How to Win Every. Argument. The Use and Abuse of Logic. Madsen Pirie . behind the argument and the evidence, fallacies can add enough weight to carry . In the second edition of this witty and infectious book, Madsen Pirie builds upon his guide to using – and indeed abusing – logic in order to win arguments. By. When a book makes a promise on its cover, call me old fashioned but I’m kinda expecting it to deliver on this. So How to Win Every Argument has me thinking.

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You are taught what to believe, false rhetoric and inherited beliefs from when you are very young. He speaks of the “argumentum ad antiquitam and argumentum ad novitam arguments, which collectively fall under the umbrella “chronological snobbery” argumentum ad antiquitam being that the old is better because it’s old, and argument argumrnt novitum being that the new is better because it’s new.

I have heard awful reasoning from lawyers, doctors and engineers — it makes me feel good to come from my background and be able to go toe to toe with professionals any day. See 2 questions about How to Win Every Argument…. The universe began to exist.

Once you have read this book you’ll find yourself spotting the fallacies all the time when chatting to your friends, watching Agument interviews or reading opinion pieces. Attempts pirje teach debate by pointing out logical fallacies–should be given to every member of Congress! Oct 25, Brandon Rosbrook rated it it was amazing Shelves: Ecery the case of this book, it evefy quite unlikely that one would look for a definition of “dicto If you’re looking for a compendium of fallacies organised in alphabetical order, this book may suit you.

The book is essentially an alphabetical list of common fallacies with definitions, explanations, and examples. Pirie tries pay lip service to “saving the argument,” trying to give what he thinks would be a Christian attempt to save the argument as I just showed, there is no need for a Christian thinker to save the argument because Christian thinkers are not as dumb as Pirie apparently thinks they are by changing “everything has a cause” to “everything in the universe must have a cause outside itself In the wrong hands this book is dangerous.


If the author was dead set on having an alphabetical organization to this book the argumenf least he could have done would have been to include an introduction explaining such concepts in advance.

Want to Read saving…. The examples and their accompanying punch line also well received: I wish the author could have arranged the materials in the book much more clearly, topically grouped, preferably, each containing an introduction for each group.

How to Win Every Argument

Otherwise, you’re probably better served elsewhere. The author shows you how to simultaneously strengthen your own thinking and identify the weaknesses in other people arguments. I think I would have preferred if the fallacies were listed by category rather than alphabetically to better illustrate the subtle.

I would have thought that putting fallacies of a similar type together, with a comprehensive index might have been a better approach but I have seen that tried to and it does have its own drawbacks. Based on the facts presented here, this does not follow. Pirie describes an this type of fallacy as follows: Second, opposition to interracial marriage was based on racism but was still considered marriage, whereas opposition to same-sex marriage is not based on “homophobia” but on the fact that two people of the same sex just do not make a marriage.

It looked interesting, so I picked it up. This is an excellent book that introduces the multiple logical fallacies that we see in some form or another almost every day. Again, of course, he’s wasting his time because the real statement doesn’t need to be adjusted, and the one he adjusted it to is clearly a poor statement, as well since obviously the universe is not inside the universe.

So let me separate the two arguments. There are other problems with the book, such as Pirie also not understanding the political atmosphere very well or perhaps he only looks to the uneducated members instead of the good thinkers holding positions he disagrees with. Unfortunately, as I read through it, it seems that Pirie doesn’t quite have a great handle on some of the arguments he uses as examples in this book, which frankly puts the credibility of the rest of the book in severe doubt.


The Institute is “a pioneer of privatisation” in the UK and elsewhere. Since the universe itself is contingent e. However, there are two glaring issues with this argument.

How to Win Every Argument by Madsen Pirie – PDF Drive

It felt like reading a long Wikipedia article. The title is somewhat melodramatic hw I get that such things are important in selling books and it certainly makes one more likely to pick it up as I did! Even madseb short description of the various groups with each specific entry then given within its group as opposed to the alphabetical organizationcould have made the same content in this book that much easier to understand and remember.

Return to Book Page. This book will make you maddeningly smart: Madsen is no stranger to political rhetoric in popular media; he works for a think tank.

How to Win Every Argument: The Use and Abuse of Logic

I found very hard to read the book and stopped midway. This would require something that is pure act with no potentials at all, otherwise you are left with an infinite regress, which would be impossible.

Not everything is value for money. Will this book help me out with debating? May 30, Blec Tiempo rated it really liked it. Thanks for telling us about the problem.