comm 200 fallacies

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fallacies of language
affect perception and make the difference between comprehension and misunderstanding.
include:
-ambiguity
-vagueness
-equivocation
-obscuration
ambiguity
community can apply 2 or more interpretations to it
vagueness
meaning is unclear, used to avoid risk
ex: John Doe thinks that his work experience would make him a great president.
equivocation
someone changes meanings to make argument seem more appealing
ex: What woman in her right mind could truly desire total equality with men? No woman wants the right to be shot during a war, pay alimony, or use the same restrooms as men.
obscuration
inhibits likelihood that argumentation will facilitate constructive deliberation (jargon)
ex: "It's much more about buy-in, wanting to be part of the team, synergizing, and increasing the ROI than on understanding the big picture."
fallacies of evidence
refers to the quality and quantity of information provided, as well as the assessment of the speaker's interpretation and uses of information.
includes:
-repeated assertion
-nonrepresentative instance
-unreliable source
-insufficient instances
-invalid statistical measure
repeated assertion
someone relies on repetition to provide support for an unwarranted claim
ex: You are incorrect! Why? Because you are!
nonrepresentative instance
create distorted justifications, not representative of reality or facts
ex: College students, on average, spend $200 a week on clothing and shoes, according to a survey of college sororities.
insufficient instances
advocate generalizes from an inadequate number of instances
ex: Bicyclists are so dangerous in the city. When I was in San Francisco, I saw a group of cyclists swerve in and out of traffic, causing an accident.
invalid statistical measure
biased and atypical samples, misleading graphs, non representative averages
ex: polls that do not accurately reflect public reaction to debates
unreliable source
most dependent on context, when arguers use sources that are either biased or lack credibility
Ex: According to city council woman Stacey Burns, NFL players suffer 3x as many concussions.
fallacies of reasoning
affect the links and inferences that make up an argument
include:
-straw argument
-begging the question
-circularity
-non sequitur
-appeal to ignorance
-appeal to tradition
-appeal to popular prejudice
-ad hominen
-hasty generalizatioms
-oversimplification (false dilemma and oppositional thinking)
-post hoc/ false cause
-faulty comparison
begging the question
Fallacy in which the premises include a claim that the conclusion is true or assumes that the conclusion is true.
Ex: The belief in God is universal. After all, everyone believes in God.
circularity
unsupported assertions or assumptions are used to advance controversial claims.
Ex: Mandatory seatbelt laws should be passed immediately because they are needed. Society needs to have laws that require people to wear seat belts, even if they don't want to wear them. Therefore, we should adopt mandatory seatbelt laws.
hasty generalizations
Generalizations that are unwarranted by the support provided on their behalf.
Ex :I read Amy Chua's memoir about raising her daughters to be successful using Chinese style parenting techniques. The Chinese raise such great children.
Oversimplification
when potentially relevant considerations are overlooked

false dilemma and oppositional thinking
false dilemma
A fallacy of oversimplification that offers a limited number of options (usually two) when in fact more options are available.
Ex: We either cut the social programs or we live with a huge deficit and we cant' live with a huge deficit.
oppositional thinking
A fallacy of oversimplification that divides ideas into 2 opposites, allowing no middle ground.
Ex: You're either with the terrorists or against America.
post hoc
"after the fact, therefore because of the fact" assumes that because one event occurred prior to another, one was caused by the other.
Ex: As ice cream sales go up, so does the crime rate. Therefore, the increase in ice cream sales causes an increase in the crime rate
straw argument
Here is a technique we've all seen and hear used by politicians seeking election. Caricaturizing or distorting an opposing view so that it's easy to refute
(Example: You say you support allowing people under eighteen to drive alone. I'll never understand why weak-willed individuals like you are willing to risk your lives and the lives of others by letting these inexperienced teenagers on the road.)
faulty comparison
type of non sequester reasoning, used when conclusions are drawn based on unwarranted comparisons
appeal to ignorance
Assumption that whatever cannot be proven false must be true (or vice versa). Unfair shift in the burden of proof. "No one can prove that the Loch Ness monster doesn't exist, so therefore, it does exist."
appeal to popular prejudice
advocate claims that because most people believe a claim to be true, it is true. too much reliance on public opinion results in this fallacy.
appeal to tradition
advocate argues that a practice is moral or a belief is correct because it conforms with tradition
ad hominem
challenges claims based on the basis of who made them
non sequitur
Latin for "it does not follow." When one statement isn't logically connected to another.
Ex: Senator Jones says we shouldn't fund the missile defense system. I disagree entirely. I work at defense company.
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