- Paperback: 102 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 8, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1508775362
- ISBN-13: 978-1508775362
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Art of Being Right
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The book contained no address or other information about the publisher, except for a statement "Printed in San Bernardino, CA" and dated 2 days before I received it (!)
The text seems to reproduce the 1896 translation, so you can in principle read Schopenhauer's sarcastic thoughts, but I found the crappy formatting to be enough of a distraction that I couldn't stand more than a couple of pages, and flicking through was annoying enough. Could this be Wittgenstein's revenge?
Book review by William Springer
Schopenhauer believed the aristocratic/professorial class in our society manipulate the masses with lies. If only he could see the wondrous deceptions of the electronic age; the self inflicted false flag attacks of 9/11, the HIV=AIDS hoax, and phony Moon landings would have amazed even him, I believe. (Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, 'Inventing the AIDS Virus' by Dr Peter Duesberg, 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon' by Bart Sibrel)
This little book has some priceless gems regarding the subjects of logic and rhetoric, and how our ignorance of them makes us vulnerable to shameless manipulations by our leaders. Today, the science of logic hasn't been taught in State controlled public schools for more than a century. And due to State suppression of it's teaching, both logic and rhetoric are effectively unknown to the masses ("The Underground History of American Education" by John Gatto). And as Schopenhauer well knew, this is essential if one wants to control the mob with lies, rather than reason.
Here are a few quotes from Schopenhauer, and a few other logicians that I hope you will find useful regarding the subjects of this book; logic and rhetoric.
"Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion." -Aristotle
"Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men." -Plato
"Logic, therefore, as the science of thought, or the science of the process of pure reason, should be capable of being constructed a priori."
-Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Controversy
("A priori" is defined as deduced from self-evident premises.)
"Logic: The science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference."
-Webster's Unabridged Encyclopedic Dictionary
"We ought in fairness to fight our case with no help beyond the bare facts: nothing, therefore, should matter except the proof of those facts."
"We suppose ourselves to posses unqualified scientific knowledge of a thing, as opposed to knowing it in the accidental way in which the sophist knows, when we think that we know the cause on which the fact depends, as the cause of that fact and of no other, and further, that the fact could not be other than it is".
-Aristotle, Posterior Analytics
"Fallacious reasoning is just the opposite of what can be called cogent reasoning. We reason cogently when we reason (1) validly; (2) from premises well supported by evidence; and (3) using all relevant evidence we know of. The purpose of avoiding fallacious reasoning is, of course, to increase our chances of reasoning cogently."
-Howard Kahane, Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric, 1976, second edition
"Aristotle devides all conclusions into logical and dialectical, in the manner described, and then into eristical. (3) Eristic is the method by which the form of the conclusion is correct, but the premises, the material from which it is drawn, are not true, but only appear to be true. Finally (4) sophistic is the method in which the form of the conclusion is false, although it seems correct. These three last properly belong to the art of Controversial Dialectic, as they have no objective truth in view, but only the appearance of it, and pay no regard to truth itself; that is to say, they aim at victory."
-Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Controversy
"The province of Logic must be restricted to that portion of our knowledge which consists of inferences from truths previously known; whether those antecedent data be general propositions, or particular observations and perceptions. Logic is not the science of Belief, but the science of Proof, or Evidence. In so far as belief professes to be founded on proof, the office of Logic is to supply a test for ascertaining whether or not the belief is well grounded."
-John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic
"This is the argumentum ad verecundiam. It consists in making an appeal to authority rather than reason, and in using such an authority as may suit the degree of knowledge possessed by your opponent.
Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgment, says Seneca; and it is therefore an easy matter if you have an authority on your side which your opponent respects. The more limited his capacity and knowledge, the greater is the number of authorities who weigh with him. But if his capacity and knowledge are of a high order, there are very few; indeed, hardly any at all. He may, perhaps, admit the authority of professional men versed in science or an art or a handicraft of which he knows little or nothing; but even so he will regard it with suspicion. Contrarily, ordinary folk have a deep respect for professional men of every kind. They are unaware that a man who makes a profession of a thing loves it not for the thing itself, but for the money he makes by it; or that it is rare for a man who teaches to know his subject thoroughly; for if he studies it as he ought, he has in most cases no time left in which to teach it...
There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is generally adopted. Example effects their thought just as it affects their action. They are like sheep following the bell-wether just as he leads them. They will sooner die than think. It is very curious that the universality of an opinion should have so much weight with people, as their own experience might tell them that it's acceptance is an entirely thoughtless and merely imitative process. But it tells them nothing of the kind, because they possess no self-knowledge whatever...
When we come to look into the matter, so-called universal opinion is the opinion of two or three persons; and we should be persuaded of this if we could see the way in which it really arises.
We should find that it is two or three persons who, in the first instance, accepted it, or advanced and maintained it; and of whom people were so good as to believe that they had thoroughly tested it. Then a few other persons, persuaded beforehand that the first were men of the requisite capacity, also accepted the opinion. These, again, were trusted by many others, whose laziness suggested to them that it was better to believe at once, than to go through the troublesome task of testing the matter for themselves. Thus the number of these lazy and credulous adherents grew from day to day; for the opinion had no sooner obtained a fair measure of support than its further supporters attributed this to the fact that the opinion could only have obtained it by the cogency of its arguments. The remainder were then compelled to grant what was universally granted, so as not to pass for unruly persons who resisted opinions which everyone accepted, or pert fellows who thought themselves cleverer than any one else.
When opinion reaches this stage, adhesion becomes a duty; and henceforward the few who are capable of forming a judgment hold their peace. Those who venture to speak are such as are entirely incapable of forming any opinion or any judgment of their own being merely the echo of others' opinions; and, nevertheless, they defend them with all the greater zeal and intolerance. For what they hate in people who think differently is not so much the different opinions which they profess, as the presumption of wanting to form their own judgment; a presumption of which they themselves are never guilty, as they are very well aware. In short, there are very few who can think, but every man wants to have an opinion; and what remains but to take it ready-made from others, instead of forming opinions for himself?
Since this is what happens, where is the value of the opinion even of a hundred millions? It is no more established than an historical fact reported by a hundred chroniclers who can be proved to have plagiarised it from one another; the opinion in the end being traceable to a single individual."
-Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Controversy