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Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  707 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Whether regarded as a science, an art, or a skill–and it can properly be regarded as all three–logic is the basis of our ability to think, analyze, argue, and communicate. Indeed, logic goes to the very core of what we mean by human intelligence. In this concise, crisply readable book, distinguished professor D. Q. McInerny offers an indispensable guide to using logic to a ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 10th 2005 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,213)
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Jun 19, 2012 Leanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction

The author's intent was to write a book that would be to logic what Strunk and White's The Elements of Style is to writing. Unfortunately I don't think McInerny succeeded. The book is organized nicely and is written clearly. That is the best I can say about it.

Being Logical is an introduction to logic. I assumed this meant formal logic, but it actually consisted of a mix between formal and more practical informal logic. This made sense given its introductory level. However, what did not make sen

Bart Breen
May 23, 2012 Bart Breen rated it it was amazing
Pithy, Targeted and Right to the point

Essentially, this book is to logic what "The Elements of Style" is to writing.

The benefit of this book lies both in what it is and what it is not. If you're looking for an advanced book laying out Logic as an academic study which is thorough and hits all the points, then this is not the book for you. If what you are looking for is a very readable, simple and fast moving read that hits about 90% of what you will commonly need to know in this realm, then this
Dec 07, 2008 Charity rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. I loved this book. The auther has organized and explained logic in a clear and, imagine this, logical fashion. I kept having to stop because I would think of examples of whatever was being cited. After finishing, I wanted to re-read and this time take notes and memorize. Fun, fun, fun!

D. Parker
Oct 20, 2009 D. Parker rated it really liked it
In this book, D.Q. McInerny attempts to convey to the reader a sense of the importance and utility of logic in daily life without taking too many risks in terms of tackling controversial issues. This is wise for an introduction to practical logic and ends up being effective. A short and easy read, one very noteworthy quality of the author's writing is the impeccable grammar used throughout, a pleasant departure from typical reading.

This book is effective in introducing the concepts of critical t
Aug 20, 2012 Gary rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 2 stars at first. But after I finished I found (and continue to find) myself turning back to the book to look something up. Because it was so brief, and lacked numerous examples of real life logic, I found it lacking. After having read other books on informal logic, I now turn back to Being Logical and enjoy the brevity of it all. It sums up informal logic in one handy little book.

The examples of good and bad logic seemed too obvious the first time I read it. But after encounter
Donkeykonguk Forero
Sep 17, 2008 Donkeykonguk Forero rated it it was amazing
This is a slim, easy-to-read guide to basic critical thinking. If you wonder why so many people have trouble analyzing the issues that impact their lives, you'll see that part of the blame is due to atrophied thinking. Weak critical skills, which may seem to be a stuffy thing to be worried about these days, are actually the root of prejudice, demagoguery, scams, intolerance, ignorance, mistakes, and tragedies of all kinds. This book is kryptonite to everything from the justifications for the inv ...more
Richard Smith
In his short book about logic, D.Q. McInery gives a crash course in syllogism, argument and fallacies. Logic straddles the line between a science and an art, and is, in fact, supremely useful to all disciplines. This is a brief book, and is surely not a comprehensive detailing of the minutiae of logic, but manages to cram a lot in between the pages. McInery discusses the reasons for logic, and for logical thinking, he guides the reader through the mathematical algebraic minefield that can put ma ...more
Feb 21, 2009 Simmoril rated it liked it
Looking back, I'm not really sure what I was expecting when I started reading this book, but I can at least say that I was hoping for a bit more substance than what this book provided. The book itself might make a good, light introduction for someone who is not familiar with the subject of logic at all, but I didn't get as much new information out of this book as I wanted.
Hiep Nguyen
Jul 15, 2014 Hiep Nguyen rated it it was ok
The book expresses lots of logical & scientific points without much examples, making it very hard to digest
Jan 16, 2008 Tim rated it really liked it
This is a decent refresher on formal (and not so formal) logic, for anyone who took a logic class so many years ago. Or for those who didn't, it's a good introduction. It's modeled more or less on Strunk and White, so it's concise (maybe a bit too much), and it’s not very technical. It doesn't cover all the bases, e.g. there's nothing on truth trees, but it does a good job with the fundamentals, including the more common fallacies. Someone (maybe this author) said something to the effect that lo ...more
Being Logical is a practical book that aims to help readers think and reason well.

It is divided into five parts. Part One (Preparing the Mind for Logic) talks about the preparations we need to make in order to think and reason well. These preparations refer to attitudes and ways of thinking that we need to adopt and the concepts that we need to remember in order to ready our minds for good thinking and reasoning.

These are the concepts we need to remember:

1. Facts (that is, objective facts of the
Renee shi yan Liu
Dec 11, 2012 Renee shi yan Liu rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Doe
Dec 28, 2011 John Doe rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
For McInerny the statements of logic are a kind of representation. Like a picture, our declarative language reports how things hang together. If I say, "The boat is tied to the pier," then what I say is only true if the boat is in fact tied to the pier. For all practical purposes, there is an objective (public) reality that is represented by the declarative sentences of logic. True declarations model the world.

I found the chapter on the relationship between language and the world to be a fascin
Steven P.R.
Jun 17, 2014 Steven P.R. rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning book that gives a brief overview of types of logical arguments, fallacies, etc. What's great about it are the examples and the clear explanations that are provided. You'll learn a lot while reading this book within a short period of time. It's definitely a book to read if you're interested in philosophy or just want to learn about logic itself.

Definitely a must-read for non-fiction readers.
Ali Unlucay
Oct 20, 2015 Ali Unlucay rated it it was amazing
A straightforward and broad introduction to logical thinking and its benefits. McInerny gives to logic its idiots guide but with a less insulting title. A great book for getting your feet wet, in logic and reason a recommended book afterwords to sharpen ones skill would be Introduction to Logic (10th Edition) by Irving M. Copi Late.
Oct 23, 2015 J.D. rated it it was amazing
I really benefitted from reading this book and applying it in my life. The logical concepts it covers are very basic, and it's obviously directed towards a lay audience. That said, I found that going back to the basics and applying them to my thought processes really helped me to think more clearly, and to be more logical and effective in my life. Of course, the book didn't do this all on its own! It wasn't just about reading these ideas, but actually applying them in my life which made the diff ...more
Trey Nowell
Nov 25, 2014 Trey Nowell rated it really liked it
Good concise book that was more or less right to the point. I wish it would have focused more on fallacies throughout people commit rather than hitting all the types briefly at the end. It made for a fairly quick and interesting read. It is definitely a book people debating in forums should apply to their arguments.
Feb 19, 2015 Rick rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for those interested in argument and any form of debate. It's also useful to apply the concepts to the public discourse of our local, state, and national leaders. It's also good to use when reading or listening to those who would discuss those leaders and their policies.
Aug 08, 2015 Ghenadie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Love this book! It is well-written. On point. No non-sense. The author gives concrete examples of real life situations and how to apply your logic to solving them AND how to avoid making logical mistakes (Logical Fallacies).
Bookish Dervish
Aug 26, 2014 Bookish Dervish rated it liked it
I was given this book by my friend Mubarak MarzouQ, who ordered it from USA.
It was a nice introduction to basic rules of logic. I recommend it to youngsters as a step in a larger programme to educate themselves.
Aug 07, 2011 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Shelves: american
okay so according to the author this book is suppose to do to logic what the elements of style did to grammar. I don't know what the elements of style did to grammar, but I think what this does to logic is important, it makes logic stupid easy, don't read it for a philosophy book on logic you won't appreciate it, I didn't learn anything I didn't already know, but this is the most accessible book on logic I've ever seen and I'd recommend it highly as an introduction or a reference book, which is ...more
Garry Alexander
Aug 22, 2014 Garry Alexander rated it it was amazing
Being Logical is a practical book that aims to help readers think and reason well, especially to making your brain sharpen and logical.
Aug 26, 2014 Nrtashi rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
The point of arguing is to arrive at truth, not to persuade your opponent? Haha, that's sweet. Just like this little book.
Marc Hutchison
Jul 13, 2015 Marc Hutchison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting little book on the subject of logic and clear thinking. An excellent introduction.
Apr 07, 2014 Poshahantos rated it it was amazing
This book should be taught in schools. The world needs more reasonable people.
Apr 07, 2011 Hilary rated it liked it
This book would make an excellent textbook for any class on logic or critical thinking. It is very well set up, very informative, and never quite becomes 'boring' as these texts tend to. My reason for a lower rating is primarily due to the context in which I read it (writing a curriculum.) I read the book out of order and never quite gave it the chance it deserved.

This book, however, is excellent at teaching clear thinking, interesting, and perfect for any layperson wishing to glimpse the world
Jun 18, 2012 Bremer rated it liked it
What I liked: The book was concise, easy-to-read, and broke down logic to its essentials.

What I didn't like: While I didn't expect an advanced textbook, this one felt too short to really enjoy. Just as soon as I got to a section that made perfect sense, it rushed off to the next one.

Overall: This is a good book to learn logic in plain English. There are clear examples for each case. For those who are advanced in this art and science, it's always good to review the fundamentals. But for those w
Ken Ngo
Oct 17, 2015 Ken Ngo rated it liked it
Với mình thì cuốn này có nhiều chỗ hơi khó hiểu. Mặc dù nó vận dụng được tương đối nhiều và giúp đầu óc linh hoạt, nhanh nhạy hơn.

Logic trong cuộc sống thì vẫn còn phải rèn luyện nhiều!
Ali Ahmed
Nov 27, 2014 Ali Ahmed rated it really liked it
A good reference book, thats all
Apr 23, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it
This book aims to be for logic what Strunk and White's 'Elements of Style' is for writing. I have to say when I read that I was skeptical that McInerny could do it. I think he might have, however. It was a wonderful little book about thinking clearly. I think certifying Being Logical meets the 'Strunk-and-White test' will take time and multiple readings of the book. If after having read it several more times I feel I am getting something that enhances my thinking I think I would be willing to sa ...more
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