Guide to the Logical Fallacies

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mkmstudent53
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288880
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Guide to the Logical Fallacies
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2014-11-12 16:18:19
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Logical Fallacies Guide
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English 103 Midterm Review
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  1. FALSE DILEMMA
    • def: an illegitimate use of the "or" operator.
    • ex: People are either wholly good or wholly evil.
    • p: show there is an additional option.
  2. ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE
    • def:¬†assumes that since something has not been proven false, it is therefore true & vice versa.
    • ex: Since you cannot prove that ghosts do not exist, they must exist.
    • p: argue that it may be true even though we don't know whether it is or isn't.
  3. SLIPPERY SLOPE
    • def: an illegitimate use of the "if-then"¬†operator.
    • ex: You should never gamble. Once you start gambling you find it hard to stop. Soon you are spending all your money on gambling, and eventually you will turn to crime to support your earnings.
    • p: show that the final event in the series need not occur as a consequence of the first.
  4. COMPLEX QUESTION
    • def: an illegitimate use of the "and" operator.
    • ex: Do you support freedom and the right to bear arms?
    • p: show that believing one does not mean that you have to believe the other.
  5. ATTACKING THE PERSON (3)
    • abusive: when the arguer attacks the person instead of the argument.
    • ex: You may argue that God doesn't exist, but you are just following a fad.
    • circumstantial: instead of attacking an assertion, author attacks the circumstances.
    • ex: We should discount what the governor says about taxation because he won't be hurt by the increase.
    • tu quoque: this form of attack on the person notes that a person does not practice what he preaches.
    • ex: You say I shouldn't drink, but you haven't been sober for more than a year.
    • p: for all 3 - identify the attack & show that the character of circumstances of the person has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the proposition being defended.
  6. APPEAL TO AUTHORITY (3)
    • def 1: the person is not qualified to have an expert opinion on the subject.
    • ex: Noted psychologist Dr. Frasier Crane recommends that you buy the EZ-rest Hot Tub.
    • def 2: experts in the field disagree on this issue.
    • ex: Economist John Kenneth Galbraith argue that a tight money policy is the best cure for a recession. (although Galbraith is an expert, not all economists agree on this point)
    • def 3: the authority was making a joke, drunk, or otherwise not being serious.
    • ex: We are headed for nuclear war. Last weak Ronald Reagan remarked that we begin bombing Russia in five minutes. (he said it as a joke during a microphone test).
    • p: show that 1-the person cited is not an authority in the field. 2-there is a general disagreement among the experts in the field on this point. 3-a variation of the fallacious appeal to authority is hearsay, an argument that depends on 2nd or 3rd hand sources.
  7. ANONYMOUS AUTHORITIES
    • def: the authority in question is not named.
    • ex: Experts agree that the best way to precent nuclear was is to prepare for it.
    • p: argue that because we don't know the source of the information we have no way to evaluate the reliability of the information.
  8. STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE
    • def: the manner in which an argument (or arguer) is presented dictates if it is true.
    • ex: Why don't you take the advice of that nicely dressed young man?
    • p: show that the style in this case does not affect the truth or falsity of the conclusion.
  9. BEGGING THE QUESTION
    • def: the truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises.
    • ex: Since I'm not lying, it follows that I'm telling the truth.
    • p: show that in order to believe that the premises are true we must already agree that the conclusion is true.
  10. STRAW MAN
    • def: when an arguer attacks the weaker position rather than the opposition's best argument.
    • ex: Evolution means cats giving birth to dogs.
    • p: show that the opposition's argument has been misrepresented & that there is a stronger argument.
  11. COMPOSITION
    • def: because the parts have a property it is argued that the whole has that property.
    • ex: Do you like raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens, bright-coppered kettles & warms woolen mittens? Then you'll like this yummy casserole.
    • p: show that the properties of the part & the properties of the whole are different.
  12. DIVISION
    • def: because the whole has a certain property, it is argue that the parts have that property.
    • ex: You like cake, right? So you must like to eat raw eggs & flour.
    • p: show that the properties of the part & the properties of the whole are different.
  13. *NON-SEQUITER
    • def: this fallacy occurs when a conclusion does not follow from the premises of the evidence.
    • ex: She must be a good mother. She's always smiling.
  14. FALSE CONSOLATION
    • def: when you falsely console someone, you tell them things are okay when they really are not.
    • ex: I am so sorry you lost your arm, at least you have 2 legs.
    • p: show that the fact that some people are better off than others does not justify maintaining an undesirable status quo.
  15. *APPEALING TO EXTREMES
    • def: involves taking an argumentative claim or assertion to its extreme, even though the arguer does not advocate the extreme interpretation.
    • ex: Husband to ex-wife--"Well, if you want to be completely fair about dividing everything up, you should get one of my testicles & I should get one of your breasts!"
  16. *HYPOTHESIS CONTRARY TO FACT
    • def: treating hypothetical situations as if they were fact.
    • ex: If you had only tasted the stewed snails, I'm sure you would have liked them.
  17. *FAULTY SIGN
    • def: this fallacy wrongly assumes that one event or phenomenon is a reliable indicator of predictor of another event or phenomenon.
    • ex: The cars driving in the opposite direction have their lights on; they must be part of a funeral procession.
  18. *RED HERRING
    • def: this fallacy attempts to hide a weakness in an argument by drawing attention away from the real issue.
    • ex: Accused by his wife of cheating at cards, Ned replies "Nothing I do ever pleases you. I spent all last week repainting the bathroom, & then you said you didn't like the color"
  19. INCONSISTENCY
    • def: this is advancing an argument that is self-contradictory, or that is based on mutually inconsistent premises.
    • ex: A used car salespersons says, "Hey, you can't trust those other car salesmen. They'll say anything to get you to buy a car from them."
  20. APPEAL TO TRADITION
    • def: arguing that a position or practice is reasonable because it has been done that way for a long time.
    • ex: Women should not have the right to vote. They have never had the right to vote.
  21. EVALUATION TERMS FOR REASONS
    • - superior/inferior
    • - useful/useless
    • - efficient/inefficient
    • - effective/ineffective
    • - successful/unsuccessful
    • - deserving/undeserving
    • - important/trivial
    • - original/trite
    • - innovative/predictable
    • - interesting/dull
    • - inspiring/depressing
  22. EVALUATION EVIDENCE
    • - are the facts up to date?
    • - is the factual evidence sufficient?
    • - are the facts relevant?
    • - are the examples representative?
    • - are the examples consistent with the experience of the audience?
    • - do statistics come from trustworthy sources?
    • - are the terms clearly defined?
    • - are the comparisons between comparable things?
    • - has any significant information been omitted?
    • - is the source an expert?
    • - is the source biased?

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