: Sixty men can do a piece of work sixty times as quickly as one man. Minor Premise
: One man can dig a posthole in sixty seconds; therefore-Conclusion
: Sixty men can dig a post-hole in one second." Ambrose Bierce's satire on the syllogism belongs to one of many species of specious reasoning that college professor McInerny takes to task in this precis on logic. Remarking that logic is rarely taught "as such" in American education, he presents this makeup course consciously modeled on Strunk and White's Elements of Style
(1959). In concise language, McInerny's guide distributes the elements of logic among short, admonitory headings, such as "Avoid Vague and Ambiguous Language." McInerny also provides definitions of the tools of logic and their application in arriving at truth. Inculcating this noble and, in principle, attainable aim, McInerny's explanatory outline of sound thinking will be eminently beneficial to expository writers, debaters, and public speakers. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“I would hope that Being Logical
might to some degree succeed in doing for the cause of good thinking what The Elements of Style
has done for the cause of good writing. My earnest wish is that this book might succeed in convincing its readers of the intrinsic importance of logic. And may it engender in them an appreciation for the priceless satisfaction which inevitably accompanies that happy state of being logical.”
–from Being Logical
“Given the shortage of logical thinking,
And the fact that mankind is adrift, if not sinking,
It is vital that all of us learn to think straight.
And this small book by D.Q. McInerny is great.
It follows therefore since we so badly need it,
Everybody should not only but it, but read it.”