The Duck That Won the Lottery: 100 New Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher

The Duck That Won the Lottery: 100 New Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher

Julian Baggini

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0452295416

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From the author of the "hugely entertaining"(Publishers Weekly) The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten, lessons in debunking the faulty arguments we hear every day

This latest book from the pop philosophy author of The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten tackles an endlessly fascinating area of popular debate-the faulty argument. Julian Baggini provides a rapid-fire selection of short, stimulating, and entertaining quotes from a wide range of famous people in politics, the media, and entertainment, including Donald Rumsfeld, Emma Thompson, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and Chris Martin. Each entry takes as its starting point an example of highly questionable-though oddly persuasive-reasoning from a broad variety of subjects. As Baggini teases out the logic in the illogical, armchair philosophers and aficionados of the absurd will find themselves nodding their heads as they laugh out loud. The Duck That Won the Lottery is perfect fodder for any cocktail party and pure pleasure for anyone who loves a good brain twister.


















prove it Cigarette smoking has not been scientifically established as a cause of lung cancer. The cause or causes of lung cancer are unknown. Imperial Tobacco legal documents89 “Prove it” looks like a fair challenge to issue to anyone making a claim you suspect to be false. And properly understood, that’s just what it is. The problem is that an adequate “proof” almost always leaves a space for the shadow of unreasonable doubt. The quest for certainty goes back at least as far as Plato. In The

that is dangerous and why do people take exception to it?” Singer has certainly been called “the most dangerous man on the planet,” but a fairer question would have been to ask whether this is true, not what makes him dangerous. Denton deliberately put the question in this provocative way because his is a fairly knockabout, light-toned show. It’s a good example mainly for Singer’s answer: “I think that that particular epithet was because I’ve been a critic of what people sometimes call the

living under an intrusive or unjust regime. “The innocent have nothing to fear” can be a legitimate point to make if what it really means is “The fears expressed by the innocent are unfounded.” The difference is subtle but important. For example, in the UK there has been a long-running debate over the introduction of ID cards. Some of the objections to this revolve around worries that people have about how their data will be used. If these worries were unfounded, the innocent would have nothing

world over, including in Europe, who want what we all want: to be ourselves free and for others to be free also; who regard tolerance as a virtue and respect for the faith of others as part of our own faith.” It would be nice if this were true, especially for those calm Muslims Blair talked about, fed up with being tarred with the same brush as suicide bombers. However, not everyone agrees. Mufti Zubair Dudha taught children and young people at his Islamic Tarbiyah Academy in Dewsbury, and in a

to criticize in their adversaries. My hope is that this book will help you to be more sensitive to the myriad ways in which bad arguments are made persuasively. To apply it to the real world, however, requires not so much memorizing a catalogue of fallacies but adopting a habit of constructive, thoughtful skepticism in our reading and listening. If we do this, the bad arguments will identify themselves, and we will become better, if still imperfect, thinkers. See also Everything Answer to

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