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Logical Fallacies

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Ami-lyn Ward

on 28 February 2013

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Transcript of Logical Fallacies

Recognizing Fallacies Fallacies are illogical statements that may sound reasonable or true but are actually deceptive and dishonest. Begging the Question Argument from Analogy Appeal to Doubtful Authority Red Herring Hasty or Sweeping Generalization Personal Attack:
Ad Hominem False Dilemma:
Either/Or Fallacy Assumes in the premise what the arguer should be trying to prove in the conclusion.
Asks readers to agree that certain points are self evident when in fact they are not Analogy: explains something unfamiliar by comparing it to something familiar
Just because an analogy can help explain abstract or unclear ideas, it does not constitute proof.
An argument based on an analogy frequently ignores important dissimilarities, and this causes a fallacious argument. Often people will attempt to strengthen an argument with references to experts or famous people. These appeals are valid when the person referred to is an expert in the area being discussed. They are not valid, however, when the individuals cited have no expertise on the issue. This tries to divert attention from the facts of an argument by attacking the motives or character of the person making the argument. The focus of an argument is shifted to divert the audience from the actual issue. A conclusion is reached on the
basis of too little evidence. A writer suggest that only two alternatives exist even though there may be other options. Unfair and shortsighted legislation that limits free trade is a threat to the American economy. Restrictions against free trade may or may not be unfair and shortsighted, but emotionally loaded language does not constitute proof. The statement begs the question because it assumes what it should be proving--that legislation that limits free trade is unfair and shortsighted. The overcrowded conditions in some parts of our city have forced people together like rats in a cage. Like rats, they will eventually turn on one another, fighting and killing until a balance is restored. It is therefore necessary that we vote to appropriate funds to build low-cost housing. No evidence is offered to establish that people behave like rats under these or any other conditions. Just because two things have some characteristics in common, you should not assume they are alike in other aspects. The public should not take seriously Dr. Mason's plan for improving county health services. He is a former alcoholic whose wife recently divorced him This attack on Dr. Mason's characters says nothing about the quality of his plan. Sometimes a connection exists between a person's private and public lives; however, often times no connection is presented. Because our son benefited from home schooling, every child should be educated in this manner. Perhaps other children would benefit from home schooling, but perhaps not, so no conclusion about children in general can be reached on the basis of one child. We must choose between life and death, between intervention and genocide. No one can be neutral on this issue. An argument like this oversimplifies an issue to force people to choose between extremes. It does not let people explore more moderate positions. The mayor has proposed a new sports stadium. how can he even consider allocating millions of dollars to this scheme when so many professional athletes are being paid such high salaraies? The focus of this argument should be the merits of the sports stadium; the athletes' high salaries are irrelevant. According to Diane Sawyer, interest rates will remain low during the next fiscal year. Although Diane Sawyer is a respected journalist, she is not an expert in finance or business; therefore, her assertion about interest rates are not more than a personal opinion or educated guess. Post Hoc
Reasoning Assumes that because two events occur close together in time, the first must be the cause of the second. Every time a Republican is elected president, a recession follows. If we want to avoid another recession, we should elect a Democrat. Even if it were true that recessions always occur during the tenure of Republican presidents, no causal relationship has been established. EVERYTHING is an argument! We are bombarded with arguments in the media, in the classroom, by our friends and those around us. It is important to be able to recognize logical fallacies in media messages as well as in conversation. This knowledge helps us avoid manipulation by fallacious claims and teaches us to avoid making those claims ourselves. Read about and research your fallacy. Then (1) define the fallacy, (2) provide a textual example (different from the example in this prezi), (3) include a visual (poster, photo, print ad), and (4) include a video of the fallacy in action. Consider commercials, presidential/local officials' debates or sound bites, sitcom episodes, satirical skits, etc. If you cannot find a visual or a video, create one and upload it. Appeal to Ignorance Uses an opponent's inability to disprove a conclusion as proof of the conclusion's correctness God must exist because it has never been proven that He does not. If there is insufficient proof or evidence for a claim, we should neither believe it nor disbelieve it because of an appeal to ignorance. When good reasons are lacking then a rational conclusion to draw may be the answer is undetermined. Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide (11th Edition, 559-562)
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