Why do 7 percent of Americans believe the moon landing was fake? How is it that an estimated 59 percent of articles shared on social media are posted by people who haven't even read them? And why in the world did revolutionary China consider the sparrow an "animal of capitalism" and what happened when they tried to wipe them out? With a cast of murderous popes, snake-oil salesmen, and superstitious pigeons, find out how flawed logic works and why it puts us all at risk—and how critical thinking can help.
The fact of the matter is that in a world where "fake news" and mistrust of experts often hold sway, we can all too easily be misled. Consider the underlying logic behind the idea that "WiFi causes cancer": WiFi is radiation. Some cancers are caused by radiation. Thus, WiFi causes cancer. Sound convincing?
In Good Thinking, David Robert Grimes helps us identify destructive, seductive bad logic. WiFi causes cancer? That's guilty of the "fallacy of the undistributed middle," which, as Grimes explains, is like arguing: The ancient Greek philosophers are dead. Jimi Hendrix is dead. Thus, Jimi Hendrix was a Greek philosopher. Obviously, Hendrix did not jam with Socrates—and WiFi does not, by this logic alone, cause cancer.
In closing logical loopholes like these and so many more, Grimes shows us how easy it is to be lured by bad logic and draw false conclusions—and how to easily dismantle them with the power of critical thinking. In an age of rampant misinformation, common misconceptions, and conspiracies galore, this book can help us fight willful ignorance and plain old irrationality in all its forms. And that's good thinking.