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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fallacies and History

There is a very bulky book titled People's chronology of world events which covers
a very vast area of human activity from many centuries B.C you would find that for
 many centuries one of the main activities of human beings has been waging war.
In addition to that I just finished this book: Title: "Historians' Fallacies"
subtitle: "Towards a Logic of Historical Thought"
author: David Hackett Fischer
c 1970 (pre-ISBN, but SBN is 06-090498-4), 338 pp., including a list of
fallacy names at the end. Large number of footnote citations all really excellent. 

Some of the most serious problems in human thinking involve the use of
fallacies (in short, a mistake in thinking) to understand and decide what
to do, how to live, and how to treat ones neighbors (whether you like them
or not). Another problem involves a deficiency in knowledge of history or
selective knowledge of history. This book will go a long way to correct
this problem. It even discusses many controversies from multiple

Logical fallacies are fewer than listed in this book, and the book makes
it known that there are many systems of logic. From page 263 (in my
edition, first page of Chapter ten) is this sentence: "...the canonical
logic of ancient China, the grammatical logic of ancient India [see, I'm
not biased against India/Indians like some Indians think], the syllogistic
logic of Aristotle, the dichotomous logic of Ramus, and the mathematical
logic of Russell and Whitehead are among the most familiar." 

You will be surprised. 
Page 337 is a list. Here are the main categories: 
Fallacies of Question-Framing (and ten sub-categories)
Fallacies of Factual Verification (and ten sub-categories)
Fallacies of Factual Significance (and eleven sub-categories)
Fallacies of Generalization (and twelve sub-categories)
Fallacies of Narration (and fourteen sub-categories)
Fallacies of Causation (and nine sub-categories)
Fallacies of Motivation (and eight sub-categories)
Fallacies of Composition (and nine sub-categories)
Fallacies of False Analogy (and seven sub-categories)
Fallacies of Semantical Distortion (and seven sub-categories)
Fallacies of Substantive Distraction (and sixteen sub-categories) 

113 total if my rusty arithmetic is right. 
All of you guys who think you "glow in the dark," have angel wings, and
saintly bright halo over your head should read this book and become
enlightened a little and humbled a lot. 

Then all of you guys who think that only the USA ever made wars on anyone,
and made bad wars, too, need to read some serious history about the wars
before the USA even existed and the other countries besides the USA
where large armies existed and existed long ago, and killed many many
people. Kshatriyas were warriors built into Hindu society, too, since
2000+ years ago so don't blame me but look in the mirror and open your eyes. 

Funny you guys don't talk about Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Imperial
China with another 3,000+ years of Emperor/Dynasty history (more wars,
many dozens, Ghengis Khan and Mongol Empire, the Empires of pre-Columbian
America/MesoAmerica [Aztecs, Mayas, Xtecs, Incas] who also carried out
organized warfare, and warfare in sub-Saharan Africa, etc.). 

In addition to this we have very wrong approaches, we use wrong parameters when
we evaluate events, issues, persons and things.
While exploring the facts we must desist getting distracted from the following major traps:-
1] Mutilating the facts,
2] Analyzing them with preconceived notions or prejudices,
3] Generalizing the particular and particularizing the general,
4] Approaching facts with unloving criticism or uncritical love,
5] Evaluating facts with our pet isms or philosophies,
6] Resorting to statistical justifications,
7] Unleashing unworkable utopia,
8] Mask them with logical fallacies,
9] Bury them in pleasant jargons, and
10] Give historical justifications.

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