11 terms

Fallacies

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Slippery Slope
an idea or course of action which will lead to something unacceptable, wrong, or disastrous. Ex: If you allow the students to redo this test, they're going to want to redo every assignment for the rest of the year.
Appeal to the Bandwagon (fallacy)
A proposition is claimed to be true or good solely because many people believe it to be good and true. Ex: Everyone knows that Norte Dame will win the football game this weekend.
Ad Hominem
a fallacy that attacks the person rather than dealing with the real issue in dispute.
Ex: A mother who tells the pediatrician that she doesn't trust his judgment because he has never been a parent.
Appeal to Authority
Believing that something is true because an expert says that the statement is true.
Ex: X says Y is true. X is an expert therefore Y is true.
Red Herring/Obfuscation
when a person brings a topic into a conversation that distracts from the original point, especially if the new topic is introduced in order to distract. Ex: Reporter: "Mr. President, has there been any progress about the government shutdown?" President: " I'm happy to report that unemployment numbers are way down this year."
The Straw Man
A fallacy that occurs when a speaker chooses a deliberately poor or oversimplified example in order to ridicule and refute an idea. You substitute a person 's actual position with a distorted version. Ex: Pamela is the class secretary. She says that she thinks that the class should do more service projects. Mark says he can't believe that Pamela doesn't support the annual school dance.
Appeal to Hypocrisy (tu quoque)
countering a charge with a charge, rather than addressing the issue being raised, with the intention of diverting attention away from the original argument. Ex: How can you excuse me of stealing a donut? You take food from the cafeteria all the time!
Groupthink
The mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives. The group is more concerned with maintaining unity than with objectively evaluating their situation or options.
Ex: I am a member of the Republican Party. I will always vote for the Republican candidates in every election.
Scapegoating
Blaming an innocent person or a group for one's own troubles
False Dilemma or Black and White Fallacy
limiting possibilities to only two alternatives, even though other alternatives exist
Guilt by Association
guilt ascribed to someone not because of any evidence but because of their association with an offender. Guilt is automatically assumed because of a relationship with an unsavory group.