46 books like Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent

By Wayne C. Booth,

Here are 46 books that Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent fans have personally recommended if you like Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge

Alex M. Thomas Author Of Macroeconomics: An Introduction

From my list on becoming a critical economist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the dissemination of economic ideas both inside and outside university spaces. In addition to classroom lectures at my university, I give a lot of public lectures on economics. Through these talks, I introduce the audience to the tradition of doing economics using a critical perspective. I have an MA and MPhil in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Alex's book list on becoming a critical economist

Alex M. Thomas Why did Alex love this book?

Feyerabend argues against monism in science.

Drawing on the history of science, he demonstrates that science has progressed from pluralism. In other words, there is no the scientific method. 

Currently, mainstream economics education does not include history or philosophy in its curriculum. And economists are enthusiastically adopting a monist approach to knowledge production.

Feyerabend’s book tells us why such a naïve and narrow approach to knowledge dissemination (and production) is problematic. I feel extremely lucky to have been exposed to his work along with other philosophers of science during my master’s.

By Paul Feyerabend,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Against Method as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Contemporary philosophy of science has paid close attention to the understanding of scientific practice, in contrast to the previous focus on scientific method. Paul Feyerabend's acclaimed work, which sparked controversy and continues to fuel fierce debate, shows the deficiencies of many widespread ideas about the nature of knowledge. He argues that the only feasible explanation of any scientific success is a historical account, and that anarchism must now replace rationalism in the theory of knowledge. This updated edition of this classic text contains a new foreword by Ian Hacking, a leading contemporary philosopher of science, who reflects on Feyerabend's life…


Book cover of The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change

James L. Sherley Author Of Missing Elements in the Public Science Supporting the COVID-19 Spread Narrative in the US

From my list on what science and scientists are really all about.

Why am I passionate about this?

A childhood friend says that I am the only person he knows who grew up to be exactly what he said he wanted to become. But he is mistaken because I was born a scientist. I have no memories when I was not thinking about science, learning it, doing it, teaching it, trying to improve it, pondering it, or sharing it with others. Over my life and career as a scientist, I have been further fulfilled by undergirding my scientific work with reflection and introspection through reading the history, philosophy, and practice of science revealed and disclosed in books like the five I recommend here. Enjoy them as I have!

James' book list on what science and scientists are really all about

James L. Sherley Why did James love this book?

Once I finished reading Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions, it wasn’t long before I learned that he had followed it up with a collection of deeper analyses in the realm of the philosophy of science.

His sequel book took me deeper into the minds and conflicts of noted greats of science whose scientific contributions’ acceptance is now taken for granted by most. Yet, in their own day, they, too, often had to contend with the tension of science’s and scientists’ history of preferring what consensus had ordained as settled knowledge instead of welcoming new insights and discoveries.

By Thomas S. Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Essential Tension as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Kuhn has the unmistakable address of a man, who, so far from wanting to score points, is anxious above all else to get at the truth of matters."-Sir Peter Medawar, Nature


Book cover of Changing Order: Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice

Deirdre N. McCloskey Author Of The Rhetoric of Economics

From my list on the rhetoric of science (from a distinguished professor).

Why am I passionate about this?

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and of History, and Professor Emerita of English and of Communication, adjunct in classics and philosophy, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trained at Harvard in the 1960s as an economist, she has written twenty-four books and some four hundred academic and popular articles on economic history, rhetoric, philosophy, statistical theory, economic theory, feminism, queer studies, liberalism, ethics, and law.

Deirdre's book list on the rhetoric of science (from a distinguished professor)

Deirdre N. McCloskey Why did Deirdre love this book?

Collins is a brilliant and lucid exponent of the (mainly British) “strong programme” in the sociology of science. He is one of the numerous “children of Kuhn,” in the sense that like Kuhn he understands scientists to be (usually) honest and serious human beings, not machines implementing an alleged Scientific Method.

By Harry Collins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Changing Order as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating study in the sociology of science explores the way scientists conduct, and draw conclusions from, their experiments. The book is organized around three case studies: replication of the TEA-laser, detecting gravitational rotation, and some experiments in the paranormal. "In his superb book, Collins shows why the quest for certainty is disappointed. He shows that standards of replication are, of course, social, and that there is consequently no outside standard, no Archimedean point beyond society from which we can lever the intellects of our fellows."--Donald M. McCloskey, Journal of Economic Psychology


Book cover of Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy

Deirdre N. McCloskey Author Of The Rhetoric of Economics

From my list on the rhetoric of science (from a distinguished professor).

Why am I passionate about this?

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and of History, and Professor Emerita of English and of Communication, adjunct in classics and philosophy, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trained at Harvard in the 1960s as an economist, she has written twenty-four books and some four hundred academic and popular articles on economic history, rhetoric, philosophy, statistical theory, economic theory, feminism, queer studies, liberalism, ethics, and law.

Deirdre's book list on the rhetoric of science (from a distinguished professor)

Deirdre N. McCloskey Why did Deirdre love this book?

Polanyi, an eminent Hungarian Jewish chemist who spent his career at the University of Manchester, was the smarter brother of the more famous Karl Polanyi, the socialist economic historian. Michael (Mihály) shows in the book how science depends on ordinary, “personal” knowledge, as for example in riding a bicycle. He was a “liberal” in the European sense, unlike his brother, and saw the scientific community as analogous to a free market, and the free market as analogous to a scientific community.

By Michael Polanyi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Personal Knowledge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The publication of Personal Knowledge in 1958 shook the science world, as Michael Polanyi took aim at the long-standing ideals of rigid empiricism and rule-bound logic. Today, Personal Knowledge remains one of the most significant philosophy of science books of the twentieth century, bringing the crucial concepts of “tacit knowledge” and “personal knowledge” to the forefront of inquiry.

In this remarkable treatise, Polanyi attests that our personal experiences and ways of sharing knowledge have a profound effect on scientific discovery. He argues against the idea of the wholly dispassionate researcher, pointing out that even in the strictest of sciences, knowing…


Book cover of A Grammar of Motives

Frederick Kaufman Author Of The Money Plot: A History of Currency's Power to Enchant, Control, and Manipulate

From my list on what money is, from beginning to Bitcoin.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an English professor, and for the past decade I’ve focused my attention on the fiction that is money. I’ve also been a magazine writer for many years and came to money by a circuitous route through writing about food, which led to writing about global hunger, which in turn led to writing about how food gets its price, which finally and lastly led me to the strange ways of Wall Street – options, futures, and the idea that money can be manipulated into a story, a narrative, or as we say in English departments, a plot.

Frederick's book list on what money is, from beginning to Bitcoin

Frederick Kaufman Why did Frederick love this book?

This is one of those lost academic works of genius of the 1950s, in which Burke, an English Professor, uses the idea of “grammar” to explain the motivations of characters in dramatic situations. This book inspired me to write about money as a quite literal “plot”—a way people tell stories about themselves and the universe.

By Kenneth Burke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Grammar of Motives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mr. Burke contributes an introductory and summarizing remark, "What is involved, when we say what people are doing and why they are doing it? An answer to that question is the subject of this book. The book is concerned with the basic forms of through which, in accordance with the nature of the world as all men necessarily experience it, are exemplified in the attributing of motives. These forms of though can be embodied profoundly or trivially, truthfully or falsely. They are equally present in systematically elaborated or metaphysical structures, in legal judgements, in poetry and fiction, in political and…


Book cover of The Art of Logic in an Illogical World

Richard Hoshino Author Of The Math Olympian

From my list on mathematics and life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have devoted my entire career to mathematics, and have a life filled with meaning and purpose through my roles as an educator, researcher, and consultant. I teach at the Vancouver campus of Northeastern University and am the owner and principal of Hoshino Math Services, a boutique math consulting firm. 

Richard's book list on mathematics and life

Richard Hoshino Why did Richard love this book?

The author explains the importance of abstraction in logic, demonstrating its three main components: paths made of long chains of logic, packages made of a collection of concepts structured into a new compound unit, and pivots to build bridges to previously disconnected places.

Eugenia Cheng does an excellent job of abstracting principles of logic to better understand challenging real-world societal issues such as affirmative action and cancer screening. I found it quite compelling to understand how and why she came to her positions on various issues, through her axiom that "avoiding false negatives is more important than avoiding false positives." I appreciated the expertise by which she weaved numerous hard topics, in both mathematics and social justice, into a coherent and compelling narrative.

By Eugenia Cheng,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art of Logic in an Illogical World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How both logical and emotional reasoning can help us live better in our post-truth world

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?…


Book cover of How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Asking the Right Questions

John V. Petrocelli Author Of The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit

From my list on detecting bullshit, misinformation, and fake news.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an experimental social psychologist, who has conducted years of empirical research on bullshitting behavior and bullshit detection, I’ve found compelling evidence that the worst outcomes of bullshit communications are false beliefs and bad decisions. I’m convinced that all of our problems, whether they be personal, interpersonal, professional, or societal are either directly or indirectly linked to mindless bullshit reasoning and communication. I’m just sick and tired of incompetent, bullshit artists who capitalize by repackaging and selling what I and other experimental psychologists do for free. It’s time the masses learn that some of us who actually do the research on the things we write about can actually do it better.    

John's book list on detecting bullshit, misinformation, and fake news

John V. Petrocelli Why did John love this book?

If there is one book I wish I’d written myself, it is How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass. One of the things I admired most about the people who shaped my education and career path most was their ability to listen carefully and ask critical questions that uncovered even more than what was first expressed. Christopher DiCarlo’s book is a manual to practicing these traits. The book provides all of the tools needed to question beliefs and assumptions held by those who claim to know what they’re talking about, while at the same time providing practical solutions for today’s world of misinformation. The book also convinced me that faulty reasoning can be spotted by asking the right sorts of questions—what better gift to give someone? 

By Christopher Dicarlo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this witty, incisive guide to critical thinking the author provides you with the tools to allow you to question beliefs and assumptions held by those who claim to know what they're talking about. These days there are many people whom we need to question: politicians, lawyers, doctors, teachers, clergy members, bankers, car salesmen, and your boss. This book will empower you with the ability to spot faulty reasoning and, by asking the right sorts of questions, hold people accountable not only for what they believe but how they behave.

By using this book you'll learn to analyze your own…


Book cover of The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods

Marianne Talbot Author Of Critical Reasoning: A Romp through the Foothills of Logic for the Complete Beginner

From my list on to learn how to argue well better.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught philosophy (in particular critical reasoning!) for the colleges of Oxford University between 1987 and 2021. But, aged 15, I was thrown out of school (for truancy and disruption). Between the ages of 18 and 23 I travelled the world, hitch-hiking through Asia, living in Australasia, then travelling back through Africa. By the time I got home, starved of intellectual stimulation, I started an Open University Course and discovered logic. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. But also the most enjoyable. I loved getting to grips with difficult distinctions and concepts and having to use them precisely. Getting the answers right felt like an achievement. Getting them wrong, a challenge. I’ve loved logic ever since!

Marianne's book list on to learn how to argue well better

Marianne Talbot Why did Marianne love this book?

As with any other academic discipline, philosophy has its own language. This is not jargon (or it shouldn’t be!). It is a technical terminology. To look at something very closely, as any academic discipline does, is to record distinctions that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Immediately two names are needed where only one was needed before. This book will talk you through the most important of these distinctions. The book also looks at the methodology of philosophy, the most important of which, of course, is logic. 

By Peter S. Fosl, Julian Baggini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Philosopher's Toolkit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new edition of the bestselling guide to the study of philosophy: the ideal intellectual 'toolkit' for sharpening analytical skills and building philosophical acuity

Whether used as a guide to basic principles or a resource for key concepts and methods, The Philosopher's Toolkit equips readers with all the intellectual 'tools' necessary for engaging closely with philosophical argument and developing fluency in the methods and language of philosophical inquiry. Featuring accessible explanations, practical examples, and expert guidance, this text empowers readers to understand traditional philosophical thinking and to engage with new ideas.

Focuses on the practical methods and concepts necessary for…


Book cover of A Tale of Two Castles

Allison K. Hymas Author Of The Explorer's Code

From my list on mysteries the reader can solve by themselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a fan and a creator of puzzles. As a child, I created twisty scavenger hunts for my younger siblings, full of codes and clues. As a reader, I get frustrated with mysteries that hide clues or use knowledge that no reader would have so no one reading can possibly solve the story before the truth comes out. So, today, as a writer, I create stories that can be solved by the reader before the end. I entertain myself by solving puzzles and researching codes in my free time. I wish you the best of luck solving these books!

Allison's book list on mysteries the reader can solve by themselves

Allison K. Hymas Why did Allison love this book?

Dragons, castles, fairy tales, and mystery…this book has all my favorite things! We follow Elodie, a young actress (or mansioner) who becomes apprenticed to Sherlock Holmes in Dragon form. That alone was enough to hook me; I love seeing the mystery play out, and it is solvable, though in, perhaps, a different way than other mystery stories. My favorite thing about this book, though, is how it turns classic fairy tale tropes on their head. From this story, I learn not to assume and that villains can come in all different forms.

By Gail Carson Levine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Tale of Two Castles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Mysteries abound, especially in two castles...Elodie journeys to the town of Two Castles to become a mansioner-an actress-but the master of the troupe turns her away. The only one who will take Elodie in is Meenore, a dragon who happens to be a brilliant detective. To crack Meenore's newest case, Elodie goes undercover on a dangerous mission within an ogre's castle. There, disguised as a kitchen maid, Elodie plays the role of a lifetime, pitted against a foe intent on murder.


Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Scott Galloway Author Of The Algebra of Wealth: A Simple Formula for Financial Security

From my list on helping you be your best self.

Why am I passionate about this?

I try to use my platform to  help people consider how to live a more meaningful life. I've made mistakes, learned from them, and want to pass on those lessons. There are many definitions of success and fulfillment and many paths to achieve it. I hope by telling my story others can avoid some of the mistakes I made.

Scott's book list on helping you be your best self

Scott Galloway Why did Scott love this book?

Professor Kahneman’s ideologies on decision-making have helped me in business and my personal life.

His insights have enhanced my decision-making process and helped me navigate the strait between instinct and decision. His insights have encouraged me to delegate routine decisions, allowing me to reserve my mental energy for the most critical choices.

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in logical reasoning, rhetoric, and the rhetoric of science?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about logical reasoning, rhetoric, and the rhetoric of science.

Logical Reasoning Explore 9 books about logical reasoning
Rhetoric Explore 54 books about rhetoric
The Rhetoric Of Science Explore 5 books about the rhetoric of science