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Rhetorical Fallacies Arguments that sound good, but are not sound!

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Presentation on theme: "Rhetorical Fallacies Arguments that sound good, but are not sound!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Rhetorical Fallacies Arguments that sound good, but are not sound!

2 Rhetorical fallacies Distract the audience with irrelevant appeals instead of using sound reasoning. They can be divided into three categories:  Emotional fallacies unfairly appeal to the audience’s emotions.  Ethical fallacies unreasonably advance the writer’s own authority or character.  Logical fallacies depend upon faulty logic.

3 Emotional fallacies Scare Tactics try to frighten people into agreeing with the arguer by threatening them or predicting unrealistically dire consequences.  If you don’t support the party’s tax plan, you and your family will be reduced to poverty. Sentimental Appeals use emotion to distract the audience from the facts.  The thousands of baby seals killed in the Exxon Valdez oil spill have shown us that oil is not a reliable energy source.

4 Emotional fallacies False Need arguments create an unnecessary desire for things.  You need an expensive car or people won’t think you’re cool. Testimonial Appeals encourage an audience to agree with the writer because everyone else is doing so.  Paris Hilton carries a small dog in her purse, so you should buy a hairless Chihuahua and put it in your Louis Vuitton.

5 Ethical fallacies False Authority asks audiences to agree with the writer based simply on his or her character or the authority of another person or institution who may not be fully qualified to offer that assertion.  My high school teacher said it, so it must be true. Guilt by Association calls someone’s character into question by examining the character of that person’s associates.  Sara’s friend Amy robbed a bank; therefore, Sara is a delinquent.  He is well on his way to becoming a thug, because he has started hanging out with that thug, Robert.

6 Ethical fallacies Ad Hominem arguments attack a person’s character rather than that person’s reasoning.  Why should we think a candidate who recently divorced will keep her campaign promises?  Buy a car from me, because the Ford dealer down the street is an idiot and a liar.

7 Logical fallacies Begging the Question occurs when a writer simply restates the claim in a different way; such an argument is circular.  His lies are evident from the untruthful nature of his statements.  George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively. Stacked Evidence represents only one side of the issue, thus distorting the issue.  Cats are superior to dogs because they are cleaner, cuter, and more independent. ?

8 Logical fallacies Exaggerations occur when we overstate or overemphasize a point.  The school test scores have improved dramatically since the new principal came on board. Obviously her leadership has been a real benefit for our school.  There must have been a hundred million birds in that tree! Stereotypes are general beliefs we use to categorize people, objects, and events erroneously.  I got bit by a large dog when I was little, so I stay away from all dogs now; they are vicious.  Anyone who lives in that neighborhood is rich and stuck-up.

9 Logical fallacies Categorical Claim is based on the faulty logic of relating two things solely because they are in the same category.  She writes a lot in her journal. A person who writes a lot is certain to be a good writer. Therefore, she must be a good writer.  Chihuahuas are good inside dogs. Rottweilers are dogs; therefore, Rottweilers would be good inside dogs, too.

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