|About the Book|
Few people will willing admit that they don’t think logically. Ironically, perhaps the people most willing to admit it are those celebrated for their outstanding minds (e.g. Albert Einstein, William Gladstone, Wolfgang Goethe, Benjamin Franklin,MoreFew people will willing admit that they don’t think logically. Ironically, perhaps the people most willing to admit it are those celebrated for their outstanding minds (e.g. Albert Einstein, William Gladstone, Wolfgang Goethe, Benjamin Franklin, Blaise Pascal, Voltaire), because they are aware of how difficult logical thinking really is.Why? Because we are all subject to fallacies. These are illogical ways of handling ideas that seem logical at the time and therefore often lead is down the wrong path.Logical Thinking: The Essential Ten Percent displays, explains, and provides examples of the general principles and practices of logical thinking, with particular emphasis on avoiding fallacies. Part of it reads like a textbook. However, much of it is in the form of essays that are used to go more deeply into certain matters that the textbook format would not allow. Together, it is hoped that the textbook format and the essay format will serve as an easy introduction to the key aspects of logical thinking as well as providing a fundamental, easy-to-use reference work.Please bear in mind that the purpose of this book is not to teach you to think, but to help you think more logically.There is a difference. Thinking logically is not always the best thing to do. Most artists do not think logically- if they did they probably would never produce any original works of lasting value. Likewise for poets, composers, song writers, novelists, etc. This would fall under the rubric of “creative thinking.”Whatever other kinds of thinking we may do, logical thinking is likely to enter into the process. This is especially true regarding personal decisions that will affect how we, and those close to us, will live our lives. It is also true regarding political and social decisions that will affect the future of our community, our country, our world. For example, compulsory vaccination of all schoolchildren, assisted suicide, insurance coverage for alternative medicine, polygamy, same-sex marriages, etc.Failure to recognize and avoid common mistakes in logical thinking that can lead to misjudgments that could sometimes result in major — and usually unpleasant — consequences.As any teacher knows, saying something once is tantamount to not saying it at all. Key ideas must be frequently repeated to be certain that they don’t get lost in the details. The reader will therefore see pieces of information repeated in many different places. This is to ensure that vital information is always available when and where the reader needs it. He won’t have to go looking for it on an earlier page in order to understand the page he is currently reading.To add some light relief, the book also contains a chapter on “Logic through the Looking Glass,” delightfully instructive illogical passages from Lewis Carroll’s class Alice in Wonderland books, an equally delightful and instructive excerpt from a short story by Isaac Asimov, and a list of “Common Misconceptions: Things We Know that Just Aren’t So.”Logical Thinking: The Essential Ten Percent is part of the expanding “The Essential Ten Percent” series. The series was launched in 2011 on the premise that many self-instructional books fail to distinguish between:•Casual Users — those who need to understand and apply only the very basics of a subject.•Intensive Users — those who need to understand and apply virtually everything.As a result, most such books tend to make fundamentally simple ideas appear to be unnecessarily complex. And more complex ideas hopelessly impenetrable.