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42 Fallacies [Kindle Edition]

Michael LaBossiere
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

A fallacy is an error in reasoning. That is, it is a piece of bad logic. Just as it is a good idea to avoid eating bad food, it is also a rather good idea to avoid bad reasoning. Unfortunately, bad reasoning is all too common—it pours out of the television and infests the web like an army of venomous spiders. Perhaps even worse than the fallacies inflicted from the outside are self-inflicted fallacies. These can lead people to make poor decisions about matters great and small.

Fortunately, there is a defense against bad reasoning, namely knowledge. This concise book provides the reader with definitions and examples of forty-two common fallacies—the knowledge a person needs to defend herself in a world awash in fallacies. This short book is not intended to be a handbook on winning arguments or a text on general logic.

The book contains the following fallacies:

Ad Hominem
Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief
Appeal to Authority
Appeal to Belief
Appeal to Common Practice
Appeal to Emotion
Appeal to Popularity
Appeal to Fear
Appeal to Flattery
Appeal to Novelty
Appeal to Pity
Appeal to Popularity
Appeal to Ridicule
Appeal to Spite
Appeal to Tradition
Begging the Question
Biased Generalization
Burden of Proof
Circumstantial Ad Hominem
Fallacy of Composition
Confusing Cause and Effect
Fallacy of Division
False Dilemma
Gambler’s Fallacy
Genetic Fallacy
Guilt by Association
Hasty Generalization
Ignoring a Common Cause
Middle Ground
Misleading Vividness
Peer Pressure
Personal Attack
Poisoning the Well
Post Hoc
Questionable Cause
Red Herring
Relativist Fallacy
Slippery Slope
Special Pleading
Straw Man
Two Wrongs Make a Right
Two Wrongs Make a Right

Product Details

  • File Size: 459 KB
  • Print Length: 89 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ASOS2O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,365 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
205 of 215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book; Free pdf available by author June 6, 2011
By samiam
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
the .99 i paid for this was worth it, so i could read it across my kindle app devices. but know that if you google the title, you'll find that the author kindly offers it as a free pdf online.

it's structured in a very concise format, listing one fallacy (with descriptions and explanations) after another. the table of contents is fully linked, as well.

not an extensive review, but hopefully helpful.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really like this book. April 21, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I own and have read How to Win Every Argument: The Use and Abuse of Logic by Madsen Pirie and Nonsense: A Handbook of Logical Fallacies by Robert J. Gula.

This book isn't as in-depth as those books but it's great for a quick reference of logic fallacies. An easy read--and for the price it's a great value.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best quick reference on incorrect reasoning October 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For 99 cents this title is great. The author gives a brief explanation on each fallacy as well as 2-3 clear examples. Perfect for a reference guide but for more detailed examples I would recommend "Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor editing and presentation January 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although the idea behind this book attracted me, the editing and presentation were awful.

This title needs structural editing to improve the stuffy writing style, reduce the redundancies, and enhance the content. The author then needs to hire a copy editor and proofreader to correct the countless solecisms.

With some effort, the author can make this book presentable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm not one to trust philosophy texts online, but... November 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
...this one actually had some rigor to its analysis. I thought I knew all of the logical fallacies to disgrace our collective knowledge but turns out not so much. Everyone appreciates a book that can successfully deflate the ego. Fun fact: while I was a pithy undergrad studying philosophy using any of these in a paper would mean automatic failure - but when I was in law school, only these were expected.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read - Probably better on paper. February 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I rate the content of the book a 4, but give the overal rating a 3 because I think the Kindle is the wrong media format for this type of material. This book is a series of stand alone topics and examples which I think is better handled on paper where you can thumb forward and backward through pages instead of the linear fashion of a Kindle. This book would make a great bathroom read because you can pick it up, pick a page and start reading. Very few chapters depend heavily on what came prior.

I did not read the book in one sitting, although it would be easy to do. I would read, set it down and then come back to it as I killed time waiting for my wife or a plane. What I found is as I would read the newspaper or listen to the news I would recognize a fallacy and want to find it in the book to confirm I had the right one. The Kindle for all its strengths and search capability is no match for the human brain grasping sentence fragments as one flips the pages quickly or jumps whole sections forward and backwards.

As for the content, I thought everything was clearly presented with many examples to show the points the author was trying to make. It is an excellent starter. It was a fun read.

One strong recommendation: If you are married or in a committed relationship, have your significant other read this as well. Nothing is worse than not only catching someone is a fallacy but calling it out by name! Been there. Done that.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introductory philosophical-reference guide June 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
42 Fallacies by Dr. Michael C. LaBossiere

"42 Fallacies" is a very sound, introductory-level reference book about logical fallacies. Dr. LaBossiere provides a useful philosophical toolkit that helps avoid falling into common logical fallacies. This 83-page book is composed of forty-two common fallacies.

1. Brief and to the point.
2. Sound format, each fallacy is presented in its native logical format, and an explanation and several examples are presented.
3. Introductory, accessible level.
4. Table of contents links to each fallacy.
5. Most popular common fallacies are presented.
6. Will help user construct sound logical arguments.

1. Lacks depth. It's a very basic book.
2. No frills or thrills, straight to the point. In other words, it's a little dry.

In summary, this is a very useful reference guide for the layperson. At less than a dollar this is a great Kindle value. It provides the most common logical fallacies and the author does a good job of providing intelligible examples. The book is very basic, so if you are looking for more depth look elsewhere otherwise enjoy it for what it is, a brief, introductory reference guide. I recommend it.

Further recommendations: "A Rulebook for Arguments" by Anthony Weston, "Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction" by Samir Okasha, "
... Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars another fallacie May 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good concept , how not to win a discussion. But it very soon just winds down to a neverending list of fallacies. explained with monotomous similarity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Difficult reading of questionable accuracy.
Published 3 months ago by Grandon
3.0 out of 5 stars Are my thoughts logical?
If one already knows a lot about logic and fallacies, this is not the right buy. However, as it is my case, if you're just involved in analysing your own ways of thinking so that... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ione Mattos
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point, with good examples
The fallacies and examples are relevant and simple to understand. Often starting with a boolean example then providing a real world example. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jason Scott Leske
5.0 out of 5 stars I like to study these.
These are not all the fallacies, but I like to glance at them from time to time to remind me of my errors in thinking.
Published 7 months ago by Leo Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential
For anyone interested in syllogistic logic, or wants to know how to destroy an opponent in a debate, this book is essential. Read more
Published 8 months ago by GregoryDearth
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional little book every politician should read especially the...
I am enjoying reading this little book as I prepare to enter law school. I am amazed at how many of these fallacies are committed consistently by politicians at all levels who care... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Eric
5.0 out of 5 stars Great source of ansalysis of faulty arguments in any presentation.
This book is a wonderful listing of the main faulty arguments that can be used in any argument or speech, and explains each one very clearly. It's great!
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
To short, but worth every dollar and the time spent on it. Need to see more to recieve more stars.
Published 10 months ago by The Truth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is an awesome book. It really helps me understanding an argument or discussion and helps me decide the validity of a position.
Published 10 months ago by sharyn h.
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful Intrduction to the Subject
This is a useful book for those who know nothing about logical fallacies. I rate it 3 stars not because it does not do what it promises, but because there are much better sources... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Les Huntley
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More About the Author

Michael LaBossiere is a guy from Maine who went to school in Ohio and ended up a philosophy professor in Florida.

While acquiring his doctorate in philosophy at Ohio State University, he earned his ramen noodle money by writing for GDW, TSR, R. Talsorian Games, and Chaosium. After graduate school, he became a philosophy professor at Florida A&M University. His first philosophy book, What Don't You Know?, was published in 2008. He continues to write philosophy and gaming material. He is also a blogger, but these days who isn't?

When not writing, he enjoys running, gaming and the martial arts. Thanks to a quadriceps tendon tear in 2009, he was out of running for a while, but returned to the trails and wrote a book about it, Of Tendon & Trail.

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