This may shock some of you—but I’m not Spock! Of course, I like to think (or, better yet, have others think) I’m as dispassionate and logical in my thinking as was the original Star Trek science officer Mr. Spock. But, then again, I’m not half Vulcan.
The Captain America and superhero worldviews series will return next week. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this post on lessons in logic.
To revise a famous line from The Godfather: “Keep your friends close, but the laws of logic closer!” In this final article in the series I will address a couple of informal fallacies that can potentially stand in the way of solid and successful critical thinking.
When I was growing up my mother used to say that I liked to argue. In subtle ways my parents encouraged me to be an independent thinker, ready to back up my strong opinions. An argument develops when a person attempts to support an opinion with facts, evidence, or reasons. While my parents did not receive much formal education (forced…
It’s much easier to knock down a straw man than a real man of muscle and bone. When one person distorts the argument of another and then proceeds to critique that misrepresentation (whether in writing or speaking), he commits the informal logical fallacy (a defective form of reasoning) known as “attacking a straw man.”