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Logical Fallacies in The Crucible
Transcript of Logical Fallacies in The Crucible
"Danforth: You are in all respects a Gospel Christian?
Proctor: I am, sir.
Parris: Such a Christian that will not come to church but once a month!
Cheever: He plow on Sunday, sir."
An argument in which the threat of rejection by ones peers is used as justification. "Peer Pressure" is a commonly used term to describe this fallacy.
"Mary: I -- I used to faint because I thought I saw spirits.
Hathorne: How could you think you saw them unless you saw them?
Mary: I cannot tell you, but I did.
I--I heard the other girls screaming and you, Your Honor, you seemed to believe them and I -- It were only sport in the beginning, sir, but then the whole world cried spirt, spirits, and I promise you, Mr. Danforth, I only thought I saw them but I did not." (pg 107)
The Ad Hominem fallacy attacks a persons character in order to weaken their argument.
Cheever and Parris use attacks at Proctor's character, rather than actual logic and evidence, to support their argument to condemn him.
Mary justifies her lie by essentially saying "everyone else was doing it" and blaming it on peer pressure.
Use of the bandwagon fallacy can be seen in many advertising slogans:
Advertising slogans like this tempt people into buying their product by convincing them that everyone else is using it, and that they love it.
The big shrimp is attempting to win votes by attacking the little shrimps character to insult his ability to run the country.
Begging the Question
"Begging the Question" is a fallacy in which a claim that something is true is used to prove its own truth.
This comic demonstrates begging the question (a.k.a. circular reasoning) because the boy can not explain his claims in any way other than repeating his statements.
"Martha Corey: I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is.
Hathorne: How do you know, then, that you are not a witch?
Martha Corey: If I were, I would know it."
Hathorne's only justification for his accusation of Martha Corey is the statement she just made. He just twisted the words around to favor himself.
"Ad Hominem: Know Your Fallacies!" Skeptical Monsters. N.p., 8 June 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
"Jump On! ....The Bandwagon?" N.p., 29 Sept. 2011. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
"When You Could Be a Target." Nesbitt and Associates. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
"Fallacy: Begging the Question." The Nizkor Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
"Begging the Question." Coffee Table Congress. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin, 1976. Print.