Humbug means "deceptive or false talk or behaviour". This book is a tool for detecting humbug. The core of the book does not concern itself with the structure of good arguments, or with models for inquiry. Rather, the content focuses on error. If individuals become astute at identifying and critiquing flawed arguments, they will become more skilled at identifying sound arguments.
The subtitle of the book is the Skeptic’s Guide Field Guide to Spotting Fallacies and Deceptive Arguments. The skeptical inquirer, whether a student, an academic or a member of the public, is a person who has the habit of questioning assertions made by others.
This second edition of Humbug! has been expanded and now includes three sections. Part 1 provides a rationale for the book and an introduction to critical thinking, Part 2 provides some simple techniques that are useful in the analysis of arguments and in forming a position, and Part 3 describes and provides examples of common fallacies and flawed arguments.