Card Set Information

2010-10-17 14:56:11

Critical Thinking Fallacies
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  1. Misapplied Generalization
    This fallacy wrongly attaches or misapplies support that may be generally true but will not work to support a specific claim
  2. Fallacy of Composition/Fallacy of Extrapolation
    The inverse of a misapplied generalization, this fallacy assumes that what is true for one particular instance can be used as evidence to draw a general conclusion
  3. Circular Logic
    This fallacy occurs when a claim, thesis, or argument is supported with a restatement of the claim, although the support is not usually presented as a verbatim repetition of the claim but buried in synonymous language
  4. Shrink and Grow Fallacy
    A temptation in deductive analysis when finding support for a claim, this fallacy involves down playing evidence that contradicts or refutes one's position while also inflating smaller, tangential points
  5. Appeal to Statistics
    Using statistics that are either irrelevant to the argument, or from questionable sources, to bolster a weak claim. This fallacy relies on the premise that people are easily swayed by numbers and that "numbers don't lie." All statistics are subject to interpretation, and the methods of gathering the information can be dubious
  6. False Cause
    Often committed in causal arguments, this fallacy assumes a cause and effect relationship between two events simply because they happened close in time
  7. Slippery Slope
    Frequently occurring in causal and proposal arguments, this fallacy claims that taking or not taking an action will cause an undesirable effect. In other words, a prediction of what might happen is substituted for valid reasons of why a particular claim should or should not be implemented
  8. Leap in Logic
    A missing link between a claim and it's support. The claim and support seem related, but a step in the logic has been omitted
  9. Fallacy of Time and Place
    Supporting a claim with an undocumented notion of what was acceptable in a particular historic time period (tempus) or an unverified assumption of what is customary in a particular culture (locus)
  10. Shifting the Burden of Proof
    Using the absence of contrary proof as support of the claim. In critical thinking, it's always necessary to provide support for one's claims
  11. Subjectivist Fallacy
    Supporting a claim based on one's limited point of view, personal experiences, or offering as support, "It's just my opinion" or "Thats just the way I see it." Critical thinkers always offer facts for support of their opinions and viewpoints
  12. Appeal to Faith
    Supporting a claim with "the word of God," using the Bible, Koran, or other sacred texts as support. When arguing issues of faith, support from these sources is acceptable, however, critical thinking is based on the use of factual evidence and outside the preview of faith-based argumentation
  13. False Dilemma
    Reducing a complicated or ambiguous matter to two polarized choices
  14. False Equity
    Claiming that an argument is persuasive because both sides were represented, or inversely, that an argument fails to convince because the other side was not presented
  15. False Analogy
    While analogies are often used to support an argument, when the dynamics of the comparison do not have enough parallels then the analogy must be deemed false
  16. Equivocation
    Switching the meaning of a key term in the claim (usually an abstraction) without noting the swith
  17. Tu Quo Que (Two wrongs don't make a right)
    Justify an unethical action by claiming that another person did something equally wrong
  18. The Ends Justify the Means
    Claiming that an unethical, illegal, or unacceptable action was justified since it resulted in a positive outcome
  19. Amoeba Vocabula
    Loading an argument with unsure, indefinite and tentative language in order to absolve oneself from the responsibility for making a claim
  20. Appeal to Pity
    There are justifiable and logical appeals to pity: it is only when someone unjustifiably substitutes pity for support in argument that it is a fallacy. Often committed in proposal arguments, this fallacy tries to arouse one's sense of pity in coercing agreements with a position
  21. Appeal to Fear
    Attempting to scare or intimidate someone into doing something. Employed in both causal and proposal arguments, this fallacy often attaches a slippery slope element, a catastrophic prediction of what will happen if the plan is or is not adopted or the argument not accepted
  22. Joke and Choke
    Humor and wit are important tools in argumentation, but this fallacy uses a humor to reduce a position to a joke, mocking and ridiculing an argument to deflect real issues
  23. Brown-Nose Fallacy
    Replacing actual evidence with flattery in an attempt to lower the defenses of the audience so that they won't think critically about the claim and evidence
  24. Affective Fallacy
    This fallacy is committed in elevation arguments when determining the worth of a work of art. In evaluating art, one uses criteria or a set of standards to logically measure that worth. One's emotional response, however, is not a legitimate criterion
  25. Ego Es Ibi
    Like the affective fallacy, tis fallacy employs invalid criteria for judging a work of art. Instead of using the emotional appeal, this fallacy illogically bases the worth of art on its ability to create verisimilitude
  26. Well Poisoning and Ad Hominem
    The fallacy rejects someone's argument based on the track record of the person arguing or substitute's a personal attack for a well-reasoned argument. How a person lives, even selfish motivation cannot be considered in accepting or rejecting one's claim
  27. Rubber-Glue
    Accusing your opponent of doing what he is accusing you of
  28. Raising the Ante (call for perfection)
    Agreeing with your opponent's position but then claiming that it is not going far enough or raising all objections despite any agreements
  29. Saint's Mask
    Bolstering your own position by claiming that you are not motivated by personal gain
  30. Appeal to Authority
    While it is important to establish your credibility or expertise in a subject being discussed, one cannot substitute their authority - an advanced degree, celebrity statues, or seniority - for actual support of one's claim
  31. Intentional Fallacy
    Supporting an interpretation of an artwork by claiming to know the artist's/writer's intentions in creating that work. Sometimes creators speak ironically in interviews, or they do not realize all the effects of their works. Their analysis is subject to the some burden of proof as their audience's
  32. Minority Privilege
    Used as rationale, this fallacy excuses or cuts slack for a writer's lack or credibility and questionable support because of the writer's minority status
  33. Strawman Fallacy
    Often associated with refutation arguments, this fallacy purposely misrepresent an opponent's argument in order to make it easier to reject
  34. Bandwagon
    This fallacy uses the consensus of what many people think or desire - the ethos of a group - to support or oppose a claim. Since whole groups or populations car be wrong or guilty of group thinking, this is an illogical and potentially dangerous way to support an argument