What is the most important social issue facing us as a society? Why do you feel this way?. Argumentation and Logical Fallacies. Because I Said So…. Critical Thinking Guidelines. Think in terms of “claims and reasons” Think in terms of evidence Anticipate objections Avoid Logical Fallacies.
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What is the most important social issue facing us as a society?Why do you feel this way?
Argumentation and Logical Fallacies
Because I Said So…
Evidence is the researched information that supports your claims and forms the foundation of your reasons. When choosing evidence consider:
Make strong arguments by knowing what weak ones look like…
Fallacies are the rhetorical moves that corrupt solid reasoning.
They distract readers from the fact that there is a weak, underdeveloped argument at the essay’s core.
The use of fallacies undermines and destroys the integrity of your writing.
An appeal to false authority happens when we make claims based on information from unreliable or biased sources.
Also it is important not to claim or exaggerate your own authority or credentials.
Framing yourself as an honest, if amateur, writer can even increase your credibility.
An Ad Hominem Attack happens when a writer bolsters their position by attacking the personal integrity when character really isn’t an issue.
EX: President Obama is untrustworthy because he smokes cigarettes.
This argument suggests that President Obama’s less admirable personal habits negatively affect his ability to do his job.
EX: Either you are with us, or you’re against us!
This argument suggests that there are only TWO sides to an issue: the right side and the wrong side. It negates the possibility of ambiguity by forcing the reader to commit 100% either way.
A Scare Tactic happens when a writer makes his/her appeals chiefly by raising fears.
This argument attempts to scare you into abstinence by suggesting that sex—all sex—results in pregnancy, which results in death.
An Emotional Appeal happens when a writer ignores facts and logical reasoning in favor of manipulating the readers’ emotions
This argument appeals to an assumed universal love for one’s children, and can/has been used in response to countless unrelated arguments.
Faulty Causality happens when a writer willfully manipulates the “Cause and Effect” thought process to simplify readers’ decision making.
Just because two events or phenomena occur close together does not mean one caused the other
EX: The Bears started winning when Doug started wearing his lucky bandana to work on Thursdays.
This argument suggests a connection between 2 simple, unconnected events ignoring any provable evidence.
Straw Men are easy or habitual targets that writers aim at to win arguments.
EX: I am not a feminist, because I don’t hate men.
This argument relies on an exaggerated fictional example of a feminist, and suggests that it is representative of all feminists and their beliefs
A Slippery-Slope Argument occurs when a writer warns that one step off the path they’ve laid out for the reader will result is complete disaster.
EX: If we change the definition of marriage to include same sex marriages, it won’t be long before people will want to marry their pets.
This argument suggests that one small change will immediately cause the breakdown of society.
A Band Wagon Appeal (also called the “Safety in Numbers Appeal”) happens when a writer suggests that EVERYONE believes one thing.
This rhetorical move alienates the reader, and plays on an individual’s innate need to belong.
The “Real Men” argument
suggests that everyone who
considers himself a “real man”
behaves a certain way.
Band Wagon Appeals largely
ignore the validity of individuality
and prey on feelings of insecurity
A Faulty Analogy happens when a writer attempts to emphasize their argument by connecting two things based on misleading, superficial, or implausible comparisons.
EX: "Let me clarify, we have since 1973 had 55 million abortions, so what we have going on is a baby holocaust.“
-Real quote by Jim-Bob Duggar from last week
This argument suggests that the legalization of a woman’s right to choose whether or not she terminates a pregnancy is just as horrendous and tragic as the forced and institutionalized genocide of the Jewish people in 1940s Germany.