Guides to Straight Thinking

Life is difficult.

At this writing, I notice that perhaps a dozen times a day I encounter some fact or situation that I disapprove of, and more than disapprove of; I respond to it as if it ought not to have occurred, as if it ought not be possible in the real world.

In such situations, rather than deal with the facts as they are, human beings are inclined to make up excuses as to why the thing ought not be so, and then have one’s attention cling to the excuses rather than the facts.

At this point, one is no longer thinking straight.

This accounts for a tremendous amount of the confusion and drama we see in discussions of social issues and politics: “we” cling to “our” excuses, “they” cling to “their” excuses, and nobody is dealing with the facts

— with what is —

— with life.

In Guides to Straight Thinking, Stuart Chase examines thirteen of the most common patterns of excuses, or “fallacies.”   Clearing away these self-deceptions will make it easier to solve problems not just in politics, but also on the job, in the ‘hood, and in the home.

This book is square on with the goals of The William Tell Show.  I highly recommend it; which is why I’ve made it available here.

Title page and copyrights
Foreword and opening quotations
Chapter 1, THE LOGICAL ANIMAL – pages 1-13
Chapter 2, THE GREEKS DISCOVER LOGIC – pages 14-23
Chapter 3, HOW SCIENTISTS REASON – pages 23-30
Chapter 4, FINDING THE FACTS – pages 31-38
Chapter 5, OVER-GENERALIZING – Fallacy Number One – pages 39-50
Chapter 6, THIN ENTERING WEDGE – Fallacy Number Two – pages 51-57
Chapter 7, GETTING PERSONAL – Fallacy Number Three – Ad Hominem – pages 58-64
Chapter 8, “YOU’RE ANOTHER” – Fallacy Number Four – Tu Quoque – pages 65-70
Chapter 9, CAUSE AND EFFECT – Fallacy Number Five – Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc – pages 71-80
Chapter 10, FALSE ANALOGIES – Fallacy Number Six – pages 81-88
Chapter 11, WISE MEN CAN BE WRONG – Fallacy Number Seven – Ad verecundiam – pages 89-96
Chapter 12, “FIGURES PROVE” – Fallacy Number Eight – pages 97-107
Chapter 13, APPEAL TO THE CROWD – Fallacy Number Nine – Ad populum – pages 108-114
Chapter 14, ARGUING IN CIRCLES – Fallacy Number Ten – Circulus in probando – pages 115-121
Chapter 15, “SELF-EVIDENT TRUTHS” – Fallacy Number Eleven – pages 122-128
Chapter 16, BLACK OR WHITE – Fallacy Number Twelve – pages 129-140
Chapter 17, GUILT BY ASSOCIATION – Fallacy Number Thirteen – pages 141-150
Chapter 18, TOWN MEETING – pages 151-159
Chapter 19, IN THE COURTROOM – pages 160-168
Chapter 20, MASTERS OF PROPAGANDA – pages 169-183
Chapter 21, ANATOMY OF PROPAGANDA – pages 184-196
Chapter 22, THE LIFE OF REASON – pages 197-202

INDEX – pages 209-214

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