This is an easy book for learning to spot common errors in reasoning.
Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn are brothers who decided to turn their logic hobby into a livelyhood by starting Christian Logic. Since then, they've written two books, The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox, and produced their first DVD, Logic in 100 Minutes. They grew up homeschooling in the middle of a corn field, five miles from the Mississippi River, near New Boston, Illinois.
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Christian Logic
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Posted by Cindi Baumgardner on 4th Aug 2011
I have enjoyed reading the book and I can't wait to take my kids through it.
It lays out the fallacies and logical errors in a way that makes it easy to
understand. I've always been a little hesitant to try to teach logic because
it can get so overwhelming. But the Fallacy Detective uses humor and common
sense to point out the underlying illogical issues. Great book!
Speech and Debate Homeschooling Mom
Posted by Unknown on 4th Aug 2011
Amazing! I was using a different critical thinking curriculum and we were struggling with it being fun (which always promotes easier learning)We have just started the Fallacy Detective and my daughter and I LOVE it!! Such a fun way to promote "thinking outside of the normal box" We are trying to ensure she has a good grasp of critical and creative thinking and i am certain Fallacy Detective will be a fun filled way to achieve just that! Great book! Definately a worthy investment!!
Posted by Jim Peschke on 4th Aug 2011
My 6-year old daughter LOVES reading Fallacy Detective with me every night, but even she recognizes serious flaws in some of the examples. I was especially put off by the section on Appeal to Authority, where the authors graded examples as fallacies or not based on the level of knowledge of the authority under appeal. Sorry, but from a logic perspective, an appeal to authority is ALWAYS fallacious. This is not the only example where the authors' logic was questionable.
Authors appear to seamlessly drift from strict logic constructs to their opinion of what makes "good advice". This soft demarcation blurs the concepts to the point that I feel one must take corrective action when using Fallacy Detective as an instructive tool.
Realizing that the book is suggested for ages 12 and up, I do feel that some of the examples and text complicated the lesson unnecessarily. Some of the learning value of Fallacy Detective comes from explaining to my daughter the elements of some examples (yes, including the bible.)
Make no mistake, Fallacy Detective is a good book and I do not regret buying it. The high-praise reviews I've seen on this site are, in my opinion, unwarranted. Even if Fallacy Detective corrected its many internal fallacies, it falls short as an instructive tool and would probably warrant four stars instead of three. Nevertheless, it does seek to fill a colossal void in the world of logic education for youngsters and that alone earns it some praise.
Finally, criticisms of the biblical content have some merit as bible quotes are used more often than instructive value alone would warrant. It is easy to see the bias in the authors and their product, but the claim that the biblical theme is unavoidable is absurd. We use Fallacy Detective in a completely secular sense and do not find this difficult.
If you need a tool to bridge the gap between the pablum taught in modern schools and useful logic training, Fallacy Detective is a moderately useful albeit overpriced tool. If you're looking for a rigorous education in logic, Fallacy Detective falls painfully short.
Posted by ReaderMom on 4th Aug 2011
This is a fabulous resource for teaching logic in an informal and fun way. The book includes many exercises that review the fallacies as they are learned. This is fun for the student and reviews in a way that invites discussion between parent and child. I enjoyed the 2nd edition with my older son, and am beginning this, the 3rd edition, with my younger. Both children are debaters and find the study of logic to be invaluable as they critically think about assertions made by anyone else - be they a debate opponent, newscaster or a television advertiser.
Posted by Robin Houchens on 4th Aug 2011
Have you ever watched a political commercial or read a magazine ad and come away perplexed? You knew that you were being bamboozled, that the ads were somehow deceptive ... but you couln't quite put your finger on why?
The Fallacy Detective will help you get to the bottom of the many logical fallacies you encounter every day. Using Socratic teaching methods including lists of examples that are discussed and identified at the end of every chapter, you and your child will learn to easily recognize everything from Red Herrings and Straw Men to Ad Hominem attacks ... and many other attempts to lead you in the wrong direction logically. And a fallacy recognized, is a fallacy thwarted.
Posted by Brenda N. on 4th Aug 2011
What a great book for learning logic and critical thinking. While homeschooling, I taught a class at our co-op in "Worldview and Literature" where I (hopefully) led the students to realize all writing is done from a particular worldview and to realize how all our media influences our thinking.
That is one of the reasons this book would be well worth using in your homeschool, your co-op, or even with non-homeschooling families who enjoy discussing such subjects. I read a little of it here and there to Christopher, who said it reminded him of the important subjects he learned in debate at the co-op. This is the perfect book for use in co-op debate and/or critical thinking classes!
Having one child graduate from the University and another going through right now... I can't emphasize enough how important it is for young people to be able to stand firm in their beliefs in today's culture. Not only that, but to communicate their beliefs, challenging wrong teaching, and having the ability to reach the culture with good skills.
The Fallacy Detective is full of stories and cartoons to make (what could be) a challenging subject easy and fun to learn for younger students (age twelve and above) but it is "deep" enough to be used by high school and adult students. It is one of those books that you can use over and over again with multiple age students.