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Logical Fallacies Scavenger Hunt
Transcript of Logical Fallacies Scavenger Hunt
Phillip Davis, Erica Smith, Ryan Johnson, and Meagan Smith
What is a Logical Fallacy?
Logical Fallacies in
Logical fallacies are often used in popular media to persuade consumers to purchase goods or services. Logical fallacies can also be used to persuade one into believing in a particular concept or idea (i.e. political campaigns).
After scavenging the internet, we found multiple examples of logical fallacies used in popular media...
A subway commercial
A political add targeting Michelle Nunn
An ad encouraging individuals to sponsor a "fix" for shelter animals.
This commercial contains the logical fallacies:
David Perdue vs. Michelle Nunn
This video contains the
occurs when certain relevant pieces of evidence are omitted that are unfavorable to one's argument while other, more favorable pieces are presented instead. (Walker)
occurs when solely the advantages of one position are examined while solely the disadvantages of the alternative position are highlighted. (Walker)
David Perdue strategically uses certain evidence to discredit Michelle Nun's authority for government. He removes several quotes of Michelle Nun from context to present them as disadvantages of her in office.
Perdue lists no positive attributes of Nunn or any of her qualifications. On the other hand, Perdue only mentions his advantages and clearly lists his qualifications for assuming the position in government.
"Sponsor a Fix" ad
This ad contains the logical fallacies:
Appeal to Pity
Appeal to Pit
y occurs when speakers appeal to use human sympathy, rather than facts, to move people toward a conclusion. (Walker)
This add uses a picture of a sad dog, along with the idea that puppies are dying in shelters, to appeal to the emotion of the reader.
Sponsor a Fix:
How can we correct it?
Logical fallacies are particularly evident throughout media and politics. They are often used for persuading audiences to take a particular position or action. While logical fallacies are often effective in mobilizing people toward certain outcomes, they are not logically reasonable. Being aware of logical fallacies when they happen makes people, particularly consumers and voters, empowered to avoid manipulation and to make the best decision they can. Similarly, noticing fallacies can help people correctly identify the argument that is taking place and the motivation behind it.
We can correct the ad to form a logical argument by reconstructing the wording and using factual evidence.
By replacing the text intended to appeal to the emotion of the reader with factual information, replacing the picture of sad dog with a happy dog, and removing "save thousands," the ad still conveys the message without the use of logical fallacies.
Appeal to Popularity
occurs when one’s premises, persuasive though they may be, do not lead to the conclusion one is trying to prove. (Walker)
Eating Subway does not lead to the conclusion that one will train to be or ever become an athlete like Michael Phelps.
Appeal to Popularity
is based on the notion that if many people believe something is right, that the notion must be right. (Walker)
Subway is the official training restaurant for not only the Phelps family, but also for athletes everywhere. Therefore, if I am an athlete or hope to be an athlete I need to eat Subway because that is what all athletes eat. This flawed logic leads to a logical fallacy.
The ad causes readers to believe that thousands of puppies could die if one is not fixed, and that they will be saved if the reader "sponsors a fix." There is no factual evidence to support that fixing one dog will save thousands.
involves predicting that something with a very low likelihood of happening will surely occur if a particular course of action is taken. (Walker)
Chiquititah7. "It's OK, I had Subway." Youtube, Aug.
2010. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ia2676Svg8E (accessed November 16, 2014).
FixIt Foundation. "Help Stop Her Unborn Puppies From Dying In
Shelters." Fix-It Foundation, 2014. http://fixit-foundation.org/getyourfix/download.php?path=clinic_materials&f=1310029942.pdf (accessed November 16, 2014).
Perdue, David. "Bringing Common Sense to Washington."
Youtube, Sep. 9, 2014. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IEkFCukkH5Y (accessed November 16, 2014).
Walker, Dr. Graham. "Logical Criticism tues nite." Mercer Blackboard,
Fall, 2014. https://bb-mercer.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-459692-dt-content-rid-2587943_1/courses/THEO501.ONL2014F/Logical%20criticism%20tues%20nite.doc (accessed November 16, 2014).
is the concept of making an error in terms of reasoning or a logical fault which renders an argument invalid or unsound.