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Recommended Age: Upper elementary and up, if you are discussing as a family. Junior High and up, if your child reads it by him/herself.
The lesson for today? Logic. Cold, hard logic, from the authors of the amazing The Fallacy Dectective.
Why Our kids should learn Logic
Logic is probably one of the most important lessons we can learn. In a world that is increasingly manipulated by people who want your money, your vote, your attention and/or your support, it is sometimes hard to think independently–especially when we are having our emotions toyed with all the time by ad agencies, politicians and emotional pleas in one form or another.
Emotions can change and are subject to cravings, hormones, slick talkers (including our own self-talk) and various situations. Principles such as honesty and kindness stay the same. When we see the consequences of making decisions based on emotion in our relationships, our health, our finances, and many other areas, we see the value of living by principle.
My husband was a salesman once upon a time, and he always reminds me that we sell with emotion, but defend with logic. Enter this book. The Fallacy Detective, by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn.
Why I like it
The Fallacy Detective is a really great book for kids and beginning logicians to break down conversations and be able to detect propaganda, assumptions, red herrings, statistical fallacies, circular reasoning, and much more. But it’s not super complicated- it’s totally accessible and understandable for kids.
We really enjoyed reading this book as a family. It began many great conversations, and I was surprised at how much I learned right alongside my children! Bonus Tip: Want a great exercise using these principles in real-time? Watch a political debate and try to identify some of the tactics used!
If my kids can detect these types of tactics, either in their own reasoning or someone else’s, then they (and myself!) will be less easily swayed by them and be able to make decisions based on principle. Just think about the worldwide impact this would have on voters, consumers, and public policymakers—it would be a much more healthy, budget balanced, drama-free world!
Tell us about the silliest emotional decision you’ve ever made.
Mine? Late night eating…way too often.