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Transcript of Rhetorical Fallacies
These are distraction tactics used to draw the attention away from the actual argument.
An attempt to hide or ignore aspects of an argument that are too complex to create a simpler, more convincing argument than is realistically possible
NAME THAT FALLACY!
Unfair. Unreasonable. Illogical.
Flaws in an argument are often subtle, but learning to recognize them as a reader and avoid them as a writer helps you write stronger arguments and avoid falling victim to fallacies in other arguments.
An argument in which the writer does not apply evidence but simply restates the premise in other language.
Students should not be allowed to park in faculty lots because those lots are reserved for faculty.
His lies are evident from the untruthful nature of his statements.
At some point in an argument, the arguer shifts the focus to an irrelevant issue to distract from the real issue.
Fox news reporters are out to get the president, so it's no wonder we are hearing rumors about these scandals.
Grading this exam on a curve is fair because classes go more smoothly when students and their professor get along well.
Claiming a person has authority on a subject when he does not (usually a celebrity or well-known source).
Trust me; I'm a doctor
Oprah doesn't eat meat, so you shouldn't eat meat.
Fallacious Emotional Appeals
A group of fallacies that play on the emotions of the audience to mislead or distract
Fear or Pity
used to frighten people be predicting unrealistically dire consequences or by making the audience feel sorry for someone or something
If you don't support the party's tax plan, the country's economy will implode and reduce the middle class to abject poverty.
The thousands of ocean creatures killed in the BP Gulf disaster have shown us that oil is not a reliable source of energy.
Claims the idea should be accepted because a large number of people think it is true or acceptable
Everyone agrees that Ben Affleck will be the worst Batman ever, so the new movie is going to suck.
ad hominem (to the man)
Attacking a person's character rather than the argument he is making.
Why should we trust a candidate who had recently been divorced to keep her promises to us?
Smith was a lobbyist for Big Oil, so he will only look out for their interests if he is elected senator.
Claims that one wrong decision, regardless of how small, will lead to disaster in the future.
Sets up and then dismantles a weak counter argument to distract from the actual substance of the argument
Jumping to quick conclusions based on inadequate evidence.
Makes absolute statements or relies on stereotypes as evidence.
My roommate said her philosophy class is hard, and my philosophy class is hard, so all philosophy classes must be hard.
Everyone with a southern accent sounds dumb
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this)
Assumes that because one event follows another, the first event is the cause of the second.
False Dilemma (either /or decision)
A false construct that allows only two options to be possible answers for a complicated question.
An argument that assumes that because two things are alike in some ways, they are alike in all ways.
Guns are like hammers-they are both tools with metal parts that could be used to kill someone. Yet it would be ridiculous to restrict the purchase of hammers, so restrictions on purchasing guns are equally ridiculous.