By Linda Patchin
The Fallacy Detective
Have you ever avoided answering a question by throwing out a Red Herring? Are you guilty of making a Hasty Generalization? Do you find Circular Reasoning confusing?
Surely no one would question the need to learn how to recognize and avoid bad reasoning. We do not want our children to fall victim to advertising schemes or propaganda. And yet, if you’re like me, you were not taught these things and haven’t a clue where to begin in teaching these skills to your children.
Thankfully Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn have come to our rescue. Their excellent book, The Fallacy Detective, is a primer on reasoning skills. In just thirty-six short and enjoyable lessons you and your children will learn how to recognize the propaganda techniques that have been used for millennia.
This volume includes sections on avoidance fallacies, assumptions, statistical fallacies and propaganda. They conclude the book with a Fallacy Detective Game. Once your student becomes adept at playing the game, they can put their skill to use in everyday life, looking for real-life examples of the different fallacies described in the book.
My children and I spent one day a week on a lesson from this book. We finished the whole book each year, and enjoyed it enough to want to repeat the process for several years. I highly recommend this book as a reference book that you will want to keep.