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Transcript of Logical Fallacies
Flaws in reasoning used to try to bolster weak arguments.
Politicians, advertisers, debate opponents, and
even your friends will use some of these techniques
to try to sway you.
There are many logical fallacies.
Today, let's focus on 10 of the most common ones.
Don't be fooled!
An inference drawn from insufficient evidence
Ex: My new Toyota broke down, so all Toyotas must be poorly made.
Incorrect assumption that because one event or action follows another, the first caused the second
Correlation does not imply causation.
I dyed my hair red last week. This week, three other girls showed up to school with freshly dyed red hair. They must have made the change because they liked my hair.
Unfair oversimplification of an issue by providing only
two options as a possible solution
"If you aren't
– Ricky Bobby
Exaggeration of the likely consequences of an action, designed to show that a misstep today could result in a disaster in the future
We can’t allow students to bring beverages into the auditorium. If we do, soon they’ll start bringing in snacks and then full meals. In no time at all, the place will be filled with trash, rats, and cockroaches. Good grief, we'd probably have to condemn the building!
Arguments urging you to follow the same path that everyone else is taking
A classic strategy to sell to teens
Citizen Change, a non-profit group founded by Sean Combs, also uses an either/or logical fallacy with this "Vote or Die" campaign.
Samsung Galaxy ad
Playing on readers' emotions to distract them from the facts
ASPCA ads effectively designed to make you feel like a heartless jerk if you don't donate.
Using fear to sway people by exaggerating possible dangers well beyond their statistical likelihood
Politicians from both parties often claim that their opponent will ruin the quality of life of middle class voters.
Presenting an unqualified person or institution as a source of credible information
My sixth grade teacher said that girls will fall in love with a guy who knows how to dance. Therefore, if I want to win some hearts, I need to learn to dance.
Really, what makes Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake experts on technology?
Should we view them as authorities?
In Latin, this means "to the man."
Ad hominem occurs when an opponent attacks a person's character rather than the quality of his or her idea.
A specific type of ad hominem, called "tu quoque," occurs when you accuse your opponent of being a hypocrite instead of addressing his/her point.
Political campaigns frequently use ad hominem attacks on rival candidates instead of staying focused on the real issues at hand.
someone's argument so
it's easier to attack and knock down
A straw man argument is set up here by Chipotle.
Yes, many college students eat cheap ramen noodles, but no one's arguing that ramen is the
food they should (or would want to) eat.
From the film,
Thank You for Smoking
National Rifle Association ad, 2013
In 2012, ASPCA's CEO Ed Sayres was paid a salary of
Bernstein, Jacob. "Angst at the A.S.P.C.A." The New York Times. The New York Times, 29 June 2013. Web. 23 Dec. 2014.
The full picture isn't given, though.
This changes things, right?