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The Power of Logical Thinking

Easy Lessons in the Art of Reasoning...and Hard Facts About Its Absence in Our Lives

Marilyn vos Savant

St. Martin's Griffin

America has become a society devoid of understanding of the power of logic and numbers. All too often, we rely on our intuition or on empty statistics to formulate opinions about ourselves and our world. As a result of inadequate schooling in the art of reasoning, we have become a people unable to make truly logical decisions, intimidated by numbers, and too passive to reverse this disturbing trend. The Power of Logical Thinking addresses these concerns, illustrating how you can reason better, how numbers are used against you, and how your vote may be affected. Marilyn vos Savant writes, "We can't trust out intuitions, our statisticians, or our politicians. The 1992 presidential campaign is a case in point. Numbers were used, abused, and misused by the candidates as never before in the history of our country. Voters were easily manipulated, setting a precedent for years to come. Will it happen again? Or will we be more prepared for future elections?" Part One of The Power of Logical Thinking explains the most provocative of the counterintuitive problems that Marilyn vos Savant has encountered in recent years, such as the now classic "Monty Hall Dilemma," the improbability of winning the lottery, and much more. Part Two shows how statistics have quietly become a tool of persuasion instead of education. In addition to exploring puzzles and paradoxes, these sections explains the underlying reasoning to help you answer questions such as which surgery should you choose? what are your odds of having breast cancer? do drug-testing and AIDS-testing give you yes/no answers? In Part Three, vos Savant illustrates how our votes are affected, with examples of selective logic, specious reasoning, and outright sophistry collected from the campaigns of Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ross Perot.
America has become a society devoid of understanding of the power of logic and numbers. All too often, we rely on our intuition or on empty statistics to formulate opinions about ourselves and our world. As a result of inadequate schooling in the art of reasoning, we have become a people unable to make truly logical decisions, intimidated by numbers, and too passive to reverse this disturbing trend. The Power of Logical Thinking addresses these concerns, illustrating how you can reason better, how numbers are used against you, and how your vote may be affected. Marilyn vos Savant writes, "We can't trust out intuitions, our statisticians, or our politicians. The 1992 presidential campaign is a case in point. Numbers were used, abused, and misused by the candidates as never before in the history of our country. Voters were easily manipulated, setting a precedent for years to come. Will it happen again? Or will we be more prepared for future elections?" Part One of The Power of Logical Thinking explains the most provocative of the counterintuitive problems that Marilyn vos Savant has encountered in recent years, such as the now classic "Monty Hall Dilemma," the improbability of winning the lottery, and much more. Part Two shows how statistics have quietly become a tool of persuasion instead of education. In addition to exploring puzzles and paradoxes, these sections explains the underlying reasoning to help you answer questions such as which surgery should you choose? what are your odds of having breast cancer? do drug-testing and AIDS-testing give you yes/no answers? In Part Three, vos Savant illustrates how our votes are affected, with examples of selective logic, specious reasoning, and outright sophistry collected from the campaigns of Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ross Perot.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Marilyn vos Savant

  • Marilyn vos Savant's "Ask Marilyn" column is featured in Parade magazine every Sunday. She lives in New York City.
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The Power of Logical Thinking

Easy Lessons in the Art of Reasoning...and Hard Facts About Its Absence in Our Lives

Marilyn vos Savant

  • Trade Paperback

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St. Martin's Griffin

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