4 *PROBABILITY, not certainty* INDUCTION(S G)think “increase” (induction, increase)from specific/particular instance or instancesto generalizationquantity: (#) sufficient # of items or people asked, sufficient data (stats)quality: reliable source (authority), accurate & in-depth observation*PROBABILITY, not certainty*
5 INDUCTION BAD EXAMPLE: You compare the prices of 4 textbooks at store #1 with those at store #2 and notice that the prices are higher at the former than at the latter. You conclude that store #1 is more expensive.
6 INDUCTION GOOD EXAMPLE: A television documentary focuses on the issue of unwed teenage mothers in a particular city neighborhood. Four girls are interviewed and followed for several days. Then, a noted and respected sociologist who has studied thousands of unwed teenagers is interviewed, and she claims these four girls are representative of the many.
7 INDUCTION *INDUCTIVE FALLACIES: wrong use of data— insufficient sample (not enough people interviewed)ignore evidence (other possibilities)
9 3 Propositions of a Deductive Syllogism DEDUCTION3 Propositions of a Deductive Syllogism1) MAJOR PREMISE:inductive generalization“All”All humans are mortal.*(“syllogism”: Greek, to calculate using logic)*
10 3 Propositions of a Deductive Syllogism DEDUCTION3 Propositions of a Deductive Syllogism2) MINOR PREMISE:statement about a specific member of that group“This”My English professor is a human.
11 3 Propositions of a Deductive Syllogism DEDUCTION3 Propositions of a Deductive Syllogism3) CONCLUSION:Major Premise + Minor Premise = Conclusion1 + 2 = 3S G, G S“Therefore”Therefore, my English professor is mortal.
12 *CERTAINTY, validity, truth* DEDUCTIONIf the MAJOR premise = absent or faulty induction,if the MINOR premise = faulty observation concerning the individual at issue,then conclusion = faulty, invalid.HOWEVER, if the opposite is true, then the conclusion is a valid, strong one — stronger than induction.*CERTAINTY, validity, truth*
13 DEDUCTION *BAD EXAMPLE: A man is sitting opposite you on a train. He has what appears to be chalk dust on his fingers, and you conclude that he is a teacher.
14 DEDUCTION *BAD EXAMPLE: Major premise = “All men with chalk on their fingers are school teachers.”Minor premise = “This man has chalk on his fingers.”Conclusion = “Therefore, this man is a school teacher.”
16 *DEDUCTION & your INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH “Funnel Effect,” “Inverted pyramid”G S,syllogism, conclusion of syllogism = thesis statementMajor premise = “Reducing awareness of social differences is a desirable goal for the school.”Minor premise = “A uniform dress code would help to achieve that goal.”Conclusion/thesis = “Therefore, students should be required to dress uniformly.”
17 DEDUCTION *DEDUCTIVE FALLACIES: failure to follow the logic of a series of statementsan error in one premise or both premisesother possibilities exist that were not taken into considerationreliance upon support other than facts
18 FACTS vs. IMPLICATIONS, ASSUMPTIONS, INFERENCES PART 2:*OCCAM’S RAZOR*
19 FACTS vs. OTHERS 1) FACTS: provable, verifiable * probable primary evidence:sensessciencesecondary evidence:testimony = secondary (beliefs, ideas not from senses)historical evidence (documents, testimony, articles)
20 FACTS vs. OTHERS 2) IMPLICATIONS: unspoken message suggestion with indirect words* SUBTEXTS* Rhetorical Questions, Mincing Words
21 FACTS vs. OTHERS 3) ASSUMPTIONS: supposition idea taken for granted based on prior knowledgebased on little knowledge
22 FACTS vs. OTHERS 4) INFERENCES: logical deduction based on evidence or observationeducated guess
23 FACTS vs. OTHERS ASSUMPTION vs. INFERENCE: assumption = based on beliefinference = based on sense data or premisesIMPLICATION vs. INFERENCE:implication = made by the speakerinference = made by the listener
24 FACTS vs. OTHERS *Implications, Assumptions, Inferences: not = facts you fill in the gapsyou make connectionsyou supply missing datayou draw conclusion without all of the information/facts
25 OCCAM’S RAZOR *RULE OF SIMPLICITY: (in textbook) When there are competing possibilities, choose the answer that requires the fewest assumptions.“Cut” through the obfuscation (BS) and choose the solution that would not appear on The X-files .*The simplest solution is often the best.
28 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE FAULTY INDUCTION: Inductive Fallaciesquantity: not enough evidence upon which to draw a reasonable conclusionquality: unreliable data or sourcesbad Ethosimplications, assumptions, inferences (not facts)FAULTY DEDUCTION: Deductive Fallaciesflawed Major Premise (generalization)flawed Minor Premise (specific, observation)
30 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE 1) OVERGENERALIZATIONS:EASILY DISPROVED: too many exceptionsand too many complications (life = too complex)QUALIFY WITH:many, some, fewusually, often, in my experienceDANGER with qualifying: too many maybe’s in your writing may make you look indecisive
31 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE *EXAMPLES of OVERGENERALIZATIONS:*stereotypes, prejudices, superstitions:racism, ageism, sexism“Teenagers today are fat and lazy.”“Men don’t cry.”Hasty generalization: “Jim Bakker was an insincere Christian. Therefore, all Christians are insincere.”Sweeping generalization: “Christians generally dislike atheists. You are a Christian, so you must dislike atheists.” (senior citizens, Asians, guys, Americans = materialistic, war-mongers)
32 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE 2) STACKING the DECK (a.k.a. “card stacking”):poker metaphor:dealing yourself a good hand;stacking the card deck in your favorselecting only the data that supports your positionignoring contradictory data(only 1 side of the issue)(*needs other side/s of the issue)news bias, politicians, tobacco/oil industriesfraudulent, misleading
33 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE *EXAMPLES of CARD STACKING:“Ninety-five percent of the people I interviewed agreed with the Democratic Opposition.”BUT I only interviewed people at the Democratic National Convention!“According to a Left-Wing Nut magazine poll, the Vice President has a low approval rating.”BUT only those people who read—i.e., agree with the ideology of—this publication were polled.
34 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE 3) AD IGNORANTIUM:since cannot disprove (or prove), then must be trueassumes a lack of information (“ignorance”) is a source of information (*needs more info)yet, an absence of evidence is not evidence
35 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE CARD STACKING vs. AD IGNORANTIUM:Don’t be fooled by the “ignoring” part –CS: purposefully ignores existing evidencedata that will disprove or weaken that sidethe data does exist but is ignoredAI: uses ignorance as evidenceuses the lack of existing evidence as evidencethe lack of evidence = the proofthe data does not exist
36 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE *EXAMPLES of AD IGNORANTIUM:“Since the library has no books on Eva Braun’s intimate relations with Adolf Hitler, then she must not have had any.”“Of course the Bible is true. Nobody can prove otherwise.”“Of course telepathy and other psychic phenomena do not exist. Nobody has shown any proof that they are real.” (aliens, ghosts)
37 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE 4) POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC:“after this, therefore b/c of this”assumes a causal relationship;no other explanationsfaulty Cause-Effect relationshipassumes a later event was caused by an earlier onesimply because of chronology*needs more info, more researchB follows A; therefore, A causes B
38 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE DISPROVE with: (more information)prove A and B are merely coincidencesshow how A is merely 1 cause of manyshow how A is not even a significant cause of the many*more than 1 cause of an effect, more than 1 effect of a causeindirect and direct causescomplexity of life, of situationsOCCAM’S RAZOR:simpler, more credible answer or explanation is best
40 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE *EXAMPLES of P.H.E.P.H.:superstitions, astrologyConsider additional causes for the following:“Because you left the milk out last night, it was spoiled this morning.”“The Soviet Union collapsed after instituting state atheism. Therefore, we must avoid atheism for the same reasons.”“A rooster crows every morning, and shortly after, the sun rises. Therefore, the rooster causes the sun to rise.”
41 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE *EXAMPLE of P.H.E.P.H.:“After the school principal suspends daily prayers in the classroom, acts of vandalism increase, and some parents are convinced that the failure to conduct prayer is responsible for the rise in vandalism.”But…decline in disciplinary actions, a relaxation of academic standards, a change in school administration, changes in family structure in the school community.
42 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE Post hoc ergo propter hoc:after this (subsequency), therefore because of thisCum hoc ergo propter hoc:with this (synchronicity), therefore because of thismistakes a correlation for causationoverlooks coincidence, others causesbecause of simultaneous occurrence“Clinton had great economic policies because the economy was great during his two terms.”
43 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE 5) AD HOC:“for this (specific purpose)” – “impromptu, provisional”an after-the-fact explanationdoes not apply to other situations (for this special case alone)“God cured me of my cancer.” “But most patients with brain cancer die. Why did She save you? Are you special? Does She love you more than the rest of us?” “She moves in mysterious ways.”because God treats all people equally, no special treatmentrefuted by more evidence (radiation, medication, remission)see also God & war, God & sports1 time only!
44 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE 6) The Natural Law Fallacy -- Appeal to NATURE:draws a false analogy between the human and natural worldsassumes that humans are part of the natural world (animals) and should thus mimic “animalistic” behaviorassumes that whatever is “natural” or consistent with “nature” is good AND that whatever is “unnatural” is badsupplements, herbal remedies“law of the jungle” arguments for genocide, capitalism“Homosexuality is natural because monkeys have been observed engaging in homosexual behavior.” (or the opposite)
45 INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE 6) The Natural Law Fallacy -- Appeal to NATURE:BUT“natural” and “nature” = poorly definedjust because animals do it (or don’t) does not mean humans should (or shouldn’t) do so automatically, necessarily, unquestionablynaïve environmentalismpoison ivy, Ebola, climate, eat their young, eat bugsbathrooms, plumbing, fire, literature, clothes, utensils
47 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION DIVERSIONARY TACTICSThey introduce ideas that are off-topic.Their data is NOT germane to the present case.Diversions, Distractionsfrom the argument at hand
48 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 1) AD BACULUM:intimidationthreat of harm:physical or psychological *economical, political, environmentalextortion, blackmailRather than make a claim, point, or counter-argument, I make a threat, which isn’t discussing the issue at hand.Because my evidence is rather weak, I try to win the argument with a “scare tactic.”
49 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of AD BACULUM:“If citizens don’t start patronizing downtown stores, then businesses will be forced to close and then the city will be in ruin.”“If you don’t (believe in God, convert to our religion, illegalize that practice), then you’ll burn in Hell!“... In any case, I know your phone number and I know where you live. Have I mentioned I am licensed to carry concealed weapons?”“If we make abortions illegal, women will be getting butchered again in back alleys.” (ad misericordiam, slippery slope)
50 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 2) AD HOMINEM:*name calling(think hombre, hommé)personal attack, insultsattack the person, not the facts or issuea way to avoid dealing with the issue (*diversion)
51 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *PLEASE NOTE*A bad person does not necessarily mean a bad argument (conclusion, point).(even a broken clock…)Accusations against the person are NOT a fallacy IF the characteristics under attack are relevant to the argument.For example, if a politician is irresponsible & dishonest in her/his personal life, then it is reasonable to think that s/he may be the same in public office.
52 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of AD HOMINEM:“What does he know; look at the way he’s dressed.”“What can a priest tell us about marriage since he’s never been married himself.” (AA)“My doctor is overweight, so why should I listen to anything he has to say.” (Dr. Adkins)“I won’t see a Jayne Smith movie because she’s a drug addict.” (private life vs. professional record)“Since you don’t support gay marriages, you must be a homophobe.” (racist, sexist)
53 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of AD HOMINEM:“You claim that atheists can be moral — yet I happen to know that you abandoned your wife and children.”“Hitler would be very proud of you” (in response to practically any conclusion or decision).“Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to kill animals for food. I hope you won’t argue otherwise, given that you're quite happy to wear leather shoes.”“Of course you’d argue that positive discrimination is a bad thing. You’re white.”
54 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 3) FALLACY of OPPOSITION:*name callingwhatever comes from the opposition is automatically wrong AND detrimentalassumes nothing good could come from those we opposeUs vs. ThemEXAMPLE: “Of course you’d say that, you’re an atheist, hippie, teenager, Democrat ….” (a member of the opposing group)
55 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 4) GENETIC FALLACY:*name callingassumes where the idea came from affects its validity (country, paper, school)akin to elitism, snobberywe come from our genes,genes genetic fallacy
56 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 4) GENETIC FALLACY:*EXAMPLES:“The quality of those products is poor because they come from China (any country).”“Cars made in the USA (any country) are junks.”“Because that idea comes from a community college it must be flawed, erroneous, or just plain wrong.”
57 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 5) GUILT by ASSOCIATION:birds of a feather stick togetherassumes a person’s behaviors must extend to their friends, to those around them*EXAMPLES:“Everyone who goes into a bar is an alcoholic.”“Sally’s promiscuous, so as her friend you must be, too.”
58 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 6) AD MISERICORDIAM:an abuse of pitymanipulation & obfuscation (*diversion)irrelevantevoke pitiful image or situation, without basis, to distract from the issuerelies wholly on pity (pathos)
59 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of AD MISERICORDIAM:photos of kids: war, famine, AIDS, disaster“I couldn’t write my paper because my son, daughter, mother, girlfriend, neighbor down the street was sick.”“I did not murder my mother and father with an axe! Please don’t find me guilty; I’m suffering enough through being an orphan.”
60 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 7) AD POPULUM:appeals to the “populace”biases & prejudices, appeals to tradition,halcyon daystells people what they want to hear, what they want to believe (“working the audience”)SLOGANS and SOUND BITES subvert the reasoning process because they do not define termswhich can mean whatever people want them to mean orwhatever people say they meanwhat exactly are “family values”?!
61 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of AD POPULUM:sound bites, slogans, bumper stickers, tee shirtsappeals to patriotism, change for change’s sakepolitical cartoons, late-night-TV monologues or punch lines, Comedy Central showsif it appears on poster, tee shirt, bumper sticker“If guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns.”“Zippo. It’s the grand old lighter that’s made right here in the good ol’ USA.…” (patriotism)“Freedom isn’t free.” “No blood for oil.”“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”“Just say no.”
62 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 8) BANDWAGON:Argumentum ad numerumright/valid because popularjump on the bandwagon, join the paradedo because others do: peer pressure, group/mob identity, conformityappeals or refers to NUMBERSBUT you can be correct even if no one else agrees with you (Copernicus, Columbus)
63 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of BANDWAGON:“Sixty million people can’t be wrong.”“Over 5 million Americans have already switched to Grizzly Insurance.”“Last December, over 100 million people worldwide tuned in to see a television phenomenon: don’t be left out when Knucklehead TV returns in March.”“Everybody’s doing it anyway, so we might as well legalize it (lower the age).”#
64 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *Similar to: Argumentum ad numerum AND to Argumentum ad populum. It consists of asserting that the more people who support or believe a proposition, the more likely it is that that proposition is correct. For example:“The vast majority of people in this country believe that capital punishment has a noticeable deterrent effect. To suggest that it doesn’t in the face of so much evidence is ridiculous.” Or “All I'm saying is that thousands of people believe in pyramid power, so there must be something to it.”*Similar to: Appeal to Tradition: right/valid because it’s old; since it’s lasted this long, it should continue. ex: “Since the Fiesta Club has been an exclusive male-only society since its founding at the turn of the 20th century, it should continue to exist in the same manner & form.”
65 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 9) PLAIN FOLKS and SNOB APPEAL:right because popularopposite of the Genetic FallacyThese are 2 different fallacies, but same “coin.”Plain Folks Appeal: do because the ordinary person does (& avoid the pretensions of snobs)Snob Appeal: do because rich/popular/beautiful do (*celebrity endorsements)
66 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of PLAIN FOLKS & SNOB APPEAL:“Why pay fancy salon prices for a shampoo?”“Family values will return America to world prominence.”“Mark Twain said, ‘The clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.’ So, if you want to be a winner, you’ve got to look like a winner, which means you need a Rolex watch, Italian shoes, and a Lexus to be successful.”“Use the deodorant that professional athletes like Illiterate Joe use.” (appeals to reader’s vanity)Think of 2 diametrically opposed musical genres.also known as: Argumentum ad lazarum: The fallacy of assuming that someone poor is sounder or more virtuous than someone who's wealthier. This fallacy is the opposite of the Argumentum ad Crumenam. For example: “Monks are more likely to possess insight into the meaning of life, as they have given up the distractions of wealth.”
67 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 10) AD VERECUNDIAM:inappropriate use of authorityassumes because a person is an expert in one field that s/he is an expert in another (*celebrity endorsements)ORthe use of an obscure, hard to find sourcepoor or irrelevant credentials, wrong field of expertise, no Other Side of the issue (Rogerian Method)*BAD ETHOS*
68 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of AD VERECUNDIAM:Bad:“I play a doctor on TV, so take this new OTC pill.”“Isaac Newton was a genius and he believed in God, so you should, too.”“Dr. Housenick claims stem cell research for the development of cures for various diseases is (is not) a worthy venture.”“Because my parents were unavailable, I asked my English teacher for permission to stay out late.”Good:“Dr. Stephen Hawking has concluded that black holes give off radiation; therefore, there is a strong chance that they exist.”
69 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 11) RED HERRING:*diversionskirt the issue; obfuscate the truthuse an irrelevant point or a side issue to lead away from the issue at hand
70 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of RED HERRING:“Sure, the Chargers had a bad year, but what about the Redskins.”“While it may be true that we withheld vital information from the public regarding the dangerous side effects of our products, while it may be true that we sought ways to enhance our products with addictive substances, and while it may be true that we profited immensely from all this, have you taken into consideration the fact that we have given bottled water to disaster victims and other acts of community involvement?”
71 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 12) STRAWMAN ARGUMENTa.k.a. Weak Opponent, Scarecrow Argument*diversion, name callingthis one has a few different (yet related) sides to it:
72 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION Use or invent a convenient opponent that can be attacked (or applauded) without fear of retaliationan easy targetto show how “strong” you are, you hold up a Scarecrow & slap it around (think WWE)I can make fun of famous people becausethere’s little chance that they’ll comefrom Hollywood (e.g.) to rebut me.think of these easy targets:Britney Spears, KKK, Nazis
73 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION Use or invent a generic/vague group or label*no real person involvedno true subject of the argument is identifiedlabel = unfair, inaccurate, manufactured solely for the argumentstereotypes, overgeneralizations(*based on personal biases/prejudices)*could be positive group:the heroic war dead, brave immigrants(*no specific person indicated)
74 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *Attack your opponent’s weakest possible argument, one s/he is not even offeringput words into the opponent’s mouth **similar to #1, in that I set up an easy opponent (their weakest possible argument) just so I can easily knock it down (and look good in the process)like: Tu Quoque, Ad Hoc, False Dilemma
75 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of STRAWMAN:Richard Nixon’s 1952 Checkers speech (weakest possible argument)“kids/students today” (no real kid/student)“moral majority” (who are these people?)“welfare cheats” (do they really exist?)“liberal media” (is it really? all? proof?)“To be an atheist, you have to believe with absolute certainty that there is no God. In order to convince yourself with absolute certainty, you must examine all the Universe and all the places where God could possibly be. Since you obviously haven't, your position is indefensible.” (weakest argument)
76 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 13) TU QUOQUE: (too kwo-kway)“you did it too”justify actions because accusers are supposedly guilty of same crime2 wrongs make 1 right (see AD POPULUM)
77 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of TU QUOQUE:“You did it too when you were my age.”quote: “It’s ok that I dis white people on my show because they’ve been doing it to us for years.”“How can you criticize my driving when you’ve had five accidents yourself?”“Why shouldn’t I cheat on my taxes? Everyone else does.”
78 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION 14) OVERSIMPLIFICATION:like: Post Hoc, Overgeneralizationoverlooks the complexity of an issue*no critical examination of the issuenarrows complex issue down to single causeBUT an issue has more than 1 side (more than 2 sides)legal, moral, religious, political, racial, philosophical...an effect always has more than one reason/cause
79 IRRELEVANT INFORMATION *EXAMPLES of OVERSIMPLIFICATION:“Kids are fat because they eat too much McDonald’s.”“The only reason we’re at war with Iraq is over oil.”An ad populum statement may say, “No Blood for Oil!”“It’s as simple as that.”“Today’s college students can’t spell because of spellcheckers on computers.”
81 AMBIGUITYThese fallacies have statements that are either purposefully or accidentally ambiguous, misleading, or confusing.Their problem often lies with LANGUAGE:grammarpunctuationdictionsyntax
82 AMBIGUITY 1) AMPHIBOLY: a.k.a. “amphibole” Latin for “ambiguous” ambiguous, multiple meanings or interpretationscaused by Bad Grammarmisplaced modifiers, poor pronoun referencemisleading statisticspercentages: 89% sounds like much, but not if only 5 people were asked
83 AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of AMPHIBOLY: “Her parents watered the flowers, yet they died.” (confusing PN reference)“Sam gave Bob his baseball glove.” (confusing PN reference)“I shot a bear in my pajamas.” (misplaced modifier)“March moved to June.”“Girl’s slip seen by many.”“4 out of 5 dentists prefer Trident.” (80%, only 5 asked)
84 AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of AMPHIBOLY: Blind Bishop Appointed to See Patient at Death's Door — Doctors Pull Him ThroughTeacher Strikes Idle KidsLawyers Give Poor Free Legal AdviceJuvenile Court to Try Shooting DefendantAutos Killing 110 a Day — Let's Resolve to Do BetterCollegians are Turning to Vegetables
85 AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: *circular reasoning circulus in demonstrando or petitio principiiavoidance, non-responsivenessrestating the premise without answering the question begs another question or other questionscircular reasoning turns the question around without answering ituses what is trying to be proved as part of the proof: the proposition appears in the syllogism/proof
86 AMBIGUITY 2) BEGGING the QUESTION: (cont’d) “When is a fetus a person? When it is no longer a fetus. When the doctor says so. When it has the attributes of a person.”Answers beg other questions: When is it no longer a fetus? When does a doctor say so? What are the attributes of a person? When does a fetus acquire such attributes?Syllogism: It is wrong to kill innocent human beings. Fetuses are innocent human beings. Thus, aborting fetuses is wrong.“innocent” =?fetus=human being?
87 AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of BEGGING the QUESTION: “My mother is a good person because she’s so moral.”“Homosexuals must not be allowed to hold government office. Hence any government official who is revealed to be a homosexual will lose his job. Therefore homosexuals will do anything to hide their secret, and will be open to blackmail. Therefore homosexuals cannot be allowed to hold government office.”Petitio principii: “The Bible is the word of God. The word of God cannot be doubted, and the Bible states that the Bible is true. Therefore the Bible must be true.”
88 AMBIGUITY 3) EQUIVOCATION: quibble on the meaning of word/s a deliberate tactic to delay, distort, clutter, or avoid issuetrivial distinctions; euphemisms; misuse of definitionsobfuscates, obscures the real issue:“I didn’t steal your money; I merely borrowed it.”The issue is not about if you “stole” or “borrowed,” but that you took the item without asking permission.
89 AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of EQUIVOCATION: Knock, knock! Who's there, in the other devil's name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come in, equivocator. (from Macbeth )“That depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.”“terrorists” or “freedom fighters,” “communist” or “Marxist,” “refugee” or “illegal immigrant”
90 AMBIGUITY 4) LOADED LANGUAGE: biased words leading questions/statements, the answer to which is misleading or damningreaders should question users’ motives (ethos)they don’t want to consider the issue; they’ve already made up their mindstheir questions are often statementssarcasm & irony = ambiguity (so avoid using either)
91 AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of LOADED LANGUAGE: “Do I have to research any more junk on this stupid topic for this worthless class?”“Concerning the inexperienced President’s hasty, subvert, and ill-considered appointment of such an incompetent and unproven judge, is this the type of underhanded, thoughtless behavior we can expect from this administration?”“Have you stopped beating your wife?”
92 AMBIGUITY 5) FALSE ANALOGY: false relationship, false comparison, falseimpressionmore differences between the 2 than similarities(despite few superficial similarities)dig more and find that not relatedcollapse when examined critically (difficult to use)exaggerationskey words = “is like”
93 AMBIGUITY *DESCRIPTIVE vs. EXPLANATORY: DESCRIPTIVE = metaphorical, more colorful than precise, remain dissimilar, short cuts, not enough to support your claim“life is a bowl of cherries”Malcolm X, criticizing the participation of whites in the 1962 march on Washington, DC: “It’s like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means that it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee.”Claim = integration of whites & blacks in the march weakened the black movement for rights & jobs.Support = putting white cream into black coffee weakens the coffee.Warrant = weakening coffee with cream is analogous to weakening the black rights movement by allowing white people to participate.Vivid & descriptive, but not convincing. Too many dissimilarities. “Strong” and “weak” need to be defined. No facts, no proof, just racist opinion.
94 AMBIGUITY EXPLANATORY= more than imagery; offer facts, proof “In a world of nuclear overkill and redundance, the United States and the Soviet Union are like two rivals locked in a small room in a duel to the death where one has 1,400 pistols and the other 1,200. The one with 1,400 has no advantage when one or both of the parties are likely to be killed or maimed with the first pistol shot.”Claim = In enlarging their nuclear arsenals, the US and the USSR are engaged in a duel that neither can win.Support = A duelist in a locked room with 1,400 pistols could probably not win against a duelist with 1,200 pistols.Warrant = A pistol duel is analogous to the nuclear arms rivalry between the US and the USSR. (still some dissimilarities)
95 AMBIGUITY *EXAMPLES of FALSE ANALOGY: “The Patriot Act turns our government into another Reich.”Bush and Hitler9/11 and Pearl HarborVietnam and Iraq 2003
97 FAULTY REASONING The problem with these fallacies lies in the logic the reasoning processrather than the data.
98 FAULTY REASONING 1) FALSE DILEMMA: “either/or” thinking HINT: the words “either/or” are often usedLIKE: Oversimplification, Loaded Languageassumes only 2 sides to an issue existboth sides may be unpleasant, but 2nd usually isBUT: more than 2 options, causes, sides to an issue
99 FAULTY REASONING *EXAMPLES of FALSE DILEMMA: “You either support Feminism or you’re a sexist pig.”“Either man was created, as the Bible tells us, or he evolved from inanimate chemicals by pure random chance, as scientists tell us. The latter is incredibly unlikely, so...”“You are either for unilateral nuclear disarmament or for nuclear war.”“In a 1975 interview, the Shah of Iran was asked why he could not introduce into his authoritarian regime greater freedom for his subjects. He replied, ‘What’s wrong with authority? Is anarchy better?’ So, it’s either authoritarianism or anarchy.”
100 FAULTY REASONING 2) NON SEQUITUR: “it does not follow” Big Leap in logic, faulty conclusion, unconnected, doesn’t make senseirrelevant information (like ad populum)A + B does not necessarily = CFaulty INDUCTIONtoo big of a “leap” from the Specific to the General
101 FAULTY REASONING *EXAMPLES of NON SEQUITUR: “Since half a million copies were sold & it was a best-seller for two decades, it must be a great book.”“We don’t need books and libraries anymore because the Internet has so much information.”“Since Egyptians did so much excavation to construct the pyramids, they were well versed in paleontology.”“Since the President is away from the White House so often, the Vice President must run the country.”“Since is so popular, we might as well stop making envelopes, stamps, and paper.”“From the makers/producers/creators/director of the hit…”“From the team that brought you the hit…”
102 FAULTY REASONING 3) RATIONALIZATION: rationalize blame someone/thing elseself-serving excuseflimsy justificationit’s not my fault; it’s yoursWe talk ourselves into something -- Do we ever rationalize something good?
103 FAULTY REASONING *EXAMPLES of RATIONALIZATION: “I can’t hand in my paper today because the dumb computer wouldn’t print it.” (blame scapegoat, like Scarecrow)“You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few shells.” (blame virtue)“Yeah, I knocked over the garbage can, but you shouldn’t have put it in my way.” (blame another)“It’s OK if I have another piece of cake; I’ll just go for a run tomorrow.” (self-serving justification)
104 FAULTY REASONING *EXAMPLES of RATIONALIZATION: It’s only this one time.OK, but this is the last time.Just one more.It’s Spring Break.I’m away at college.I’m an adult now.No one will ever know.My parents will never know.Who’s ever going to see those pictures?I needed the money.It doesn’t hurt anybody.It’s in the privacy of my own home.I’m entitled:age, class, raceI worked hard all week or semester.It’s my life!Everyone else is doing it. (like Tu Quoque)It’s on sale.I’ll just cram the night before.I’ll go out tonight and just study all day tomorrow.I’ll just….CHEATING excuses:Everyone’s doing it.Look at the business world!The technology was made to help us cheat.If the teacher were smart enough to catch me cheating….The teacher grades on a curve, so I have to cheat.I have to because of Affirmative Action.I really need an A.It’s not my major.
105 FAULTY REASONING *EXAMPLE from Blues Brothers: Jake: “Oh, please, don’t kill us. Please, please don’tkill us. You know I love you baby. I wouldn’t leaveya. It wasn’t my fault.Mystery Woman: You miserable slug! You think you can talk your way out of this? You betrayed me.Jake: No I didn’t. Honest... I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!
106 FAULTY REASONING 4) REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM: reduce to absurdity use opponents’ reasoning against them*extend their argument to its absurd conclusionoften employed to ridicule opponentsarcasm, ridiculesimilar, in this respect, to Straw Manalso, based on the fallacious assumption that more is better or that less is better
107 FAULTY REASONING *EXAMPLES of REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM: “If we allow a man to marry another man, then we might as well allow him to marry a dog or a sheep.”“If 2 are good, then 5 are better, but then all of them would be best.”“If 2 less is good, then 5 less would be better, but then getting rid of them all would be best.”“Since my physical therapist told me to do 3 sets of 10 with my dumbbells, I should be cleared to play sooner if I do 6 sets of 20; still, if I do 12 sets of 40, I’ll be reactivated much sooner.”
108 FAULTY REASONING 5) SLIPPERY SLOPE: next step=danger/forbidden always ends badly (highway to hell)one thing must lead to another(1 drink/puff = addiction)dangerous proposalstoo simplistic, ignores the similarities, ignores the complexity of life and institutions, ignores checks and balances
109 FAULTY REASONING * SLIPPERY SLOPE vs. REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM: SS: ends with something bad, but possibleRAA: ends with something absurd, impossibleArguments against opening a casino:If we pass this referendum and allow this casino to open, then we’ll be overrun by gambling addicts. (SS)one small steps, ends in something bad but possibleIf we pass this referendum and allow this casino to open, then we’ll be overrun by zombies and demons. (RAA)ends with something absurd, impossibleYou want to open a casino in the area, so you’re pro-gambling. Because you’re in favor of gambling, you must also be in favor of child prostitution because that’s what gambling addicts force their children into in order to feed their addiction.
110 FAULTY REASONING *EXAMPLES of SLIPPERY SLOPE: “She kept her kid away from soda because one drink and he’d be addicted to it for life.”“If we legalize marijuana, then more people would start to take crack and heroin, and we’d have to legalize those too. Before long we'd have a nation full of drug-addicts on welfare. Therefore, we cannot legalize marijuana.”“Legalizing abortion will lead to murder of the elderly and the physically and mentally handicapped.”“If we ban handguns, what’s next?! Rifles and other hunting weapons?!”“If we allow gays to marry, then the human race will become extinct.”
112 extras Argumentum ad antiquitatem: (appeal to antiquity or tradition) something (behavior, practice, policy) = right/acceptable because of tradition“It's always been done that way.”“Every great civilization has believed in a higher power.”Argumentum ad novitatem:opposite of the Argumentum ad Antiquitatem;something = better or more correct simply because it is new, or newer than something else.“Windows XP is better than Windows 2003 because WXP just came out."
113 extras Argumentum ad nauseam: made to the point of disgust by repetitionrepetition to substitute for actual, real arguments, w/o substantiation, w/o justificationLeading or loaded or complex question:no right way to answer; assumes something to be true by its construction“Have you stopped beating your wife ?”
114 extras to SEX!!! Appeals: to Authority to Belief to Common Practice to Consequences of a Beliefto Fearto Flatteryto Pityto Ridiculeto Spiteto SEX!!!Biased SampleBurden of ProofAd Hominem Tu QuoqueCircumstantial Ad HominemCompositionConfusing Cause & EffectDivisionGambler's FallacyIgnoring A Common CauseMiddle GroundMisleading VividnessPoisoning the WellQuestionable CauseRelativist FallacySpecial PleadingSpotlightTwo Wrongs Make A Right<http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/>