2 DefinitionA weak or imaginary opposition set up only to be easily confuted“Straw Man.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. n.d. Web. 16 FebMisrepresents a position in order to make it appear weaker than it actually is, refutes this misrepresentation of the position, and then concludes that the real position has been refuted“Straw Man Fallacy.” LogicalFallacies.info. Logical Fallacies. n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2012
4 Universal Example"Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine program. I disagree entirely. I can't understand why he wants to leave us defenseless like that."The speaker uses his own assumption of what will result from Senator Jones’s action to refute the actual action, although that will not necessarily be the result.“A List of Fallacious Arguments.” don-lindsay-archive.org. Don Lindsay Archive. 20 June Web. 16 Feb
5 This cartoon basically describes the whole premise of the straw man fallacy: in fact, it gives readers instructions on how to construct such a fallacy.Clancy, S. “Straw Man.” Cartoon. Allthingswildlyconsidered.blogspot. 16 Feb Web.
6 (Act III, pg )“In an ordinary crime, how does one defend the accused? One calls up witnesses to prove his innocence. But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, who may possibly be witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other. Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself; granted? Therefore, we must rely upon her victims—and they do testify, the children certainly do testify.” –DanforthDanforth is saying that witchcraft cannot be proven, so the court must rely on the witnesses, who are the children in this case, to testify. Because the children are the only witnesses, they must be telling the truth.
7 (Act III, pg 217)“There might also be a dragon with five legs in my house, but no one has ever seen it.” –ProctorParris is accusing Elizabeth Proctor of keeping her poppets hidden in the house in this passage, and Proctor says that there could also be a five-legged dragon in his house, but no one would know. Because there isn’t a dragon hidden in his house, there are most likely no poppets hidden in his house either.
8 (Act III, pg 218)“Why not? Now there are no spirits attacking her, for none in this room is accused of witchcraft. So let her turn herself cold now, let her pretend she is attacked now, let her faint.” –ParrisParris argues that if Mary Warren were really pretending, she would be able to “turn herself cold” on command. Because she cannot, he concludes that she was really attacked by spirits.