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Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  548 ratings  ·  69 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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The Republic by PlatoThus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantMeditations by Marcus AureliusBeing and Time by Martin Heidegger
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Community Reviews

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Bart Breen
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
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Leanne

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

...more
Charity
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
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
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Gary
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
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Donkeykonguk Forero
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
Simmoril
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.
Tim
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
Dante
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
...more
Renee shi yan Liu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Doe
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
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Steven P.R.
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.
Trey Nowell
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.
Granadian Knight
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.
Jasmine
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
Being Logical is a practical book that aims to help readers think and reason well, especially to making your brain sharpen and logical.
Nrtashi
The point of arguing is to arrive at truth, not to persuade your opponent? Haha, that's sweet. Just like this little book.
Harry Nguyen
The book expresses lots of logical & scientific points without much examples, making it very hard to digest
Poshahantos
This book should be taught in schools. The world needs more reasonable people.
Fox
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
...more
Bremer
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
...more
Ali Ahmed
A good reference book, thats all
Kelly
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
Rick
A fabulous little primer on logic, reasoning, argument, and illogical thinking. Useful, concise, and worthy of company of the classic primer it models itself on, Strunk & White’s Elements of Style. You come away thinking that one thing that is missing from our K-12 curriculum is logic, that is should be part of reading and writing. It’s that fundamental and trying to get kids to reason and write persuasive essays without an understanding of logic is doomed to failure.
Alexander
an introductory look at thinking clearly. with proper instruction, one could use this book as a springboard to a deeper understanding of philosophy. not everything the author claims as a foundation of logic is unquestionable though. the principle of sufficient reason, for example, is a principle to which one need not adhere to have a coherent, systematic philosophy.
James
Jul 27, 2011 James added it
Authoritative book on logical argument and its elements. His third chapter on the Language of Logic bogged down somewhat, but he finished strong with an explanation of logical fallacies. McInerny stated that he wished this book would become like Strunk and White's Elements of Style for logic. With some polishing, a future edition may attain that distinction.
Ryan
it's a good refresh on what clarity means, though I'm not a huge fan of his simplified epistemological propositions. is everything 'really' true or not true? if so, is that really the best distinction to govern speech? the 'rationalists' tend to bother me with their nearly complete disregard for the mechanics of human nature.
Ashleyshell
This isn't a book to read for entertainment; this is a book to slowly digest and then refer to again and again. I have bought several copies of it because I have loaned and given away so many copies of it. The main part that I find valuable is the explanations of the first principles of logic and the types of inference.
Hannah
I tried to get through this tiny book for about two years (maybe longer). It's really interesting, but tough going a few pages at a time for years. When I restarted the book and read it straight through in a few hours, it was much more satisfying as an overview of logic and logical fallacies. A nice introduction.
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