160: Crimes Against Logic by Jamie Whyte

by Gerard


160: Whyte, Jamie. Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005. 158 pp. ISBN 0-07-144643-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 160: Logic

All around us are statements, phrases, and bon mots which simply serve to obscure logic. Jamie Whyte’s Crimes Against Logic serves as a oasis of hope is a desert of slick dissimulation. Whyte’s main goal is to expose the devices that people use to turn a dubious argument or perspective into one that might be more believable. Many of these fall into categories of logical fallacy, such as the Authority Fallacy or False Equivalency or the Motive Fallacy (among many others). Along with these traps, there are also techniques, such as using jargon, weasel words, or hooray words that throw the listener or the reader off-kilter. This is not to say that everyone and everything is out to pull the wool over your eyes, but there are areas where language is deliberately couched. After reading this, it’s next to impossible to listen to a news broadcast or read an article without seeing all the hidden ways that facts are manipulated to fit the audience or the agenda. Pair this one with Farhad Manjoo’s True Enough and you’ll never trust anyone ever. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. A quick, eye-opening read.