This article is in collaboration with Fallacy Detective.
Long ago, in 1999 Hans and Nathaniel turned their love of logic into an email list. Since then they’ve written a few fun books which the Review Crew has had the pleasure of exploring recently.
Growing up there were many adventure stories read to him by his mother, which naturally developed a desire for living a life led by imagination. His passion for writing was first discovered when he had to read the book Beowulf and then write a book report. They say that with these books you can learn to solve thinking problems like a plumber fixes faucets!
How many families out there would love to teach logic and thinking skills but just don’t know how to do it? Logic is as useful as knowing how to read. In fact, it teaches you how to think—a great advantage when many others do not! Logic is valuable for everyone. In fact, logic can stimulate the brain, as well as aid in memory and concentration.
Do you know what a Red Herring is? How about an Ad Hominem or a Tu Quoque? Why do these things even matter? When we know how to recognize fallacies, also known as mistakes in one’s thinking, we are better able to discern truth from fiction. This book is a wonderful tool for helping to learn how to spot common errors in reasoning and think better.
Fallacy Detective is designed for families to work through together. Families read each chapter together and then complete the exercises together. Since there are so many who are learning logic of all ages this book contains many concrete examples and exercises for a variety of levels of difficulty. The concepts are easy to understand, the skills are easy to learn. With this book– you discover the logic already written in your mind by God. This is recommended for ages 12 and up however, as a family discussion is often the most powerful way for these concepts to be truly understood. There are 38 lessons in all starting with inquiring minds and moving through topics such as propaganda, assumptions, statistical fallacies, and more. There are some great comic strips included as well throughout the lessons!
In Archer and Zowie we experience a science experiment that goes very wrong, in the kitchen. Now the microwave oven can squash the entire universe to the size of a bean in less than a second . . . It wants to kill them! This is a story of the power and strength found in friendship as Archie and Zowie battle dark matter, babysitters, big penguin aliens, even the author of this book. This is a wonderful story to share how possible it is to be friends, strong and true, with someone so very different from you. For readers young and old there are some powerful lessons to be learned in a sober yet also silly way. Great for both independent readers, written for middle-grade readers, or as a read-aloud for all ages. Did I mention this is also available as an audiobook?
“We never really see ourselves. We can see ourselves in a mirror, or see parts of our bodies, or even hear other people’s opinions of us, but we can’t really see ourselves—objectively and truly.”
For those who are new, or continuing their adventure of logic learning, there is a treasure trove of resources found on their website. Every one of their “Fallacy in the News” emails can be found here. They even include a comprehensive list of other resources that are helpful when learning.
Whether you are looking for something to use at home or in a more formal school setting, there are so many this can help you to guide your students in logic. While learning logic may sound dry and boring, it is anything but when using the materials available from Hans Bluedorn. When you join The Fallacy Detective News you will receive “The Fallacy Detective Test” for free!
Thank you to Jennifer King of A Peace of Mind for writing this introductory article.