fallacies

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fallacies of argumentation

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Fallacies of Argumentation : 

Fallacies of Argumentation

Hasty Generalization : 

Hasty Generalization Making a generalization on the basis of an inadequate sample of evidence My friend Ellen lives in a small town and is afraid of cities. I guess that’s what all small town people are like.

False Cause : 

False Cause Assuming one event caused another just because it preceded it The water pipe in my garage exploded the week after I sold my house. I guess my house didn’t like being sold. Every time I wash my car, it rains.

Slippery Slope : 

Slippery Slope Assuming that if a certain step is taken, a whole series of undesirable consequences will follow If we allow logging in national parks, pretty soon our parks will be nothing but lumberyards.

Straw Man : 

Straw Man Presenting an extreme or a very weak case as an example of the argument you want to refute Those who argue for elimination of the SAT want to fill our colleges with unqualified students.

False Analogy : 

False Analogy Going beyond simply pointing out a resemblance between two things or situations to claim that the things or situations are the same or call for the same response The legal penalties for the mistreatment of animals should be as severe as the penalties for the mistreatment of children. Both animals and children depend on humans for kindness and nurturing.

False Dilemma (Dichotomy) : 

False Dilemma (Dichotomy) Arguing that there are only two choices in a situation and that your choice is the correct one because the other is unthinkable Either we attack our enemy or our enemy will attack us.

Begging the Question : 

Begging the Question Circular argument, restates the conclusion in different words so that it looks like reasons I know Jimmy stole my bicycle because I know he is the type of person who would do that.

Non Sequitur : 

Non Sequitur It does not follow- unconvincing pairing of a claim and premise I need to be paid more because I want to take a vacation to Hawaii this year.

Red Herring : 

Red Herring An argument that is intended to divert attention from the real issue at hand You should eat all of the vegetables on your plate because there are starving children in Africa.

Complex Question : 

Complex Question A question that makes you look bad no matter how you answer it When are you going to start acting like a responsible adult?

Equivocation : 

Equivocation Shifting the definition of a key term within an argument (usually an extended argument) In our society, everyone needs to be literate. You would be surprised how many people in our society are so illiterate that they use the word like in every other sentence.

Ad Populum : 

Ad Populum To the people, argument that appeals to popular opinion or popular belief rather than actual knowledge or evidence on the topic You should let me go to the party because everyone else’s parents are letting them go.

Appeal to Ignorance : 

Appeal to Ignorance Basing an argument on the absence of evidence or on evidence that can’t be examined Joe has no school spirit at all. He didn’t even go to the pep rally.

Ad Hominem : 

Ad Hominem An argument that attacks the character of the person, rather than their argument Dr. X’s advice about smoking is worthless. He smokes himself.

Faulty Emotional Appeal : 

Faulty Emotional Appeal Relying on emotional appeals in the absence of reason My client should not be sentenced to death even though he was convicted of murder– look how devastated his mother is.

Appeal to Pity : 

Appeal to Pity The only basis for the claim is pity You should give me an A because my boyfriend just broke up with me.

Appeal to Fear : 

Appeal to Fear Relies on fear to convince us to agree to the claim Your money or your life

Tu Quoque : 

Tu Quoque Defending one’s actions by pointing out that others acted in a similar way You’re another If your mom tells you to clean up your room because it is a mess, you point out her room is just as messy.

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