reconcile Kant and Goethe.
Kaufmann shows this is impossible He paints a large picture, but he is always highly specific and details the major contributions of Goethe and Hegel as well as the ways in which Kant's immense influence proved catastrophic.
Lively, clever, and thought-provoking, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten is a portable feast for the mind that is sure to satisfy any intellectual appetite.
Logic is synonymous with reason, judgment, sense, wisdom, and sanity. Being logical is the ability to create concise and reasoned arguments—arguments that build from given premises, using evidence, to a genuine conclusion. But mastering logical thinking also requires studying and understanding illogical thinking, both to sharpen one’s own skills and to protect against incoherent, or deliberately misleading, reasoning.
Elegant, pithy, and precise, Being Logical breaks logic down to its essentials through clear analysis, accessible examples, and focused insights. D. Q. McInerney covers the sources of illogical thinking, from naïve optimism to narrow-mindedness, before dissecting the various tactics—red herrings, diversions, and simplistic reasoning—the illogical use in place of effective reasoning.
An indispensable guide to using logic to advantage in everyday life, this is a concise, crisply readable book. Written explicitly for the layperson, McInerny’s Being Logical promises to take its place beside Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style as a classic of lucid, invaluable advice.
Praise for Being Logical
“Highly readable . . . D. Q. McInerny offers an introduction to symbolic logic in plain English, so you can finally be clear on what is deductive reasoning and what is inductive. And you’ll see how deductive arguments are constructed.”—Detroit Free Press
“McInerny’s explanatory outline of sound thinking will be eminently beneficial to expository writers, debaters, and public speakers.”—Booklist
“Given the shortage of logical thinking,
And the fact that mankind is adrift, if not sinking,
It is vital that all of us learn to think straight.
And this small book by D.Q. McInerny is great.
It follows therefore since we so badly need it,
Everybody should not only but it, but read it.”
The two-part selection of puzzles and paradoxes begins with examinations of the nature of infinity and some curious systems related to Gödel's theorem. The first three chapters of Part II contain generalized Gödel theorems. Symbolic logic is deferred until the last three chapters, which give explanations and examples of first-order arithmetic, Peano arithmetic, and a complete proof of Gödel's celebrated result involving statements that cannot be proved or disproved. The book also includes a lively look at decision theory, better known as recursion theory, which plays a vital role in computer science.
Called "the sleeper hit of the publishing season" (The Boston Globe), Shop Class as Soulcraft became an instant bestseller, attracting readers with its radical (and timely) reappraisal of the merits of skilled manual labor. On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.
With zest and rigor, Bertrand Russell applies twentieth-century thinking to age-old philosophy, from the works of Plato and Aristotle to those of René Descartes and John Locke. In The Problems of Philosophy, he reviews the Western canon’s most influential ideas and thought experiments, offering a comprehensive and enlightening text for curious and seasoned philosophy readers alike. Infused with Russell’s own observations and critiques, this study offers reviews of topics such as idealism, knowledge, and the natures of truth, reality, and existence. Including the author’s prominent thinking on knowledge by acquaintance versus knowledge by description, The Problems of Philosophy is a critical look at the major philosophical accomplishments spanning from classical Greece to the twentieth century.
This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
For anyone tackling philosophical logic and critical thinking for the first time, Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Reasoning Well provides a practical guide to the skills required to think critically. From the basics of good reasoning to the difference between claims, evidence and arguments, Robert Arp and Jamie Carlin Watson cover the topics found in an introductory course.
Now revised and fully updated, this Second Edition features a glossary, chapter summaries, more student-friendly exercises, study questions, diagrams, and suggestions for further reading. Topics include:
the structure, formation, analysis and recognition of arguments
deductive validity and soundness
inductive strength and cogency
inference to the best explanation
tools for argument assessment
informal and formal fallacies
With real life examples, advice on graduate school entrance exams and an expanded companion website packed with additional exercises, an answer key and help with real life examples, this easy-to-follow introduction is a complete beginner's tool set to good reasoning, analyzing and arguing. Ideal for students in basic reasoning courses and students preparing for graduate school.
Game theory shows that in order to coordinate its actions, a group of people must form "common knowledge." Each person wants to participate only if others also participate. Members must have knowledge of each other, knowledge of that knowledge, knowledge of the knowledge of that knowledge, and so on. Michael Chwe applies this insight, with striking erudition, to analyze a range of rituals across history and cultures. He shows that public ceremonies are powerful not simply because they transmit meaning from a central source to each audience member but because they let audience members know what other members know. For instance, people watching the Super Bowl know that many others are seeing precisely what they see and that those people know in turn that many others are also watching. This creates common knowledge, and advertisers selling products that depend on consensus are willing to pay large sums to gain access to it. Remarkably, a great variety of rituals and ceremonies, such as formal inaugurations, work in much the same way.
By using a rational-choice argument to explain diverse cultural practices, Chwe argues for a close reciprocal relationship between the perspectives of rationality and culture. He illustrates how game theory can be applied to an unexpectedly broad spectrum of problems, while showing in an admirably clear way what game theory might hold for scholars in the social sciences and humanities who are not yet acquainted with it.
In a new afterword, Chwe delves into new applications of common knowledge, both in the real world and in experiments, and considers how generating common knowledge has become easier in the digital age.
"Why are Christians so intolerant?"
"Why can't we just coexist?"
In an age in which preference has replaced morality, many people find it difficult to speak the truth, afraid of the reactions they will receive if they say something is right or wrong. Using engaging stories and personal experience, Edward Sri helps us understand the classical view of morality and equips us to engage relativism, appealing to both the head and the heart. Learn how Catholic morality is all about love, why making a judgment is not judging a person's soul, and why, in the words of Pope Francis, "relativism wounds people." Topics include:
• Real Freedom, Real Love
• Sharing truth with compassion
• Why "I disagree" doesn't mean "I hate you"
An instructor’s website is available with solutions to all the exercises in the text, including the many new exercises which have been added to this new edition.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Here are the great minds of Western civilization and their pivotal ideas, from Plato to Hegel, from Augustine to Nietzsche, from Copernicus to Freud. Richard Tarnas performs the near-miracle of describing profound philosophical concepts simply but without simplifying them. Ten years in the making and already hailed as a classic, THE PASSION OF THE WESERN MIND is truly a complete liberal education in a single volume.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The book emphasizes the relationship between models and the traditional goal of logic, the evaluation of arguments, and critically examines apparatus and assumptions that often are taken for granted. Philosophical Logic provides an unusually thorough treatment of conditional logic, unifying probabilistic and model-theoretic approaches. It underscores the variety of approaches that have been taken to relevantistic and related logics, and it stresses the problem of connecting formal systems to the motivating ideas behind intuitionistic mathematics. Each chapter ends with a brief guide to further reading.
Philosophical Logic addresses students new to logic, philosophers working in other areas, and specialists in logic, providing both a sophisticated introduction and a new synthesis.
... a first-rate edition, which supersedes all other portable Peirces.... all the Peirce most people will ever need." —Louis Menand, The New York Review of Books
Volume 2 of this convenient two-volume chronological reader’s edition provides the first comprehensive anthology of the brilliant American thinker Charles Sanders Peirce’s mature philosophy. A central focus of Volume 2 is Peirce’s evolving theory of signs and its appplication to his pragmatism.
In How We Think, Dewey shares his views on the educator’s role in training students to think well. Basing his assertions on the belief that knowledge is strictly relative to human interaction with the world, he considers the need for thought training, its use of natural resources, and its place in school conditions; inductive and deductive reasoning, interpreting facts, and concrete and abstract thinking; the functions of activity, language, and observation in thought training; and many other subjects.
John Dewey’s influence on American education and philosophy is incalculable. This volume, as fresh and inspirational today as it was upon its initial publication a century ago, is essential for anyone active in the field of teaching or about to embark on a career in education.
The writings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle have resonated through the millennia and continue to influence the lives of people today. In A Short History of Greek Philosophy, renowned British classicist John Marshall provides a thorough yet engaging account of the seminal philosophical movements of ancient Greece, from the Sophists to the Sceptics to the Stoics. For readers looking to dip their toes into the vast ocean of Western philosophy, Marshall’s history provides the perfect springboard.
This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
This is the first time both volumes have been available in paperback. They include a new introduction by Dermot Moran, placing the Investigations in historical context and bringing out their contemporary philosophical importance.
These editions include a new preface by Sir Michael Dummett.
Lakoff reveals radically different but remarkably consistent conceptions of morality on both the left and right. Moral worldviews, like most deep ways of understanding the world, are unconscious—part of our “hard-wired” brain circuitry. When confronted with facts that don’t fit our moral worldview, our brains work automatically and unconsciously to ignore or reject these facts, and it takes extraordinary openness and awareness of this phenomenon to pay critical attention to the vast number of facts we are presented with each day. For this new edition, Lakoff has added a new preface and afterword, extending his observations to major ideological conflicts since the book's original publication, from the Affordable Care Act to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent financial crisis, and the effects of global warming. One might have hoped such massive changes would bring people together, but the reverse has actually happened; the divide between liberals and conservatives has become stronger and more virulent.
To have any hope of bringing mutual respect to the current social and political divide, we need to clearly understand the problem and make it part of our contemporary public discourse. Moral Politics offers a much-needed wake-up call to both the left and the right.