Humbug!: The Skeptic's Field Guide to Spotting Fallacies and Deceptive Arguments (Second Edition)

Nifty Books
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Humbug means "deceptive or false talk or behaviour". This book is a tool for detecting humbug. The core of the book does not concern itself with the structure of good arguments, or with models for inquiry. Rather, the content focuses on error. If individuals become astute at identifying and critiquing flawed arguments, they will become more skilled at identifying sound arguments presented by others and in formulating sound arguments of their own. 

The subtitle of the book is the Skeptic’s Guide Field Guide to Spotting Fallacies and Deceptive Arguments. The skeptical inquirer, whether a student, an academic or a member of the public, is a person who has the habit of questioning assertions made by others. 

This second edition of Humbug! has been expanded and now includes three sections. Part 1 provides a rationale for the book and an introduction to critical thinking, Part 2 provides some simple techniques that are useful in the analysis of arguments and in forming a position, and Part 3 describes and provides examples of common fallacies and flawed arguments. 

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About the author

Jef is an academic in teacher education. Theo is a secondary science and mathematics educator. As father and son (respectively), we have shared a long standing interest in critical thinking, informal logic and fallacies. This book is the most tangible product of an engaging dialogue we have pursued over many years.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Nifty Books
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Published on
May 12, 2014
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781312183124
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Logic
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands

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.
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