Over the past few months, I’ve been reading Being Logical. It teaches you about logic. I’ll summarize the few most important things in the book.
I’ll start with the most simple thing. What is logic? Logic is how to think clearly and effectively.
Now that that’s out of the way let me tell you how the book was structured. The books 5 parts have been structured like the 5 parts of logic. The first part tells you how to create an environment that promotes logical thinking. The second part is about the foundations of logic and the third part is about the argument the most important thing in logic. The fourth part of the book explains how certain mindsets cause illogical thinking and in the fifth and final part of the book, it explains a bunch of common fallacies. I’ll give you a small part of each chapter.
- Paying Attention
If you’re not paying attention then you can’t make a counter-argument or even respond. Your mind should be focused on the thing somebody is saying and not on something else. Without focus, your logic will get nowhere.
- The 4 First Principles of Logic
The Principle of Identity
This is explained by the statement. A thing is what it is. A cat is a cat and not a dog or a fox.
The Principle of The Excluded Middle
This is explained by the statement. Between being and nonbeing, there is no middle state. You are either pregnant or not pregnant, you can’t be at the stage of becoming pregnant.
The Principle of Sufficient Reason
This is explained by the statement. There is sufficient reason for everything. There is a reason for everything even if we don’t know it yet. You came from your mother and your mother came from your grandmother.
The Principle of Contradiction
This is explained by the statement. It is impossible for something both to be and not be at the same time and in the same respect. This is tied closely to the Principle of Identity. Because if you’re a human you can’t be a cat at the same time.
- The Argument
The Argument is what creates debates and discussions. Without it, we would only have fighting. In an argument, there are 2 types of statements. The premise and the conclusion. The premise has facts that are relevant to the conclusion. The conclusion takes those facts and concludes something with them.
- 2 Ways of Thinking that Promote Illogical Thinking
It is good to not always believe what people say but there are also bad versions of skepticism. There is extreme skepticism where people believe that truth doesn’t exist at all. The problem is if truth doesn’t exist then that statement wouldn’t be true either. The second type is Moderate Skepticism. Where people believe that truth exists but it isn’t attainable by mankind. If the truth was unattainable by mankind it might as well not exist at all.
Making Assumptions without Sufficient Evidence
There are two kinds of people who do this. The Cynic Which makes pessimistic assumptions without sufficient evidence. The other one is the Naive Optimist. The Naive Optimist makes positive assumptions without sufficient evidence.
- There are two types of fallacies. the formal fallacy and the informal fallacy. The formal fallacy is about fallacies in the structure of an argument and the informal fallacy about everything else. There are so many fallacies that’s why I’m only going to tell you one of them.
The Straw-Man Fallacy
It is when the opponent distorts your argument to deliberately make it weaker.
My Opinions on the Book
The book is great for learning about logic. If you’re interested in logic I would highly recommend it. The material in the book is sometimes quite complicated that’s why you should apply the methods from How to Accelerate Your Learning. Here is my link to the blog I made about it.
If you’re interested in logic you can get the book Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking by D. Q. McInerny. You can buy his book from Amazon here.