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Logical Fallacy: The Straw Man

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by

Anna Preite

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Logical Fallacy: The Straw Man

Logical Fallacy: The Straw Man
What is The Straw Man?
The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. An opponent's argument is usually overstated or misrepresented in order to be more easily attacked or refuted.
Pop Culture Example #1
The straw man fallacy often takes place in political campaigns between opposing sides. Often times you see them in the shape of a commercial where the opponent misleads you to believe his/her opponent did something they didn't simply by taking it out of context.
Pop Culture Example #2
In addition to political campaigns, often times marketing uses the straw man to undermine their competitors product.

You often see these commercials comparing their product with their competitors in a way that makes you mentally degrade the other product and agree with what they are saying even if you don't know the other product well at all.
Straw Man Example in the Crucible
An example of a straw man in the play is when John Proctor's accusations against Abigail Williams were overshadowed by Judge Danforth questioning John about his attendance in church and his religious beliefs.

This straw man fallacy was committed by Judge Danforth against John Proctor.

The reason why this is a straw man is because once Judge Danforth interjects his statement about John's beliefs and church attendance, John's statements are immediately disregarded. This allows Danforth to easily attack Proctor and make his accusations seem unworthy of consideration.
In this campaign commercial you can see that the Romney campaign made an attack on Obama's attempts to talk about Iraq.

The reason why this is a straw man is because the way it was presented, and the statement at the end attacked Obama's statement even though we don't necessarily know the context of this statement. Romney's plan behind this video was to misrepresent what Obama was saying and turn it into a negative statement.
In this commercial, Chevy uses a creative way to make you believe that their product is more dependable than a Ford truck.

Without even knowing the ratings of a Ford truck, this interpretation of the commercial allows you to automatically assume a Chevy truck is better.
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