ENG-145 Logical Fallacies
Terms in this set (20)
failure to provide adequate evidence to support the claim made
Pointing out a logical fallacy
a way of removing an argument from the debate rather than just weakening it. If you can show that an argument commits a logical fallacy, you put the opposition in the position of justifying what the original argument should be considered at all.
Fallacies of emotion
Bandwagon, Name calling, Polarization, Straw man, Appeal to tradition, Appeal to fear
"everyone else is doing it/ believes it"
since the majority of people believe an argument/ the argument must be true or the action must be followed
("You don't want to be left out do you?")
-"85% of consumers purchase Mac computers rather than PCs"
ignores argument, attacks the person
("radical, racists, fascists, ect...)
w/o careful definitions, these names are meaningless
Exaggerates positions and groups by representing them as extreme and divisive.
Plays on need to make friends and enemies clear.
-Feminists all hate men
-Republicans are all rich
-I have the right to cary a gun. those who oppose me deserve what they get.
sets up another's position in a way that can be easily rejected
exaggeration/ distortion of a position
-environmentalist wont be satisfied until not a single human is allowed to enter national parks
-frats won't be satisfied till everon man on campus joins
-Bush took away our submarine program, idk why he'd want to leave us defenseless like that.
Appeal to Tradition
The argument/ reason of "because that's how it's always been done"
"might another possibility be better?"
"have circumstances changed?"
"are their drawbacks to the long-standing policy?"
Examples: Budweiser: King of Beers
Every great civilization in history has provided state subsidies for art and culture
Appeal to fear
a line of reasoning where you create fear in audience as a substitute for evidence
you need to go to college or else you'll end up working at McDonalds
"if you don't do X, look what will happen"
Fallicies of Logic
Beggin the questions
Post Hoc Fallacy
Begging the question
-claim is restated and passed off as evidence
"Did they give evidence, or just restate claim?"
Example: Politicians are inherently dishonest because no honest person would run for office.
only two choices in a complex situation
"is there more than two options?"
-Vote or die
-Either drink coke or have no friends at all
compare two dissimilar things.
It mimics good reasoning by drawing on our ability to recognize similarities and our tendency to draw conclusions based on those similarities.
"are they comparable?"
"are what they're relating, relevant/equatable?"
-we should lower the drinking age to 18, That's how they do it in Europe.
When a person draws a conclusion about a population based on sample size that is not large enough
We've had so much rain this winter, this is a sure sign of the drought being over
- I know 3 Frenchmen who are so rude, France is full of rude people
stating, as a conclusion, something that does not strictly follow from the premises.
It ties two unrelated ideas together with several steps missing
Doesn't follow LOGICALLY
How to locate:
"_____, then _____"
A university that can afford to build a new stadium should not have to raise tuition
- racism is wrong, therefore we need affirmative action
assumed that there is one, simple cause for something when there are actually many.
focuses on CAUSES in a situation
- the reason Columbine happened is because of violent video games
- No one would run stop signs if we had a mandatory death penalty for doing so
Post hoc fallacy
When it assumed that events that follow in time have a causal relationship
Doesn't follow TIMELY
How to locate:
-definite time reference
- I took extra Vitimin C and two days later, my cold disappeared. Everyone should take more Vitiman C.
Using plausible sounding but usually false reasons to justify a particular position that is held on less respectable grounds.
Excuses and weak explanations for behavior
How to locate:
"i mean i guess..." thought runs through
- I could have finished my paper on time if my printer had been working.
- Of course I like to drink. I'm Irish!
- I never do good on tests because I have test anxiety
one thing will inevitably cause something else to happen (usually catostrphic)
Focuses on the RESULTS or OUTCOMES of situation
Legalize marijuana, next thing we'll ahve to legalize LSD
When an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from real issue
How to locate:
"What does that have to do with the issue at hand?"
The president's tax cuts may be populat, but I suspect he had an affair and is playing the woman to keep quiet. The media should investigate that!
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