Logical Fallacies (IB SL Lang+Lit)
Terms in this set (10)
Black and white reasoning
pretending there are only two possible choices, when in fact there are more.
"You're either with us, or against us."
Begging the question/Circular reasoning
the argument includes its conclusion in its premise.
"Whatever is less dense than water will float, because such objects won't sink in water."
misrepresenting someone's argument in order to make it easier to attack.
"I think some teachers are not as good as others, and can be trained to be better." "I can't believe you said that you hate all teachers. No-one can take that argument seriously."
No true Scotsman
using an appeal to purity to dismiss relevant criticism.
Example: Angus declares that Scotsmen do not put sugar on their porridge, to which Lachlan points out that he is a Scotsman and puts sugar on his porridge. Furious, like a true Scot, Angus yells that no true Scotsman sugars his porridge.
using a personal experience or an isolated example as evidence, rather than looking a the larger picture or wider statistics.
"My grandfather smoked and he lived to be 90. I don't think cigarettes will kill you."
assuming that what is true about one part of something automatically means it is true about all, or other parts of it.
"Domesticated dogs are friendly. That means all dogs the world over must be friendly."
judging something good or bad on the basis of where it comes from or who it comes from.
"The senator said we should not trust information that comes from the media because we all know how unreliable the media can be."
not answering criticism because you respond with your own criticism.
"Oh yeah? Well you do the same thing, only worse."
attacking your opponent's character or personal traits in order to undermine their argument.
"Why should we believe President Obama's opinion? He's not a real American and he's an elitist to boot."
asserting that if we allow A to happen, then Z will automatically happen too; therefore we should not allow A to happen.
"If you don't go to bed on time, you won't do well in school, and then you won't get into a good college, and then you won't get a job, and then you'll lose your house, and then you'll end up homeless. So get to bed!"
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