Author: Larry Allen Brown.

Publisher: Decent Hill

ISBN-10: 193608533X:    ISBN-13: 978-1936085330

Click Here To Purchase Political Logic: Defeating Conservative Theories of Rationality

As a professor of college English, I picked up Political Logic hoping I’d find examples of contemporary debates and how they’re being waged for my classes. I wasn’t disappointed as Larry Allen Brown points out a wealth of logical fallacies too frequently trotted out by conservative voices. But, unless you’re of the liberal bent and Brown is singing to your choir, I wonder how many general readers—from the other side of the spectrum—will allow their preconceptions to be challenged by Brown’s explorations of rational principles.

Brown’s first chapters are the most useful for anyone interested in identifying logical fallacies such as circular reasoning, false dichotomies, false authorities, and overuse of inductive reasoning. Quoting the likes of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, Brown provides rational thinkers plenty of ammunition to refute what he deems unsupportable, dogmatic,
and shallow reasons behind conservative views. His principal claim is that rationalists can best win arguments by turning conservative claims back on themselves, asking questions of conservatives rather than resorting to attacks.

After Brown lays out textbook definitions of critical thinking and using current issues to illustrate his points, the rest of the book is essentially stand-alone essays on issues like the Separation of Church and State and how conservative thinkers have used poor reasoning, as in relying on “tradition” as support. These essays are where Brown’s credibility becomes uneven. In one paragraph he’s explaining Plato, the next he’s resorting to name-calling (“morons” a favorite). Most of his own debating background seems to be sparring with fellow bloggers and on online Forums, and reprinting such dialogues gives many of these discussions more weight than they’re due. Quoting from political speeches and interviews is one matter, but transcribing personal rants is not convincing evidence of one side or the other.

A reader’s appreciation of the book will likely vary depending on their own preconceptions and/or their own awareness of the often obvious. Brown provides fresh comparisons as in noting complaints about the New York mosque being built two blocks from Ground Zero are analogous to complaining about Catholic churches being built too close to playgrounds, what with all the wanton priests around. It’s a book to challenge your own critical thinking, whether or not you agree with Brown’s worldview.

Click Here To Purchase Political Logic: Defeating Conservative Theories of Rationality