How Do We Reason? by Forrest Baird

Here’s a fine, accessible resource to help us in getting a handle on reasoning logically. Since we live in an age where shouting louder has replaced clear reasoning as a way to propel arguments, this is especially needed today. It’s fair also to observe that Christians don’t always hold logic in as a high regard as should be as we live in the created world of our reasonable God. To be sure, a lot of good theology is based on the fact that we have a reasonable God Who is never illogical. What He does might be counterintuitive to us, but the more you delve into His ways they never violate clear principles of logic. In this book, don’t miss the preface that fully develops what I said above.

The first chapter introducing logic is worth the price of the book. Since formally, logic is about making arguments, that chapter so carefully lays out what kinds of arguments there are as it also establishes what is legitimate. That chapter alone would make you reason better.

Chapter 3 is one of the most important in the book and would revolutionize logical discussion were it grasped. Particularly, notice the discussion of fallacies of ambiguity and relevance. This section might help you not embarrass yourself!

The book moves from sentences to syllogisms to symbols. Since this book could be used as a textbook (fortunately without textbook pricing!), it is true that the complexity grows. If you want a basic understanding and be able to be reasonable in your logic you will need roughly the first half of the book. If you want to really master the subject, the whole book will be a godsend to you.

Though I said it could be a textbook, this book is still perfectly designed for the individual reader. The exercises throughout the book will easily help you see if you are catching on or need to re-read. Some of the examples will raise a smile, but will still help you get it.

This book is written by a Christian. Though he writes mostly about the subject itself, that Christian background makes you feel in trusty hands. I’ve long wanted a book like this and am glad to have this one!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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