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Straight and Crooked Thinking

Straight and Crooked Thinking


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This new edition of a timeless classic demonstrates how the use of clear, rational thinking and logic can win any argument, however emotionally charged the topic in question. It describes the typical flaws of reasoning in argument and shows how language can be used to deceive - and how to avoid being deceived. It will show you how, by learning what is 'straight', rational language, and clear thought, you can disentangle emotionally charged rhetoric and hold your own in any argument or debate, no matter how challenging. Although written nearly 80 years ago, this book proves that certain principles remain timeless; it has shown many thousands over the decades how to cope with media spin and distorted reasoning - and now it will do the same for you.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781444117189
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Edition description: New
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Born in 1894, Robert Thouless was a psychologist. He was Head of the Department of Psychology in Glasgow until 1938, after which he became Reader and Reader Emeritus at Cambridge. He specialised in logic, rationality and the study of responses to the paranormal and wrote several titles in addition to this one. He died in 1984.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Different ways of using language 1

2 Words and facts 15

3 The meanings of words 29

4 Definition and some of its difficulties 37

5 Good and bad definitions 44

6 All and some 51

7 Some dishonest tricks in argument 62

8 Some logical fallacies 74

9 Habits of thought 85

10 Prejudice 97

11 Predigested thinking 111

12 Pitfalls in analogy 118

13 Oratory and suggestion 127

14 Tricks of suggestion 138

15 Straight thinking 146

16 The future of straight thinking 151

Appendix 1 Thirty-seven dishonest tricks commonly used in argument, with the methods of overcoming them 159

Appendix 2 A discussion illustrating crooked thinking 165

Index 171

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