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A tool for examining my OWN thinking as much as anyone else’s

Thouless bookThis is a brilliant little book. It clearly, cogently, and with use of easily understood and often amusing examples, shows the various flaws in thinking and analysis which many of us (I’m sure its not just me!) may be prone to when arguing for our convictions. Many arguments turn out to be about words themselves, not necessarily the ideologies behind them. Often we, or others, make statements which are about extremes ALL thises are thats, when the truth is some thises are thats, or we deconstruct our opponent’s arguments and expose their logical flaws, without being willing to do the same for our own. Many of our deeply held beliefs of course, more than we maybe like to own, come from our subconscious prejudice. WHO we are, and our experiences, often determining what we believe, and then we are selective in taking note of the evidence which bolsters our beliefs, whilst ignoring the evidence which refutes it.

This is such an excellent book. It avoids heat and emotionalism, shows how flaws in thinking happen from both sides of seemingly impenetrable divides – eg, left-wing and right-wing, rigidity across the divide between faith and atheism. The authors look at the types of arguments which are flawed through being poorly structured – and those which whilst being well structured logical arguments are based on false premises.

Bust of Socrates, The Louvre

Bust of Socrates, The Louvre

I wish this had been part of my syllabus in school. Indeed, in a world where we are bombarded with blustering opinions from all sides, it could be said a book like this should be part of the curriculum, helping us all become better qualified to see where the arguments of public figures are flawed and manipulative but also, even more usefully, giving us tools for self-examination

This classic by English academician and psychologist Robert H. Thouless. has been re-edited by C.R. Thouless. I originally received it as an ARC from Amazon Vine UK

Straight and Crooked Thinking Amazon UK
Straight and Crooked Thinking Amazon USA