Cover image for How to think straight : an introduction to critical reasoning
How to think straight : an introduction to critical reasoning
Flew, Antony, 1923-2010.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Thinking about thinking
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1998.
Physical Description:
164 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in the United Kingdom as Thinking about thinking and later reissued in the United States of America as Thinking straight"--Foreword.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF455 .F614 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Practical reasoning and clear thinking are essential for everyone if we are to make sense of the information we receive each day. Being able to quickly know the difference between valid and invalid arguments, the contradictory versus the contrary, vagueness and ambiguity, contradiction and self-contradiction, the truthful and the fallacious, separates clear thinkers from the crowd.

How to Think Straight lays the foundation for critical reasoning by showing many ways in which our thinking goes awry. Celebrated philosopher Antony Flew entertainingly instructs on the many and varied faults that occur in argument, the power of reason, how to challenge assertions and find evidence, and how not to be persuaded by half-truths. Flew also examines poor reasoning, and why we should be concerned with finding the truth.

Lucid, terse, and sensible, with study questions and exercises to help along the way, this enlightening second edition will help you develop the skills necessary to argue and reason effectively by following a few simple, easy-to-remember directions.

Author Notes

Antony Flew is emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Reading, England.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is a revision of Antony Flew's Thinking about Thinking, first published in the UK and subsequently reissued in the US as Thinking Straight (CH, Sep'77). Flew (emeritus philosophy, Reading Univ.) aims to instruct readers in critical thinking by describing common mistakes in reasoning and illustrating their occurrence in writing on topical issues, which are drawn primarily from social and political philosophy. As a revision, the treatment here is fuller and many (though not all) of the original examples of misguided thinking are replaced by more up-to-date examples. Many passages read like op ed pieces for a newspaper, and it may appear to some readers that Flew has used the ostensible aim of reasoning about reasoning as a foil for criticizing perspectives with which he disagrees. Flew demonstrates good humor throughout, but cleverness does not make up for the distracting idiosyncrasies of some names he uses for various fallacies. There are worthwhile discussions of how people are led to make various logical mistakes; the chapter on the improper use of statistics, "Figuring," is especially helpful. Paragraphs are numbered throughout for ease of cross-reference within the volume. General readers, lower- and upper- division undergraduates; public, school, and college and university libraries. R. D. Geivett Biola University