fallacy arguments like men are often pretenders plato l.
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FALLACY “ …arguments, like men, are often pretenders. “ Plato. Under what discipline would you study fallacies?. Logic. Remember, in forming an argument you may appeal to . . . . Ethos , appeal to ethics or morality Pathos , appeal to pity or the emotions

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FALLACY “ …arguments, like men, are often pretenders. “ Plato

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remember in forming an argument you may appeal to
Remember, in forming an argument you may appeal to . . .
  • Ethos, appeal to ethics or morality
  • Pathos, appeal to pity or the emotions
  • **Logos, appeal to reason
but what exactly is logic
But, what exactly is logic?
  • Logic is the study of the methods and principles used to distinguish good from bad reasoning ; the purpose of logic to test the correctness of arguments.
Mr. Scrooge, I certainly deserve a raise in pay. I can hardly manage to feed my children on what you have been paying me. And my youngest child, Tim, needs an operation if he is ever to walk without crutches.
  • An unsound argument in which a mistake is made when moving from a premise to a conclusion.
  • A statement supporting a conclusion.
  • Example: Since no gun powder residue was detected on the terrorist’s clothing or body, . . .
  • (Words which indicate a

premise: since, because,

as, for )

  • A statement concluded from the premise of an argument.
  • Example: . . . , the FBI concluded he could not have been the murdered.
  • (Words which indicate a conclusion: therefore,

hence, thus, so)

an argument is formed when a conclusion is drawn from a premise
An argument is formed when a conclusion is drawn from a premise.
  • Example: Since no gun powder residue was detected on his clothing or his body,the FBI concluded he could not have been the murderer.
so the logical mind will ask
So, the logical mind will ask?
  • “Does the conclusion reached follow from the premise used or assumed?
now let s take another look at the definition of a fallacy
Now let’s take another look at the definition of a fallacy:
  • A fallacy is an unsound argumentin which the conclusiondoes not follow from the premise.
appeal to pity argumentum ad misericordiam
Appeal to Pity, Argumentum ad Misericordiam
  • A fallacy committed when pity is appealed to for the sake of getting a conclusion accepted.
  • Example: But Mr. Gonzalez, I have failed 2326 four times in a row. Don’t you think I deserve to pass it this time around? How many times do I have to fail it before I pass it?
  • Officer, I know I was speeding, but I just paid for a speeding ticket just last month. Can you give me a break?
attacking the person argumentum ad hominem
Attacking the person, Argumentum ad Hominem
  • It is committed when instead of trying to disprove the truth of what is asserted, one attacks the person who made the assertion. This argument is fallacious because the personal character of a person is logically irrelevant to the truth or falsehood of what that person says or the correctness or incorrectness of that person’s argument.
  • How can you say that he is a good writer when he failed English throughout his high school years?
  • There is no way I could follow that particular religious leader since I know for a fact that in his twenties he was one of the most sinful people I ever knew.
argument from ignorance or argumentum ad ignorantiam
Argument from ignorance or Argumentum ad ignorantiam
  • This occurs when it is argued that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proven false, or that it is false because it has not been proven true.
  • Example: There must be ghosts because no one has ever been able to prove that there aren’t any.
  • Since you cannot prove that there is water on Mars, then there must be water on Mars.
appeal to popularity or argumentum ad populum
Appeal to popularity or Argumentum ad Populum
  • The attempt to win popular assent to a conclusion by arousing the emotions and enthusiasms of the multitude, rather than by appeal to relevant facts. This fallacy is also known as “jumping on the bandwagon.”
  • Example: Since so many people are now using tattoos, it follows that everyone should get one before Christmas.
prejudicial language
Prejudicial language
  • Charged, loaded or emotive terms are used to attach value or moral goodness to believing in a particular proposition.
  • Example:

Any good Catholic would agree that abortion is tantamount to murder.

Any reasonable IRS agent will agree that our income tax is way too high.

slippery slope
Slippery slope
  • On the basis of a sequence of several unacceptable premises, an illegitimate conclusion is drawn.
  • Example: You should never gamble. Once you start gambling you will find it hard to stop. Soon you are spending all your money on gambling, and eventually you will turn to a life of crime.
false dilemma
False dilemma
  • A limited number of options (usually two) is given while in reality there are more options. Putting issues or opinions into “black and white” terms is a common instance of this fallacy.
  • Example:

America:Love it or leave it.

Every person is either wholly good or wholly evil.

complex question
Complex question
  • It is obvious that there is something “funny” about questions like “Have you given up your evil ways?” or “Have you stopped cheating at cards?” These are not simple questions to which a straight forward “yes” or “no” answer can be given. Such questions presuppose that a definite answer has already been given to a prior question that was not even asked.
  • Example: Have you stopped beating your husband?
begging the question or petitio principii
Begging the question or Petitio Principii
  • If one assumes as a premise for an argument the very conclusion it is intended to prove, the fallacy committed is that of begging the question This occurs when the same proposition is repeated in both the premise and the conclusion. This is what is commonly referred to as circular reasoning.
  • Example:
  • He is an unjust man. Thus, it may me asserted that he is an an unfair man.
appeal to authority or argumentum ad verecundiam
Appeal to authority or Argumentum ad verecundiam

An authority is appealed to for testimony in matters outside the province of that authority’s special field. For example, an appeal to the opinion of a great physicist like Einstein to settle a political or economic argument would be fallacious. He may be an authority in science, but not government.


President Bush has stated that walking is the best exercise for your heart.

anonymous authority
Anonymous authority
  • The fallacy of anonymous authority is similar to the fallacy of appeal to authority, but in this particular fallacy the authority appealed to is not specified. The authority is anonymous or unknown and thus unreliable.
  • Example:

Government experts have reported that anthrax has been found in 95% of federal government buildings.