[I]nstead of trying to make children study how to spot a logical fallacy, we should recognise that philosophy is already being used to justify some pretty horrible treatment of people across the world even as the fallacies in these justifications are passing with little or no comment from intellectuals.
Sure, rational skills may be misused in rhetoric, but what in the world is that "instead" doing there!? If bad reasoning is used to defend the indefensible, surely it would help to have more citizens capable of diagnosing this. (Perhaps our disagreement can be traced to Hugo's identification of critical thinking courses with "the use of philosophy as yet another tool of oppression". Bizarre.)
Hugo also quotes approvingly Feyerabend's criticism of such appeals for failing to mention "the real problems of our time... war, violence, hunger, disease, and environmental disasters." Granted, those things are amongst the worst in the world -- and hence the most important to address. But I don't see how it follows that there can't be any good in addressing other issues. ('Hi Doc, I think I broke my leg.' 'Shush, you're distracting me from world peace!')
Further, this neglects the distinction between first-order and meta-politics. It may sometimes be helpful to abstract away from first-order disputes, and look instead to how we can improve our political process as a whole. Even from a straightforwardly utilitarian perspective, there are good reasons to want to invest in rational capital rather than myopically focus on the pressing issues of the day.
Next time you hear someone advocate putting a red cape on philosophy and logic, I suggest it would be worth bearing all the above in mind.But I'm not about to give up on the 'what is it like to be a bat'-mobile quite yet.