The Logic of Alice

Clear Thinking in Wonderland

By Bernard M. Patten
(Prometheus Books, Paperback, 9781591026754, 336pp.)

Publication Date: February 2009

List Price: $21.99*
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Many 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.

About the Author
Bernard M. Patten (Seabrook, TX), now retired, was formerly the chief of the Neuromuscular Disease Division, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology, and attending neurologist at Baylor College of Medicine. He now lectures on clear thinking, mental gymnastics, logic, and neuroscience at Rice University and the Women's Institute of Houston.
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