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Logical Fallacies. English 102. What is a logical fallacy?. A fallacy is an error of reasoning. These are flawed statements that often sound true

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what is a logical fallacy
What is a logical fallacy?
  • A fallacy is an error of reasoning. These are flawed statements that often sound true
  • Logical fallacies are often used to strengthen an argument, but if the reader detects them the argument can backfire, and damage the writer’s credibility
why study logical fallacies
Why study logical fallacies?

It is important to develop logical fallacy detection skills in your own writing, as well as others’.

Think of this as “intellectual kung-fu: the art of intellectual self defense.”

types of logical fallacies
Types of Logical Fallacies
  • Fallacies of Relevance
    • These fallacies appeal to evidence or examples that are irrelevant to the argument at hand.
    • “Bandwagon Approach”
      • “It must be cool because everyone is doing it…”
slippery slope
Slippery Slope

If A happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically equating A and Z.

Example?

ad hominem
Ad hominem:

This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments.

Example?

genetic fallacy
Genetic Fallacy:

A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person, idea, institute, or theory determine its character, nature, or worth.

Example?

false dilemma
False Dilemma

The arguer claims that there are only two options and one is unacceptable so we must accept the other.  However in actuality there are other alternatives.

hasty generalization
Hasty Generalization

Any argument that draws a generalization based on a small or unrepresentative sample size.

Example?

red herring
Red Herring:

When the arguer changes the subject and take the listener down a different, unrelated path.

appeals to force fear
Appeals to force/fear

The arguer tries to get you to accept their view on the grounds that you will be harmed if you don’t.

appeals to pity
Appeals to pity

The arguer tries to get you to accept their view on the grounds that they will be harmed if you don’t.

guilt by association
Guilt by Association

The arguer suggests her opponent’s views should be rejected because the opponent is a member of a perceived disreputable group or the views of the opponent are also held by persons of a disreputable group.

resources
Resources 
  • The Owl at Purdue
  • THE Nizkor Project