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Presentation: Fallacies - Relevance vs. Weak Induction.

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1 Presentation: Fallacies - Relevance vs. Weak Induction

2 Homework Study Fallacies 1-18 – Review pp Fallacies (definition § 4.1) § 4.2 Fallacies of Relevance (1 – 8) § 4.3 Fallacies of Weak Induction (9 – 14) – For Next Class: pp § 4.4 Fallacies of Presumption & Ambiguity (15 – 22)

3 Fallacies of Relevance

4 Relevance vs. Weak Induction Fallacies of Relevance – Premises are logically immaterial to conclusion – Typical features: a)tactic of distraction b)conclusion rests on emotional appeal – Premises may appear to be psychologically relevant Fallacies of Weak Induction – Premises are relevant to conclusion – Insufficient evidence to warrant conclusion

5 Fallacies of Relevance 1.Appeal to Force 2.Appeal to Pity 3.Appeal to the People – Direct – Indirect 4.Argument against the Person (Ad hominem) – Abusive – Circumstantial – You, too! 5.Missing the Point 6.Of Accident 7.Straw Man 8.Red Herring In each case, 1.The premises are immaterial to conclusion 2.Premises often distract attention from relevant evidence In each case, 1.The premises are immaterial to conclusion 2.Premises often distract attention from relevant evidence

6 Fallacies of Relevance Appeal to the People – Two Kinds 1.Direct Approach – Appeal to group – Appeal to emotions, either positive or negative – Evidence overlooked due to cloud of emotional attachment 2.Indirect Approach – Appeal to individuals – Appeal to attachment or relationship to crowd – Evidence overlooked in favor of emotional attachment Political speech Advertisements

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8 Fallacies of Relevance Ad Hominem Arguments (against the person) – Three varieties Abusive: attack on character of arguer – Turn attention away from the argument to the arguer Circumstantial: attack by reference to specific irrelevant circumstances affecting arguer – Evidence for proposed conclusions overlooked in such attacks You, too!: attack by charge of hypocrisy – Irrelevant behavior characteristics overshadow argument

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10 Fallacies of Relevance Red Herring (stinky fish) – Someone diverts attention from subject at hand Introduction of a controversial, hot-button issue The original argument tied illegitimately to controversial position (the stinky fish) – Controversial position attacked for its outlandishness

11 Fallacies of Relevance Example: Question of Evidence (red herring)?red herring Appearing on ABC's This Week, the Ohio Republican (Minority Leader John Boehner) was asked what to describe the GOP plan to dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, "which every major scientific organization said is contributing to climate change." Boehner replied: "The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know when they do what they do you've got more carbon dioxide." "It's clear we've had change in our climate," he added. "The question is how much does man have to do with it and what is the proper way to deal with this? We can't do it alone as one nation." The Huffington Post, “Boehmer Cites Cow Farts to Downplay Global Warming” Red Herring?Oversimplification? Weak Induction 1.The premises are relevant to conclusion 2.Premises provide insufficient evidence to warrant conclusion Weak Induction 1.The premises are relevant to conclusion 2.Premises provide insufficient evidence to warrant conclusion Relevance 1.The premises are immaterial to conclusion 2.Premises often distract attention from relevant evidence Relevance 1.The premises are immaterial to conclusion 2.Premises often distract attention from relevant evidence Two Distinct Fallacies

12 Fallacies of Relevance Straw Man – Someone misrepresents another’s argument Presents weaker argument – Straw man vs. real man – Attacks weaker argument as if it were the original Distorted argument often a fabrication

13 Fallacies of Relevance The Darwinian theory of evolution cannot be true. Evolution asserts that the human being is a descendant of certain primate species. My parents are certainly human, as were theirs. Just as it is absurd to believe that a human being could birth a chimpanzee, it is absurd to believe a monkey could produce a human. A misrepresentation of Dawinian theory of evolution. As such irrelevant evidence against.

14 Fallacies of Relevance Question of Evidence? " The most talked-about aspect of the defense case undoubtedly concerned Mark Fuhrman, the LAPD officer who had found the bloody glove and who, as a prosecution witness, denied using the word "nigger." It turned out that Fuhrman had used "the n word"--many times--and it was on tape. Laura Hart McKinny, an aspiring screenwriter from North Carolina, had hired Fuhrman to consult with her on police issues for a script she was writing. McKinny taped her interviews with Fuhrman, who not only used the offensive racial slur, but disclosed that he had sometimes planted evidence to help secure convictions. Needless to say, the defense wanted McKinny on the stand, and they wanted the jury to hear selected portions of her tapes. The prosecution strenuously objected, arguing that McKinny's testimony was irrelevant absent some plausible evidence suggesting that evidence was planted in the Simpson case. The prejudicial value of the testimony, the prosecution insisted, would exceed its probative value.” The Trial of O.J. Simpson by Doug Linder

15 Fallacies of Relevance Appeal to Force Appeal to Pity Appeal to the People – Direct – Indirect Argument against the Person – Abusive – Circumstantial – You, too! Missing the Point Of Accident Straw Man Red Herring Premises are logically immaterial to conclusion Attention drawn away from supporting evidence – appeal to some irrelevant concern – often intentionally deceptive Premises appear relevant

16 Homework Study Fallacies 1-18 – Review pp Fallacies (definition § 4.1) § 4.2 Fallacies of Relevance (1 – 8) § 4.3 Fallacies of Weak Induction (9 – 14) – For Next Class: pp § 4.4 Fallacies of Presumption & Ambiguity (15 – 22)


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