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Critical Thinking Lecture 5a Fallacies By David Kelsey.

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1 Critical Thinking Lecture 5a Fallacies By David Kelsey

2 Fallacies A fallacy is a mistake in reasoning. Examples:

3 The argument from outrage An argument from outrage is given when inflammatory words are followed by a conclusion. Examples: When a person becomes angry she can become illogical in two ways: –1. Mistaking rhetoric for argument –2. Displacing anger

4 Scapegoating To scapegoat a person or group: –to blame that person or group for something they didn’t do. –Serial Murderer example…

5 Scare Tactics One uses scare tactics when she tries to scare someone else into believing some claim. –Painting a scary picture –Global warming example

6 More fallacious reasoning Argument by force –Trying to get someone to accept some claim by threatening her. –Examples Argument from pity –Evoking compassion to cause a mistake in reasoning. –Examples:

7 Argument from Envy One makes an argument from envy when she evokes envy to cause a mistake in reasoning. –Examples

8 Apple Polishing Apple polishing occurs when pride causes a mistake in reasoning. –Examples

9 Guilt trips and Wishful Thinking A guilt trip occurs when guilt is evoked to get someone to accept a claim. Examples: Wishful thinking –to accept a claim simply because it would be pleasant if it were true. –Example: Believing in God exists

10 The peer pressure argument Peer pressure argument: –To accept (or urge acceptance of) some claim because one will gain someone’s approval if she does. –Examples:

11 The group think fallacy and Nationalism The group think fallacy occurs when one substitutes pride of membership in a group for reason and logic in arriving at some claim. –Examples of groups: Nationalism –when national pride leads one to blind endorsement of a country and its policies. –Examples:

12 Rationalizing One rationalizes when she uses a false pretext to satisfy her own desire. –Example: Mr. Smith rationalizes the Table Saw he gives his wife

13 Argument from popularity This occurs when someone accepts some claim on the grounds that all or most of some group of people (not experts) believe it. –Just because everyone believes something doesn’t make it true –Example:

14 Arguments from common practice and from tradition Argument from common practice –when someone justifies some action on the grounds that it is common. Example: Argument from tradition –when someone justifies some action on the grounds that it is tradition. Example:

15 Relativism fallacy & two wrongs make a right Relativism fallacy –to think that one and the same factual claim can be both true for one person or culture and false for another. –Example: Two Wrongs make a Right: –When someone performs a wrong action and you retaliate with another wrong action. –Examples:

16 Red Herrings Red Herring: –When an argument is being made in favor of some claim and someone introduces another claim for the sake of distracting attention away from the original argument, she has introduced a red herring. –The purpose of the red herring is distraction –Changing the subject –Examples:

17 Smokescreens Smokescreen –when an argument is being made in favor of a claim and she attempts to distract attention away from it by piling issues on top of it or by making the argument overly complex until the original argument is lost in the verbal “smoke”. –For example: What reasons were given for Invading Iraq?


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