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Reteaching: Logic (Practical Arguments)
These are the terms given in Practical Argument. Please study these so that you can master identifying and analyzing them for the rest of your life. Don't just cram to pass a test in class.
Terms in this set (26)
begging the question
assumes that a statement is self evident or true, when it actually requires proof.
Major Premise: Everything in the Bible is true .
Minor Premise: The Bible says that Noah built an ark.
Conclusion: Therefore, Noah's Ark really existed.
occurs when someone supports a statement by restating it in different terms.
Ex) Stealing is wrong because it is illegal.
OR "I love your new hairstyle."
"It's not new, it's just changed." (same meaning different words)
A comparison of two items that need more evidence to be supported. (comparison that is not done properly. Compares two things that shouldn't be compared.)
Ex) Believing in the literal resurrection of Jesus is like believing in the literal existence of zombies.
ad hominem fallacy
occurs when someone attacks the character or the motives of a person instead of focusing on the issue.
Ex) "How can you argue your case for vegetarianism when you are enjoying your steak?"
a weak argument that can easily be refuted. This gives the impression that they have effectively refuted the opponent's argument.
Ex) Those who oppose raising the minimum wage are heartless. They obviously don't care if children starve.
hasty or sweeping generalization or jumping to a conclusion
occurs when someone reaches a conclusion that is based on too little evidence.
Ex) Children should be seen not heard
Little Colin is a child.
Therefore: Colin should not be heard.
either/or fallacy or false dilemma
occurs when a person says that there are just two choices when there are actually more.
Ex) You are either with God, or against him.
occurs when a key term has one meaning in one part of an argument and another meaning in another part.
Ex) The sign said "fine for parking here," so because it was fine, I parked there.
occurs when a person raises an irrelevant side to an issue to divert attention from the real issue.
Ex) Obama wants us to vote for him, but his father was a Muslim. How can we possibly trust him with national security?
slippery-slope (floodgates fallacy or foot-in-the-door fallacy)
occurs when a person argues that one thing will inevitably result from another.
Ex) You can never give anyone a break, if you do they will walk all over you.
asserts that a statement is false because it is inconsistent with what the speaker has said or done.
Ex) How can you tell me not to smoke when you used to smoke?
Why do I have to be home by midnight? Didn't you stay out late when you were my age?
appeal to doubtful authority
occurs when people use the ideas of non experts to support their arguments.
Ex) When celebrities give their opinions about climate change or foreign affairs. They are not experts and therefore, have no authority.
misuse of statistics
occurs when data are misrepresented.
Ex) Giving a statistic about drunk driving deaths when the numbers are actually not just drunk drivers but also drunk pedestrian deaths and passengers of drunk drivers.
asserts that because two events occurred closely in time, one event must be related to the other.
Ex) A baseball player wears the same shirt every game. Because he has won several times while wearing the shirt, he believes it brings him good luck.
occurs when a conclusion does not follow from the premise.
Ex) Meghan drives an expensive car, so she must be earning a lot of money.
occurs when you try to convince people that something is true because it is widely held to be true.
Ex) Officer, I didn't do anything wrong. Everyone around me was going the same speed.
moves from general statements, or premises, to specific
conclusions; illustrated with a syllogism, which consists
of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion
pattern of reasoning that begins with a major premise (general statement that relates two terms), then moves to a minor premise (example of the statement in the major premise), and ends with a conclusion that SHOULD BE supported by the two premises.
when the syllogism's conclusion follows logically from its premises
when the syllogism's premises are consistent with the facts
syllogism that is both valid and true.
a syllogism with one or two parts of its argument (usually, the major premise) missing
begins with specific observations (or evidence) and moves to a general conclusion; measured as strong or weak and may place thesis at the end; [hint: the scientific method]
begins with the assumption that people of goodwill can find solutions to problems that they have in common; encourages a cooperative relationship for common ground—points of agreement about a problem; often used for refutation
describes the key components of an argument as the claim, reason, warrant, backing; generally used for the paragraphs and sentences rather than structure overall
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