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Fallacy Detective Terms
Logical Fallacy vocabulary
Terms in this set (38)
an error in logic; a place where someone has made a mistake in his thinking
when we are forming an opinion on an issue, it is often a good idea to collect other people's viewpoints on the issue; the more viewpoints, the better we understand the whole picture
the introduction of an irrelevant point into an argument
attacking an opponent's character, or his motives for believing something, instead of disproving his argument
Genetic fallacy is condemning an argument because of where it began, how it began, or who began it.
Ad hominem and tu quoque
"Andrea Dworkin has written several books arguing that pornography harms women. But Dworkin is just ugly and bitter, so why should we listen to her?"
faulty appeal to authority
an appeal to someone who has no special knowledge in the area being discussed; used to overawe us and make us reluctant to challenge that authority's viewpoint
appeal to the people
when we claim that our viewpoint is correct because many other people agree with it
The fallacy of straw man is changing or exaggerating an opponent's position or argument to make it easier to refute.
something taken for granted, or accepted as true without proof
an argument which says "P is true because Q is true, and Q is true because P is true"
changing the meaning of a word in the middle of an argument
when someone asks two questions, but one is hidden behind the other
when someone tries to say that what is true of part of something must also be true of the whole thing together
when someone tries to say that what is true of something as a whole must also be true of each of its parts
when someone asserts that we must choose between two things, when in fact we have more than two alternatives
to make broad comments about a group of people or kinds of things
generalizing about a class based upon a small or poor sample
comparing two items with each other when the items are the same in one or more respects
when the differences in the items being compared are major and the similarities minor
post hoc ergo propter hoc
concluding that since A happened before B, then A must have caused B
post hoc ergo propter hoc in statistics
A and B don't have to follow each other; if they are commonly seen together, then one must have caused the other
proof by lack of evidence
claiming something is true simply because nobody has yet given any evidence to the contrary
when someone plays with our emotions in a way designed to make us agree with them without thinking through the matter carefully
appeal to fear
when someone makes you fear the consequences of not doing what he wants
appeal to pity
when someone tries to make us do something only because we pity him, or we pity something associated with him
the technique invites us to jump on the bandwagon and do what everybody else is doing. this technique pressures us to do something just because many other people like us are doing it
when nothing more than a time limit is given as a reason for you to do what someone wants
repeating a message loudly and very often in the hope that it will soon be believed
A loaded question is a question with a false or questionable presupposition, and it is "loaded" with that presumption.
Part to Whole
Some properties are such that, if a part has the property, then the whole will too.
Some properties are such that, if every part of a whole has the property, then the part will too.
Involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The options may be a position that is between the two extremes (such as when there are shades of grey) or may be a completely different alternative.
Vagueness is a characteristic of language, specifically of those terms which classify or qualify objects, that is, common nouns and adjectives. Such terms divide the world of objects into those the term applies to—the extension of the term—and those to which it doesn't.
Transfer is a propaganda technique in which someone tries to make us transfer out good or bad feelings about one thing to another unrelated thing.
Snob Appeal is the opposite of bandwagon. While bandwagon appeals to the desire to be like everyone else, snob appeal uses our desire to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Appeal to Tradition
Encouragement to buy something or take some action because it is associated with things of the past.
Appeal to Hi-Tech
Encouragement to buy something or take some action because it is the latest thing-not necessarily because it is the best thing.
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