The Duck that Won the Lottery by Julian Baggini Granta, HK$126 Philosopher Julian Baggini sets out to show common ways in which people argue badly. To achieve this he nitpicks through comments made by journalists and politicians, among others. In 100 short chapters poor reasoning receives a cuff, as does the irrational. Despite his good intentions, however, it is difficult to take the book seriously for several reasons. First is his use in the preface of the term 'main priority'. This tautology should be struck out, coming as it does from someone who makes a living scrutinising English usage. Then there are the examples in which he is too literal. In explaining the gambler's fallacy of 'my luck's got to change' he shows the illogic of people saying they are 'due a win'. Surely such statements aren't meant to be taken seriously. Baggini, whose aim is to encourage sceptical thinking, focuses on current debates - about religion, environmentalism and poverty, for instance - and addresses the non sequiturs, post hoc fallacies, half truths and ad hominem arguments that cloud thinking. Your brain will be given a workout but often in a roundabout way, the book prompting you to look for your own examples of woolly rhetoric.