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The Logic of Alice

Clear Thinking in Wonderland

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Paperback published by Prometheus Books (Prometheus Books)

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Alice in Wonderland may well be the most interpreted book in history, but there are always new depths to be plumbed. Bernard Patten dazzles us with his analysis of key episodes in the book. Like Lewis Carroll, Patten obviously loves logic and uses wit and humor to draw serious lessons about the principles of clear and logical thinking.-CLARE IMHOLTZ, Secretary, Lewis Carroll Society of North AmericaMany commentaries have been devoted to Lewis Carroll's masterpiece, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The interpretations range from Freudian analysis to speculations about the real-life people who may have inspired the animal characters.In this unique approach to interpreting Alice, the fruit of ten years of research, Dr. Bernard M. Patten shows that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, fused his passion for logic, mathematics, and games with his love of words and nonsense stories to produce a multifaceted, intricately structured work of literature. Patten provides a chapter-by-chapter skeleton key to Alice, which meticulously demonstrates how its various episodes reveal Dodgson's profound knowledge of the rules of clear thinking, informal and formal logic, symbolic logic, and human nature.As Patten makes clear, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, far from being just an entertaining children's book, is more complex and deeply reflective of Dodgson's character than it may seem. By making an effort to understand its deeper layers, both children and adults may profit from this masterful tale by learning to think better and, along the way, having fun.Bernard M. Patten, M.D., now retired, was formerly the chief of the Neuromuscular Disease Division, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology, and attending neurologist at the Baylor College of Medicine. He now lectures in clear thinking, mental gymnastics, logic, and neuroscience at Rice University and the Women's Institute of Houston. He is the author of The Logic of Alice: Clear Thinking in Wonderland; Truth, Knowledge, or Just Plain Bull: How to Tell the Difference; and Cruising on the Queen Elizabeth 2: Around the World in 91 Days.
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Alice in Wonderland may well be the most interpreted book in history, but there are always new depths to be plumbed. Bernard Patten dazzles us with his analysis of key episodes in the book. Like Lewis Carroll, Patten obviously loves logic and uses wit and humor to draw serious lessons about the principles of clear and logical thinking.-CLARE IMHOLTZ, Secretary, Lewis Carroll Society of North AmericaMany commentaries have been devoted to Lewis Carroll's masterpiece, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The interpretations range from Freudian analysis to speculations about the real-life people who may have inspired the animal characters.In this unique approach to interpreting Alice, the fruit of ten years of research, Dr. Bernard M. Patten shows that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, fused his passion for logic, mathematics, and games with his love of words and nonsense stories to produce a multifaceted, intricately structured work of literature. Patten provides a chapter-by-chapter skeleton key to Alice, which meticulously demonstrates how its various episodes reveal Dodgson's profound knowledge of the rules of clear thinking, informal and formal logic, symbolic logic, and human nature.As Patten makes clear, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, far from being just an entertaining children's book, is more complex and deeply reflective of Dodgson's character than it may seem. By making an effort to understand its deeper layers, both children and adults may profit from this masterful tale by learning to think better and, along the way, having fun.Bernard M. Patten, M.D., now retired, was formerly the chief of the Neuromuscular Disease Division, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology, and attending neurologist at the Baylor College of Medicine. He now lectures in clear thinking, mental gymnastics, logic, and neuroscience at Rice University and the Women's Institute of Houston. He is the author of The Logic of Alice: Clear Thinking in Wonderland; Truth, Knowledge, or Just Plain Bull: How to Tell the Difference; and Cruising on the Queen Elizabeth 2: Around the World in 91 Days.
Product Details
Paperback (336 pages)
Published: December 16, 2008
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Imprint: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 9781591026754
Other books byBernard M. Patten
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    A Handbook of Practical Logic and Clear ThinkingIn lively, straightforward prose, Patten lays out some general principles of clear thinking . . . then, chapter by chapter, examines various forms of false reasoning to which we might fall victim . . . Patten doesn't minimize the mental effort required to master clear thinking, but his own clear writing and down-to-earth tone make it as painless as it can be to strengthen your ability to reason and see the faults in the reasoning of others. - Publishers WeeklyWant to sort out the claims of experts, pseudo-experts, scam artists, and liars alike? Want to protect yourself from the dangers of the ubiquitous nonsense and outright frauds that assault you from every side? Want to become acquainted with the pleasurable activity of discovering truth while enhancing your sophistication as a thinker?In this erudite yet entertaining handbook on critical thinking, Dr. Bernard M. Patten uses neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry to teach you to do all this and more. He shows you that clear thinking is not just fun but also keeps you out of trouble, makes you more efficient, helps you develop and maintain prosperity, and generally gives you an edge in both your personal and business life.A Board Certified neurologist and a lecturer in formal, informal, and symbolic logic at Rice University, Dr. Patten has the scientific background as well as the philosophical training to give readers the most reliable and current information on how the brain thinks, learns, and remembers. By means of multiple (and sometimes startling) contemporary examples and insights, the author exercises your mind as an exercise machine might exercise your muscles. Each exercise is specifically formulated with the neuropsychology of learning in mind (repetition, tied association, visual images, distribution of tasks in time, modularity, etc.), so the reader acquires valuable knowledge quickly and painlessly.Emphasizing practical usefulness in real-life situations and evidence-based analysis, Dr. Patten examines:?investment frauds and other scams?groupthink?the psychology of belief?content analysis?hidden meanings?negotiation strategiesHe also gives careful attention to the rules of clear thinking, discusses the reality principle, explains inductive and deductive logic, exposes traditional fallacies, and elucidates truth tables, syllogisms, and symbolic logic.Fast, fact-filled, and fun, this superb self-help guide to better thinking teaches you to take control of your own destiny by accurately determining the truth value of statements and behaviors in many contexts.Bernard M. Patten, M.D., now retired, was formerly the chief of the Neuromuscular Disease Division, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology, and attending neurologist at the Baylor College of Medicine. He now lectures in clear thinking, mental gymnastics, logic, and neuroscience at Rice University and the Women's Institute of Houston. He is the author of The Logic of Alice: Clear Thinking in Wonderland; Truth, Knowledge, or Just Plain Bull: How to Tell the Difference; and Cruising on the Queen Elizabeth 2: Around the World in 91 Days.

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  • Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, the author of the Alice books, was, according to legend, a shy, eccentric bachelor who taught mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford.

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  • What is important, what really counts, is that it is the truth.

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