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Logical Fallacies. What is a Fallacy? According to Webster’s Dictionary, a fallacy is an error in thinking or reasoning. It’s an argument that does not.

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Presentation on theme: "Logical Fallacies. What is a Fallacy? According to Webster’s Dictionary, a fallacy is an error in thinking or reasoning. It’s an argument that does not."— Presentation transcript:

1 Logical Fallacies

2 What is a Fallacy? According to Webster’s Dictionary, a fallacy is an error in thinking or reasoning. It’s an argument that does not conform to the rules of logic, but appears to make sense.

3 Fallacies Bad arguments are called fallacies. There are many fallacies of which many people think that they are good arguments. Fallacies usually follow certain patterns, so there are several categories of common fallacies. You can see fallacies around you all the time once you recognize these patterns.

4 You can’t get away from Fallacies! Fallacies are all around you… Advertisements in magazines, on T.V., on billboards all contain fallacies! Can you think of a place where there are NO advertisements? –Probably not! That’s because advertising is impossible to escape and ad-free zones rarely exist.

5 Impact of Fallacies What might be the impact of being told that we are not pretty, handsome, rich, clean, or good enough? What does the casual acceptance of surrounding ourselves with fallacies say about us?

6 One kind of Fallacy is called Red Herring Example: You should take my side on this weight issue because I played basketball in the Olympics and trained with Hungary’s national champion Definition: Red Herring is a stinky fish that could distract even the best of blood hounds from what they are searching for. Red Herring means that you are distracting your audience from the main point by bringing up something else unconnected with the logic of the argument.

7 Fallacy: Emotionally Loaded Terms Example: You slowly poison your children when you feed them fast food. Definition: Using emotionally charged words to distract the reader from the real argument (a type of red herring).

8 Fallacy: Ad Hominem (This means against humans) Example: The reason why the Bush administration’s plan for battling obesity In America is wrong is because Bush is stupid. Definition: Attacking the person instead of their arguments (another type of red herring).

9 Fallacy: Faulty Cause and Effect Example: Because children are using cell phones more and more and the obesity rate is rising at the same time, cell phones cause obesity. Definition: Saying that because one event precedes another in time, it causes a second event. Also known as “correlation does not equal causation.”

10 Fallacy: Either/Or Reasoning Example: Parents should either let their children get fat by eating fast food all the time or never let them eat fast food. The choice is obvious. Definition: An author limits the solution to two possible choices, instead of allowing for other possibilities.

11 Fallacy: Hasty Generalization Example: A recent study showed that kids who are getting more obese also happen, on average, to watch 4 hours of TV a day. Therefore, to solve the problem, no children should watch TV. Definition: Also known as jumping to conclusions

12 Hasty generalization (or jumping to conclusions) draws a conclusion about a population based on a small sample. –Example: I’ve met two people in Nicaragua so far, and they were both nice to me. So, all people I will meet in Nicaragua will be nice to me.

13 Fallacy: Oversimplification Example: The answer to childhood obesity is to teach kids to “just say no” to bad food. Definition: When an author proposes an overly easy solution to a difficult or complex problem.

14 Fallacy: Straw Man Example: Those who say that kids should go on diets are simply telling us to send our kids to Weight Watchers, which not everyone can afford. My plan for exercise promotion is better because fresh air and walking is free. Definition: Constructing a feeble version of your opponents argument and destroying it, indicating that your position is much stronger.

15 Types of Fallacies: Appeal to Emotions Appeal to emotions manipulates people’s emotions in order to get their attention away from an important issue. You commit the fallacy of appeal to emotions when someone’s appeal to you to accept their claim is accepted merely because the appeal arouses your feelings or anger, fear, grief, love, outrage, pity, pride, sexuality, sympathy, relief, and so forth.

16 Types of Fallacies: Bandwagon Bandwagon creates the impression that everybody is doing it and so should you. If you suggest that someone’s claim is correct simply because it’s what most everyone is coming to believe, then you’re committing the bandwagon fallacy.


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