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The Art of Logic: How to Make Sense in a…
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The Art of Logic: How to Make Sense in a World that Doesn't (vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: Eugenia Cheng (author) (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1045202,347 (3.5)3
"In a world where fake news stories change election outcomes, has rationality become futile? In The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, Eugenia Cheng throws a lifeline to readers drowning in the illogic of contemporary life. Cheng is a mathematician, so she knows how to make an airtight argument. But even for her, logic sometimes falls prey to emotion, which is why she still fears flying and eats more cookies than she should. If a mathematician can't be logical, what are we to do? In this book, Cheng reveals the inner workings and limitations of logic, and explains why alogic--for example, emotion--is vital to how we think and communicate. Cheng shows us how to use logic and alogic together to navigate a world awash in bigotry, mansplaining, and manipulative memes. Insightful, useful, and funny, this essential book is for anyone who wants to think more clearly."--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:RaRa_C
Teoksen nimi:The Art of Logic: How to Make Sense in a World that Doesn't
Kirjailijat:Eugenia Cheng (author) (Tekijä)
Info:Profile Books (2018), Edition: Main
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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The Art of Logic in an Illogical World (tekijä: Eugenia Cheng)

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näyttää 5/5
Cheng provides us with a quick introductory sketch of logic, mostly as used in mathematics. She discusses how logic alone is not sufficient to determine the truth of things. She talks about how emotions are another important way that people relate to the world. She shows us that logic and emotion are not mutually exclusive, and that a truly effective way to explore truth is to work with logic and emotion together.

The notion that logic is a tool like a bicycle and that using it effectively requires understanding its limits, this is a very valuable point. Cheng also brings up the idea that people flourish when they work together in community, that discussions have the greatest positive value when they bring people together, at the very least to understand each others perspectives, perhaps also to build bridges between those perspectives, and possibly even to budge folks a little close along those bridges.

Cheng has a chapter on analogies which I think is the best part of the book. Her notion that mathematics is a science of analogies, this I think is really smart. Analogies are always limited and so mathematics can only illuminate a situation within those limits.

I think I am almost the least appropriate reader of this book. My whole career has been in logic... mostly developing software to analyze digital circuitry. Cheng says somewhere in this book that computers aren't logical. Ha! I think she really missed a huge opportunity. To understand the limits of logic, the broad highway of our day is to examine how software never quite works so well. Cheng is a category theorist - she should look at how database modeling, e.g. entity-relationship diagrams, are an application of category theory.

The basic problem with the book is that Cheng is essentially paddling around in very deep water. To read the book. one would hardly get any inkling of the vastness that surrounds the topics she discusses. I am very happy that she wrote a very simple introductory book for pretty much anybody to read and get some basic ideas about logic and how to reason about some of the hot topics of our day, racism and sexism etc.

This is basically a mathematician wading in philosophical water. The more common case over the last few decades has been where scientists wade in such waters. The results don't come out much better. I am no philosopher, but I try to read a bit of philosophy from time to time. Nothing wrong with scientists or mathematicians reaching across the aisle, of course. But maybe a better way would be by engaging with some of the philosophical currents. This book could have been something more like: A Category Theorist Encounters Wittgenstein.

Anyway, Cheng discusses vital topics here that are very dear to me and central to my own explorations. At almost every turn, I found myself complaining... "but, but, what about...". I hope the book finds its true audience! ( )
1 ääni kukulaj | Jan 9, 2021 |
This was probably closer to a 3.5 for me, but I rounded up.

Her explanations of logic were fantastic and I enjoyed her use of logic and logical arguments to defend progressive positions and ideas very much. And I should add, before I go further, that I listened to the audiobook from the library, and I think this is one case where reading it in print is a much better idea; there were many many parts of the book where the narrator said something like "to see the illustration, please see the pdf accompanying this audiobook"--which of course I didn't get with the library version--or, "the graph is a rectangle representing people. One circle in the rectangle, shaded grey, represents black people; one circle in the rectangle, shaded grey, represents women; where they overlap represents black women. Outside of the circles and within the rectangles are non-black non-women," which is clear enough, but the effort of visualizing it took away from the pleasure of following the argument, if you see what I mean.

The downside for me was those times when Cheng didn't follow her own argument back to its own fundamental principles. There were several examples, so I'll focus on what I found the most egregious: her description of the conflict between BLM and the police. Now: overall her argument was fantastic and in full support of BLM; I don't want to exaggerate. But where she is describing police violence towards black people as a matter of what came first, the violence or the distrust of the police, my jaw actually dropped open: obviously what came first was SLAVERY and centuries of institutional racism and a state that built police forces in its early days to track down fugitive slaves. This can't be ignored in favour of some well-intentioned both-sides wishy-washy false equivalencies.

Or, hell, one more: where she complains that people criticize her for fat-shaming and misogyny when she says she watches what she eats so she won't get fat, saying that her desire not to get fat herself is not a judgement on other fat people or whether or not others should watch what they eat. This is at best a half-argument. A personal desire to avoid fatness doesn't come out of nowhere; it is shaped by society, in this case a society that is deeply fat-phobic. Of course anyone can choose what they will or won't put in their mouths, with very very few exceptions, for any reason whatsoever, and that's a fundamental human right (i.e. don't eat people, and don't kill the neighbour's cat for dinner, but other than that, I don't care). The personal desire to avoid fatness is unavoidably rooted in a society that treats fat people terribly, deprives them of advancement and respect and dignity and income. The statement hardly makes sense outside of that context. And, like every personal lifestyle preference that reflects and reinforces societal prejudices, that needs to be acknowledged.

I don't want to make too much of these; I found them frustrating and they clearly stuck, but overall, the book was a great description of logic, its values, how to structure an argument, and a lovely refutation of the common idea that "logic" is a property of the right and the soft-hearted lefties are operating on something called "emotion" alone. If you've ever been frustrated by someone attacking an argument in favour of feminism, lgbt rights, climate change, etc., by charging that you're just not being "logical" or "reasonable," you'll enjoy this book. ( )
1 ääni andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
one for the thinkers and nerdy alike. This was an interesting read because it made me think, while keeping it entertaining. #TheArtOfLogic is the middle of the road read - learning while being informed, a true unicorn. If maths was taught this well back in my day (👵🏾here) then I could totally see being a mathematician by trade. Using real world examples, EC is able to break down why folks logic isn't always logical AND what logic is really. Must read, if only to better your argument skills. ( )
  reynag | Feb 3, 2020 |
First, mathematician (category theorist) Cheng slowly introduces propositional and predicate logic, avoiding most of the usual mathematical symbols and, for exemplification, drawing very heavily on personal conflicts and social inequities. Next, she uses paradoxes, prisoner's-dilemma situations, etc, to show that logic has limits. Finally, to overcome the limits, she advocates and justifies the constructive use of intuition and emotion, drawing upon the math-related concepts of social "axioms", gray areas, analogies, and equivalence. Is she aiming to position math as an ally of humanism? Perhaps: "If you are only using logic to defeat someone else's argument to promote your own, that is the intellectual version of being a bandit." (p 294)
  fpagan | Jan 7, 2019 |
I don't think I'm the target market for this book (which is "ironic" because prior to reading it I was certain that I was the ideal customer for it).

It's okay, but I was expecting to learn something, and it's very, very basic--at least to me. I didn't think I was a logic expert, but you learn something knew every day. It's like reading a cookbook that starts out by explaining how you can mix various ingredients together in different ways, and sometimes heat them, and it will make all this interesting food, and kind of does that for 100 pages or so, to begin with. That's how I felt reading this book. There were no new concepts for me, so halfway through the book I stopped.

There's one very good joke in the first half ... I actually laughed out loud when I read it. Sadly, no one I know (so far) has gotten it, they just stare at me like I'm a crazy person, forcing me to explain the joke (which kills it. Humor never survives explanation). So I appreciate that, at least.

Too simple, no new information, apparently written for 4th graders. Sadly, not for me (and I loved her book on Infinity and found some of it, gasp, beyond my ken, so this is a surprising turn of events.)

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s). ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Oct 30, 2018 |
näyttää 5/5
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"In a world where fake news stories change election outcomes, has rationality become futile? In The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, Eugenia Cheng throws a lifeline to readers drowning in the illogic of contemporary life. Cheng is a mathematician, so she knows how to make an airtight argument. But even for her, logic sometimes falls prey to emotion, which is why she still fears flying and eats more cookies than she should. If a mathematician can't be logical, what are we to do? In this book, Cheng reveals the inner workings and limitations of logic, and explains why alogic--for example, emotion--is vital to how we think and communicate. Cheng shows us how to use logic and alogic together to navigate a world awash in bigotry, mansplaining, and manipulative memes. Insightful, useful, and funny, this essential book is for anyone who wants to think more clearly."--

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