Seekers of truth, those studying logic, and haters of misguided fallacies will love this book list. As a lover of books, readers of WhyToRead.com are already among the most logical of people, one of the many benefits of reading.
In this list, we present some great books that will hep you construct more logical and factual debates, as well as helping you to study fallacious reasoning and skepticism. By not taking everything at face value, you search for the truth without blindly accepting what you’re told.
Not only will these books make you smarter, they will teach you some essential critical thinking skills.
6 Books for Studying Logic, Debates and Deconstructing Fallacies
1. The Art of Controversy – Arthur Schopenhauer
Anyone who is interested in debating a topic simply has to read Schopenhauer’s The Art of Controversy.
The majority of the essay is a clear break down of the tactics used in debates. Compared with any political discussion, the truth of the any real debate is not to find answers, but to make your answer considered right over your opponent. The tactics covered in this book range from simple distraction to out right declaration that your point is correct, even when it is clearly wrong. Everyone who laughs at the stupidity of political debates should read this insightful tome.
2. A Rulebook for Arguments – Anthony Weston
This rulebook for beginners is made up of 45 discrete rules which have been categorized into nine chapters of general arguing techniques.
Not only does the author give positive rules for arguing, but he also lists about two dozen “Common Fallacies” in a glossary format at the end of the book.
The rule book is written in an easy to read, and easy to reference layout. While you should definitely read it from front to back the first time, it has been specifically designed so that an engaged beginner can easily refer back to this rule book when constructing arguments.
3. Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders – Jamie Whyte
This book deserves the widest possible exposure in America, especially so close to the election, because it an excellent primer on how to guard yourself against the faulty reasoning that governs so much modern political discourse – and avoid adopting it yourself. A great primer for logical fallacies and critical thinking.
4. Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking – D.Q. McInerny
This is a great book for the right audience. By design, it starts with the most basic concepts of logical thought in order to build a solid foundation. For a student beginning a study of philosophy, this is a very valuable primer.
5. You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself – David McRaney
This is a good book. It’s easy to read and can be read in small bite-sized chunks or in several long sessions. There are 48 different cognitive biases, shortcuts, and logical fallacies described in the book. Every chapter describes a universal human cognitive bias, easily recognizable in your own experience.
6. Thank You For Arguing, Revised and Updated Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, And Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion – Jay Heinrichs
2,500 years ago Aristotle taught us that Rhetoric is the art of finding in any circumstance the available means of persuasion. The art of rhetoric, or being able to argue instead of fight, of finding the advantageous or persuading others to agree with us is perhaps one of the most important and overlooked skills today.