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Chapter 5 - Fallacies of Argument

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by

Ingrid Barkoczy

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 5 - Fallacies of Argument

Chapter 5 - Fallacies of Argument
Faulty reasoning
Arguments that are flawed by their very nature or structure

What is a fallacy?
Scare tactics
Either-Or Choices
Slippery Slope
Overly Sentimental Appeals
Bandwagon Appeals

Fallacies of
Emotional Arguments
Appeals to False Authority
Dogmatism
Ad Hominem Arguments
Stacking the Deck

Fallacies of Ethical Argument
Hasty Generalization
Faulty Causality
Begging the Question
Equivocation
Non Sequitur
Straw Man
Red Herring
Faulty Analogy

Fallacies of Logical Argument
Scare Tactics
Exaggerating possible dangers well beyond their statistical likelihood
Used to stampede legitimate fears into panic or prejudice
Ex: Illegal immigration – job loss

Either-Or Choices
Reducing complicated issues to just two options, one obviously preferable to the other

Slippery Slope
Today’s tiny misstep = tomorrow’s slide into disaster
Exaggerating the consequences

Overly Sentimental Appeals
Use of emotions to distract from fact
Loss of housing – loss of child’s right to live
Much more complicated than just the big, bad bank

Bandwagon Appeals
Urge people to follow the same path everyone else is taking
Peer pressure – “Come on, everyone else is doing it.”

Appeals to False Authority
Writer offering themselves or other authorities as sufficient warrant for believing a claim
Misinterpretation of the Constitution (a very debatable matter)
Religious groups and the authority of their religious text (only useful for that group)

“Trust, but verify” ~ Ronald Reagan

Dogmatism
That a particular position is the only one that is conceivably acceptable
Truth is self-evident and needs no support or evidence
When someone claims that raising an argument is totally unacceptable and links the argument to racism, sexism, being un-patriotic, blasphemy, being insensitive, or offense

Ad Hominem Arguments
Latin for “to the man”
Attacks the character of a person rather than the claims he or she makes
Personal attacks
Tricky in nature – courts and witnesses

Stacking the Deck
Showing only one side of the story
Super Size Me
Michael Moore

Hasty Generalizations
Inference drawn from insufficient evidence
stereotypes

Faulty Causality
Latin – post hoc – “after this, therefore because of this”
Faulty assumption – because one event or action follows another, the first causes the second

Begging the Question
Assuming as true the very claim that’s disputed

Circular argument

Equivocation
Half truths or arguments that give lies an honest appearance
Based on tricks of language

Non Sequitur
Argument whose claims, reasons, or warrants don’t connect logically

Straw Man
Attacking an argument that isn’t really there, often a much weaker or more extreme one than the opponent is actually making


Red Herring
Changes the subject abruptly to throw readers or listeners off the trail

Faulty Analogy
Inaccurate or inconsequential comparisons between objects or concepts
Full transcript