Fallacies of Reason - FreeServers

Fallacies of Reason - FreeServers

Discourse Fallacies Argument and Reasoning a rg u m e n ts v a lid lo g ic a l fa lla c ie s fa lla c io u s d is c o u r s e fa lla c ie s s u b je c tiv is t fa lla c ie s fa lla c ie s o f c r e d ib ility

s u b je c tiv is m a p p e a l to m a jo r ity a p p e a l to a u th o r ity a p p e a l to e m o tio n a p p e a l to fo rc e Categories

of Fallacious Reasoning fa lla c ie s o f lo g ic a l s tr u c tu r e b e g g in g th e q u e s tio n p o s t h o c e rg o p ro p te r h o c fa ls e a lte r n a tiv e a p p e a l to

ig n o r a n c e non s e q u itu r ad h o m in e m a rg u m e n ts v a lid lo g ic a l fa lla c ie s fa lla c io u s d is c o u r s e fa lla c ie s

s u b je c tiv is t fa lla c ie s s u b je c tiv is m a p p e a l to m a jo r ity a p p e a l to e m o tio n a p p e a l to fo rc e fa lla c ie s o f lo g ic a l s tr u c tu r e b e g g in g th e q u e s tio n

p o s t h o c e rg o p ro p te r h o c fa ls e a lte r n a tiv e a p p e a l to ig n o r a n c e non s e q u itu r fa lla c ie s o f c r e d ib ility a p p e a l to

a u th o r ity ad h o m in e m Categories of Fallacious Reasoning Fallacy of Subjectivism I believe (or want) x to be true, therefore x is true. Well, I was just brought up to believe that x.

That may be true for you but it isnt true for me. Appeal to Majority A majority of people believe x, therefore x is true. I use correlation analysis as my statistical technique because it is one of the most popular methods among social scientists. Socialized medicine is good social policy because it is the wave of the future. Appeal to Emotion Not all emotional

arguments are appeals to emotion. A coherent argument can have profound emotive force. The trouble comes when the pathos replaces the logos. Appeal to Force (argumentum ad baculum) Appeals to force can take the form of

actual physical threats. Usually they do not. The appeal to force is committed whenever any kind of threat is used to secure agreement with a conclusion. Appeal to Force (argumentum ad baculum) Examples: Parents threaten to withdraw support of a child who wont adopt their religious beliefs.

Teachers threaten dissenting students with lower grades. Persuasion by threatening the loss of affection. Holding dissenters up to ridicule. The appeal to force occurs whenever intimidation supplants logic.

Identify the Fallacy Is it subjectivism, appeal to majority, appeal to emotion, or appeal to force? The Golden Rule is a sound moral principle, for it is basic to every system of ethics in every culture. appeal to majority Identify the Fallacy Is it subjectivism, appeal to majority, appeal to emotion, or appeal to force? Foreign imports are wrecking our economy and savaging our workers, the backbone of our country. Buy American! Before you put your money on that

Honda, think of the guy in Detroit whose kids may not eat tomorrow. Before you buy those Italian pumps, ask yourself whether a little glamour is worth the job of the shoemaker in Boston whos worked all his life to make an honest living. appeal to emotion Identify the Fallacy Is it subjectivism, appeal to majority, appeal to emotion, or appeal to force? You can argue all you want to that democracy gives us only the illusion of control over the government, but I dont buy it. I was brought up to believe in the democratic system.

subjectivism Identify the Fallacy Is it subjectivism, appeal to majority, appeal to emotion, or appeal to force? The most effective way to increase government revenues would be to raise the corporate income tax, since opinion polls show widespread support for such an approach. appeal to majority Identify the Fallacy Is it subjectivism, appeal to majority, appeal to emotion, or appeal to force?

Warning! Before answering the next question, please remember who assigns the grades in this course. appeal to force Identify the Fallacy Is it subjectivism, appeal to majority, appeal to emotion, or appeal to force? Fine. Go ahead and marry him. Why should you care about breaking your mothers heart? I guess you love him more than me -- but why should I care? Who am I to complain? Im only your mother. I only spent twenty years trying to make a good match for you, a nice boy, and now you run

off . . . . appeal to emotion a rg u m e n ts v a lid lo g ic a l fa lla c ie s fa lla c io u s d is c o u r s e fa lla c ie s s u b je c tiv is t fa lla c ie s s u b je c tiv is m a p p e a l to

m a jo r ity a p p e a l to e m o tio n a p p e a l to fo rc e fa lla c ie s o f lo g ic a l s tr u c tu r e b e g g in g th e q u e s tio n p o s t h o c e rg o p ro p te r h o c

fa ls e a lte r n a tiv e a p p e a l to ig n o r a n c e non s e q u itu r fa lla c ie s o f c r e d ib ility a p p e a l to a u th o r ity ad h o m in e m

Categories of Fallacious Reasoning Appeal to Authority (Argumentum ad Verecundiam) Rely on experts only if the conditions of credibility are satisfied. The putative expert must be competent. The putative expert must be objective. The subject matter must be too

technical for the audience. Ad Hominem Attacking the speaker More sophisticated is and not her argument. the tu quoque variant. x says that p and x is Accusing the accuser bad therefore p is false. of the accusation. Traits of the speaker Poisoning the well is relevant only when another variant.

assessing the Attacking a position competence of an by claiming an expert. inconsistency with Crudest form: insult. other positions. Identify the Fallacy Is it appeal to authority, or ad hominem (including tu quoque and poisoning the well)? I think America should be more careful about the international organizations we join and the

treaties we sign. After all, wasnt it George Washington himself who warned against foreign entanglements? appeal to authority Identify the Fallacy Is it appeal to authority, or ad hominem (including tu quoque and poisoning the well)? Why should Congress consult the Joint Chiefs of Staff about military funding? They are military men, so obviously they will want as much money as they can get. Ad hominem -- poisoning the well

Identify the Fallacy Is it appeal to authority, or ad hominem (including tu quoque and poisoning the well)? A: The poor nations of the world will have to learn to produce their own food if they are to solve the problem of hunger in the long run. B: Thats a heartless position. You would never have said that if you had ever really been hungry. ad hominem Identify the Fallacy Is it appeal to authority, or ad hominem (including tu quoque and poisoning the well)?

This must be an important event. The New York Times gave it four columns on the front page. appeal to authority Identify the Fallacy Is it appeal to authority, or ad hominem (including tu quoque and poisoning the well)? TV commentators are always attacking big business for making obscene profits, but the companies they work for have higher profits than almost any other industry. ad hominem -- tu quoque

a rg u m e n ts v a lid lo g ic a l fa lla c ie s fa lla c io u s d is c o u r s e fa lla c ie s s u b je c tiv is t fa lla c ie s fa lla c ie s o f c r e d ib ility s u b je c tiv is m a p p e a l to

m a jo r ity a p p e a l to a u th o r ity a p p e a l to e m o tio n a p p e a l to fo rc e Categories of Fallacious Reasoning

fa lla c ie s o f lo g ic a l s tr u c tu r e b e g g in g th e q u e s tio n p o s t h o c e rg o p ro p te r h o c fa ls e a lte r n a tiv e a p p e a l to ig n o r a n c e non

s e q u itu r ad h o m in e m Begging the Question (Circular Reasoning) Using an arguments conclusion as one of its premises. Example: Society has an obligation to support the needy because people who cannot provide for themselves have a right to the resources of the community.

Begging the Question (Circular Reasoning) Using an arguments conclusion as one of its premises. Example: a. Why do you believe God exists? b. Because the Bible says so. a. Why do you take the Bibles word for it? b. Because God wrote it. Begging the Question (Circular Reasoning) Using an arguments conclusion as one of its premises. Complex Question:

Have you stopped beating your spouse? There are two questions here. The first is implicit: have you been beating your spouse? An affirmative answer to this is presupposed in the explicit question. Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (after this, thus because of this) A took place before B, therefore A caused B.. Example: Marijuana use should remain illegal because most heroin addicts started off as marijuana users. Then lets make milk drinking illegal too!

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (after this, thus because of this) Spurious correlation Two variables correlate positively to the extent that their values rise and fall together. They correlate negatively to the extent that one rises whenever the other falls, and vice versa. Importantly, correlation is not causation! Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (after this, thus because of this)

Spurious correlation Ice Cream Sales Social Unrest Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (after this, thus because of this) Spurious correlation Hot Weather Ice Cream

Sales Social Unrest False Alternative Failure to consider all the possibilities. Joe is a liberal because hes not a conservative. Often found in a complex question: Do you favor reducing the deficit by increasing taxes or by reducing social spending? Sometimes seen in public opinion research. Absolutely nothing can be shown from data produced by such questions.

Appeal to Ignorance (Argumentum ad Ignorantiam) p hasnt been proven false, so p is true. The positive proposition generally starts the argument and bears the evidenciary burden of proof. Legal principles apply rules to avoid

appeals to ignorance. The presumption of innocence in criminal law. The presumption of non-liability in civil law. Non Sequitur (It Does Not Follow) Here, the premises are irrelevant to the conclusion. Example: Internet pornography is harmful. Therefore there ought to be a law against it. Whats missing? Support for the implicit contention that government

intervention is appropriate in this case. Why might it not be? First amendment. Global scope of internet. Non Sequitur (It Does Not Follow) Another form: Because an action had certain conse-quences, they were intended. Another form is diversion or red herring. Changing issues in

middle of argument. The straw man argument. Distorting opponents position. Oversimplifying or caricaturing opponents argument. Arguing against a position no one has taken. Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed?

The federal government should save New York City from default, for New York deserves such aid. begging the question Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed? The layoffs at Acme Corporation were obviously racist: over 60 percent of the people laid off were Puerto Rican. non sequitur Identify the Fallacy

Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed? Hard-core pornography is disgusting and offensive to any civilized person, so it cannot be included in the right to free speech. non sequitur Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed? Six months after President Hoover took office in 1929, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. He is therefore

responsible for this tragic episode in our national history. post hoc ergo propter hoc Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed? Why are you so skeptical about ESP? Can you prove that it doesnt exist? appeal to ignorance Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure

are committed? Congressman Jones denies that hes a liberal, so he must be a conservative. false alternative Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed? As a determinist, I believe that none of our actions results from free choice, and that all of them are determined by the strongest motive acting upon us. To be sure, it sometimes does seem that we choose to act on the weaker of two motives. But if we do

that, it only shows that the motive which seemed weaker was really the stronger of the two, since it determined our action. begging the question Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed? Twenty-five years after graduation, Harvard alumni have average incomes much higher than the average college graduate. A Harvard education must be the road to riches. post hoc ergo propter hoc

Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed? Opinion poll question: Do you favor more money for welfare programs, or do you feel we should let people starve in the streets? false alternative Identify the Fallacy Which fallacy or fallacies of logical structure are committed? Mary says she loves me. I dont know whether to believe her or not, but I guess I do, because I dont

think she would lie to someone she loves about something that important. begging the question The Naturalistic Fallacy Deriving an evaluative conclusion from descriptive premises. Inferring ought from is. Should be at least one evaluative premise if conclusion is evaluative. Example: We should teach multiplication by rote because we have always done so. Searles naturalistic fallacy fallacy. Duffys naturalistic fallacy fallacy fallacy.

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