An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

When I was 8 years old I was the only girl in a backgammon tournament of almost all older men. The gray-haired gentleman I was playing in the first round made a mistake when taking his turn and therefore beat me. I told him he made a mistake.

We argued until some of the other older fellows came over to see what the commotion was about. I tried to explain but they all shook their heads before I could finish. "This man has been playing backgammon for decades! Of course he won, fair and square!" That reasoning never sat well with me, but I never knew until now that it fell into a category of arguments called Genetic Fallacy.

Bad Arguments is a book that describes 19 different kinds of bad reasoning people use all the time to persuade others to agree with them. If you listen closely, you'll notice bad arguments all day long. Examples:

Advertisers – "They're all doing it, so you should too!" (Appeal to the Bandwagon argument)

Politicians – "If you vote for my opponent, inflation will soar!" (Appeal to Fear argument)

Parents – "If you don't eat your greens, you're going to get sick." (False Dilemma argument)

Each type of argument is explained on one page with a supporting illustration on the right. Although just an introduction to the many ways people convince others with nonsense, this book will put you on a path to dissecting and understanding bad logic when you hear it.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.