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Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language Paperback – March 14, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
This little paperback book (174 pages) is one of the best resource for exposing the various arguments and false logic that we humans sometimes use. The prose flows very easily, groups related fallacies together, and the author offers plenty of real-life examples. The first 3 content chapters discuss Emotional Language, its use and misuse. Then there is a chapter on Logical Fallacies. Then the author talks about Irrelevance, Confusion, Oversimplification, Evasion, Erroneous Comparison and Contrast, Arguments, Semantics, and Syllogism.
"I just know that that doesn't make any sense, but I'm not sure why" begins the author in the first chapter "Everyday Nonsense." The end of the book has a summary listing of all the fallacies and nonsense terms, a Bibliography, and a useful Index. The author, Robert John Gula (1941-1989) was educated at Colby College and Harvard University. He taught a course on logic (among other subjects) at a very elite private American high school.
I took a Robert Gula's class on logic, fallacies, and rhetoric in high school. It was one of the most valuable courses I ever took! He published this book a few years later in hardcover. I think it had very limited distribution, but purchased a copy at the source shortly after it was published.
The book is an easy read, and a great summary of the ways in which media and so-called leaders mislead and manipulate their audiences. I won't try to summarize it - just look at the table of contents and the sample chapter on the publisher's website.
This should be a required course in high-school, but since that isn't likely to happen, I highly recommend this to anyone over the age of 12. Buy a copy for your parents and one for your teens!
By the way, this book can be downloaded (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format) for free from the Axios Institute's website. But you still might want a paperback copy for your library shelves.
No longer will you fall prey to verbal logical fallacies used by politicians, advertisers, news reports, and others who may try to persuade you with their nonsense.
Gula wrote this for use in secondary schools and colleges. His writing can be described as perfectly pitched. It is clear and despite the complexity of the subject, almost simplistic in its structure. That doesn't mean Gula was talking down to his audience: it means simply that his writing is uncluttered and to the point.
The book was written in the 1970s and some of the examples not only seem dated, but innocent as well. Compared to the lies we are told on a daily basis, the 1970s were almost an oasis of honesty. Well, at least a little more honest than today.
In the last several chapters, Gulas takes aim at specific issues, such as the nature of argument, syllogisms and semantics. He also provides a great summary of "fallacies and nonsense", which just for fun you might want to keep handy while you watch television "news" or read the "news" in some of the leading daily newspapers and magazines. As a matter of fact, it was trying to remember all the logical fallacies while reading a particular newspaper that caused me to buy this book. I needed a refresher course.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very, very good but perhaps aimed at a younger audience.Published 2 months ago by Herbert H. Hoover
Bought this for the boyfriend. He loves pointing out logical fallacies. It gets annoying. Maybe I shouldn't have encouraged this behavior with a book that explains them all to him.Published 7 months ago by Amy Ruth
Not like a book I had and lost. This one is boring to the extreme.Published 8 months ago by customer
This book put me to sleep. The premise sounded so interesting, but it reads like one long boring lecture. Unfortunately it never got any better.Published 12 months ago by Kindle Customer
Worth the money for folks with doubts about the bs coming at them from all angles today.Published 13 months ago by Appalachian Son
Essentially a review of many of the most common bad arguments and argumentative techniques that one hears for time to time.Published 15 months ago by Joseph Annunzio
This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to learn how persuasive language and faulty logic can used to influence us. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Anthony B