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Fallacies. false or illogical arguments that often, at first, appear to make sense. Three Categories. Diversionary Tactics. Interpreting Evidence. Evading Evidence. Black or White Oversimplification Apriorism Impossible action/appeal for perfection Appeal to emotion. Ad Hominem

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fallacies

Fallacies

false or illogical arguments that often, at first, appear to make sense

three categories
Three Categories

Diversionary Tactics

Interpreting Evidence

Evading Evidence

Black or White

Oversimplification

Apriorism

Impossible action/appeal for perfection

Appeal to emotion

  • Ad Hominem
  • Poisoning the Well
  • Distraction
  • Abandonment of Discussion
  • Pointing to another wrong
  • Appeal to Ignorance
  • Circular Reasoning
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Non Sequitur
  • Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
  • Of the Beard
  • False Analogy
  • Bandwagon
interpreting evidence
Interpreting Evidence
  • Common characteristic:
  • “People Fallacies”
    • People make these mistakes from evidence to conclusion through insufficient evidence and lack of relevant reasoning.
fallacy of hasty generalization
Fallacy of Hasty Generalization
  • Making a generalization or conclusion based on insufficient evidence
    • "All teens are ...... because I saw one .......
    • "Girls are horrible drivers.“
fallacy of non sequitur
Fallacy of Non-Sequitur
  • Latin for “it does not follow”
  • Conclusion does not logically follow from the evidence
    • No relevant connection between evidence and conclusion (or cause/effect)
    • Most common fallacy
    • “I didn’t do my homework last night because my dog needed a bath”
fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc
Fallacy of Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
  • Latin for “after this, therefore because of this”
  • Based on irrelevancies
  • if A precedes B, it need not therefore be the cause of B, even though we may lazily assume it is
    • A may have been the only sufficient cause of B
    • A may have been one of several necessary causes
    • A and B may be entirely coincidental
post hoc ergo propter hoc example
Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc Example
  • conclusion is based on a very recent event that has no evidence to establish a connection between event and effect
    • "Since that new school was built, drug use among our teens has skyrocked. Better that it would never have been built.“
      • falsely argued cause-to-effect or effect-to-cause relationship
fallacy of the beard
Fallacy of the Beard
  • Domino Effect
  • chain-reaction argument where one force (cause) produces one effect, and then goes on to predict the same cause will produce numerous other effects
    • attempts to make future predictions
    • If students move computers in school, they may be held liable if they damage the computer. In the process of damaging the computer, students may injure themselves or others. The injured student/s could then sue the school, in which case the school may suffer in terms of teacher salary, equipment it can afford, and ultimately, the quality of education students receive.
  • Name derived from ancient Greek Philosophers who pondered how many hairs it took to make a beard
    • Answer is different in China than America
fallacy of false analogy
Fallacy of False Analogy
  • comparison between two things where the relevant differences outnumber the real similarities
  • analogy weakens an argument if improper, if grounds for comparison are too vague, or if the analogy is stretched too far
    • School is like prison.
fallacy of the bandwagon
Fallacy of the Bandwagon
  • an action is urged, and the reason/evidence for that action is simply that others are doing it
  • appeals to everyone's sense of wanting to belong or be accepted
  • Everyone on the team wears hightops; it's the only way to go.
three categories1
Three Categories

Diversionary Tactics

Interpreting Evidence

Evading Evidence

Black or White

Oversimplification

Apriorism

Impossible action/appeal for perfection

Appeal to emotion

  • Ad Hominem
  • Poisoning the Well
  • Distraction
  • Abandonment of Discussion
  • Pointing to another wrong
  • Appeal to Ignorance
  • Circular Reasoning
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Non Sequitur
  • Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
  • Of the Beard
  • False Analogy
  • Bandwagon
evading evidence
Evading Evidence
  • Common characteristics:
  • Basic disregard for evidence
  • Judgments are based on emotions or previously held beliefs
    • Based on some evidence, but not substantive evidence.
fallacy of black and white
Fallacy of black and white
  • Oversimplification of issue where answer is one extreme or the other
    • Opposite ends: black/white or good/bad
  • Fails to recognize wide range of possibilities
  • EX: You are either with me, or against me.
fallacy of oversimplification
Fallacy of oversimplification
  • A subdivision of “Fallacy of Black or white”
    • Does not indicate choices between two extremes
    • Takes complex problem, comes to a quick and easy solution
      • Solution is not based in evidence, and usually does not solve problem– can worsen it
  • Ex: The best way to solve rising traffic deaths is to get of liquor in our country.
fallacy of apriorism
Fallacy of apriorism
  • “a priori”= Latin for “before”
  • conclusion is based on a previously held belief, despite the fact that there is new, objective evidence that should change the original belief
  • I refuse to use public restrooms or public drinking fountains. Everybody knows that these places are a harbor for germs, especially the HIV virus. There is no way I will risk getting a disease like AIDS just because I am thirsty or need to use the restroom.
fallacy of impossible action appeal for perfection
Fallacy of impossible action/appeal for perfection
  • Ignores human condition by arguing that a problem can be solved by an impossible action
    • nothing needs to be done now--the problem will solve itself (when there is perfection on earth)
    • often 'non-sequitur' fallacy as well because conclusion does not follow from evidence
  • EX: Indian gaming casinos: are they right or wrong? With the upsurge of Christianity on reservations, the Indians will surrender their hearts and wills to God, and He will act through their conscious.
fallacy of appeal to emotion
Fallacy of appeal to emotion
  • Substitute emotional appeal for proper evidence and reasoning.
    • Emotion-packed words used in lieu of evidence
      • Pity, fear, love, pride, tradition, patriotism
    • People often do make decisions and take actions based on feelings rather than sound logic.
  • Advertising!
three categories2
Three Categories

Diversionary Tactics

Interpreting Evidence

Evading Evidence

Black or White

Oversimplification

Apriorism

Impossible action/appeal for perfection

Appeal to emotion

  • Ad Hominem
  • Poisoning the Well
  • Distraction
  • Abandonment of Discussion
  • Pointing to another wrong
  • Appeal to Ignorance
  • Circular Reasoning
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Non Sequitur
  • Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
  • Of the Beard
  • False Analogy
  • Bandwagon
diversionary tactics
Diversionary tactics
  • Common Characteristics:
    • Introduce escape manipulations or “Diversionary tactics”
      • Argumentative device that smokescreens/evades real issues of argument
    • Attempt to discredit person who has argument
    • Point to another, irrelevant issue and claim improper wrong to debate introduced issue
fallacy of ad hominem
Fallacy of ad hominem
  • Latin for “to the man”
  • Refusal to confront issues; confronts person
    • Discredits character, reputation, or motives
    • Use name calling
  • Ex: I don’t know who this guy is, but he sounds like a fool to me.
fallacy of poisoning the well
Fallacy of poisoning the well
  • Subdivision of Ad Hominem fallacy
    • Difference: discredit the source before the argument is presented, not after
  • Ex: Now it’s time to hear your side of the story, and we can just guess what your remarks are going to be. Audience, please bear with us during this flight of fantasy.
fallacy of distraction
Fallacy of distraction
  • Introduces new ideas that are not related
  • Uses two ploys
    • Humorous/sarcastic comment
    • Direct question back to arguer/questioner
  • EX: a couple is arguing about a perceived flirtation with another woman. The girl brings up the fact that her significant other rarely returns her phone calls in a timely manner.
fallacy of abandonment of discussion
Fallacy of abandonment of discussion
  • Form of distraction fallacy
  • Act of refusing to argue or listen to opposing views
    • Since issue is a tradition, it would be improper to question or discuss it
    • Simply refuse to argue
  • Ex: There is no need to bring up sex education in schools because the idea is immoral
fallacy of pointing to another wrong
Fallacy of pointing to another wrong
  • Form of distraction fallacy
  • Accused person presents defense by pointing to a wrong or fault in person who started argument
    • Two wrongs don’t make a right
  • EX: Student fails his test. He argues that since others did very poorly on the test as well, it was not his fault.
fallacy of appeal to ignorance
Fallacy of appeal to ignorance
  • It’s not true because it cannot be disproved
    • Santa Claus
      • Just because you’ve never seen Santa doesn’t make him imaginary, just like the fact that you’ve not seen $5 million doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
  • It is false because it can not be proved
    • UFOs do not exist! If they do, show me one piece of evidence
fallacy of circular reasoning
Fallacy of circular reasoning
  • Appears to have all requirements of proper argument
    • conclusion, signpost, evidence
  • Evidence for conclusion is the same or means the same as the conclusion itself
  • EX: Capital punishment is justified because we have a long history of putting to death people who commit heinous crimes.