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The Straw Man Fallacy

An overview of the "Straw Man" Fallacy.

Emily Landkamer

on 21 January 2013

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Transcript of The Straw Man Fallacy

The "Straw Man" A logical fallacy Definition:"Straw Man"? How to Identify Usage of the Fallacy How to AVOID..? Other Examples A Visual Representation A Video Overview This fallacy involves criticizing a distorted, exaggerated, and simply misrepresented version of the argument to create the illusion of refuting the original proposition. - Often involves a strong, legitimate "original" argument that is difficult to refute

- Involves knowing, willful deception; the attacker is fully aware that he is refuting a distorted argument instead of the original.

- Refusal to "play by the rules": the attacker, well aware of the argument's legitimacy, intentionally misrepresents the argument for the sake of the appearance of winning. Person A: We should put more money into health and education.

Person B: You obviously hate our country. Cutting military spending will only result in our country left defenseless, - If you see this going on, you should CORRECT the misrepresentation and try to get the argument back on track.

- If it's an honest mistake, and the arguer is willing to correct their misunderstanding, great!

- If you see this happening again and again, there is no point engaging argumentatively with this person. The Claim: People who are in favor of abortion think it is okay to commit cold-blooded murder. The usage of the term in rhetoric conveys a human figure made of straw which is easily knocked down or destroyed, such as a military training dummy, or scarecrow. Person A: Ice Cream should be added to public schools' everyday lunch menus.

Person B: That wouldn't be very healthy.

Person A: Do you want our kids to starve? From 0:28 - 1:32
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