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Reductio Ad Absurdum In formal logic, the reductio ad absurdum is a legitimate argument. It follows the form that if the premises are assumed to be true.

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Presentation on theme: "Reductio Ad Absurdum In formal logic, the reductio ad absurdum is a legitimate argument. It follows the form that if the premises are assumed to be true."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reductio Ad Absurdum In formal logic, the reductio ad absurdum is a legitimate argument. It follows the form that if the premises are assumed to be true it necessarily leads to an absurd (false) conclusion and therefore one or more premises must be false. The term is now often used to refer to the abuse of this style of argument, by stretching the logic in order to force an absurd conclusion. For example a UFO enthusiast once argued that if I am skeptical about the existence of alien visitors, I must also be skeptical of the existence of the Great Wall of China, since I have not personally seen either. This is a false reductio ad absurdum because he is ignoring evidence other than personal eyewitness evidence, and also logical inference. In short, being skeptical of UFO's does not require rejecting the existence of the Great Wall Reductio ad absurdum, disproving the validity of a notion by pursuing it to absurdly logical extremes. Swift was reacting to the subtly pervasive dehumanization of poor Irish by showing the potentially horrific consequences of overt and complete dehumanization.

2 First logical premise I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional grievance All English and Irish would agree

3 Second Logical Premise therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and easy method of making these children sound and useful members of the common- wealth, would deserve so well of the publick, as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation Of course all Irish and English would want children employed

4 Defintion; the reductio ad absurdum, disproving the validity of a notion by pursuing it to absurdly logical extremes. it is exactly at one year old that I propose to provide for them in such a manner, as, instead of being a charge upon their parents, or the parish, or wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the feeding, and partly to the cloathing of many thousands Of course we would agree that all kids need to contribute….

5 Third Logical premise I wonder if the English and Irish would agree that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust... A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter

6 Analysis and Counter-Argument Swift begins with three logical arguments, and then introduces a final illogical argument that enders his previous examples and his conclusion useless.

7 Reducto ad Absurdum-Example # 2 The Chewbaca defense YouTube - South Park The Chewbacca Defence which premiered on October 7, 1998, as the fourteenth episode of the second season. The aim of the argument is to deliberately confuse the jury. The concept satirized attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument defending O. J. Simpson in his murder trialjurysatirizedJohnnie Cochranclosing argumentO. J. Simpson murder trial The Chewbacca Defense is a term for any legal strategy or propaganda strategy that seeks to overwhelm its audience with nonsensical arguments, as a way of confusing the audience and drowning out legitimate opposing arguments. It is thus a kind of logical fallacy: OJ

8 Cochran...ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense! ChewbaccaWookieeKashyyykEndor Gerald Broflovski Damn it!... He's using the Chewbacca defense! Cochran Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests. [1]Ewoksconjugatin'Emancipation Proclamationacquit [1]

9 Satire of reuductio ad absurdum The Logical fallacy is a parody of Johnny Cochran's use of reducatio Ad AbsA left hand glove is found at the Bundy murder scene. The gloves themselves are not normal K-Mart gloves, but a $55.00 pair of Aris Isotoner gloves, size extra large, a brand created specifically for Bloomindales. Bloomingdale's has proven that Nicole Brown Simpson purchased two pairs of these gloves from them on December 18,1990. An executive from Aris testifies that due to the blood drying on the gloves, they had shrunk a full size. Though Simpson claimed to never have owned a pair of these gloves, several media pictures at different events over the years show him to be wearing them. Cochrans final comment on his closing testimony was if the gloves dont fit you must aquit Redcutio ad absurdum because the evidence is overwhelming ly for guilt yet one illogical premise leads to an illogical conclusion, he is innocent, or at least there is reasonable doubt Southpark mocks this reasoning with the Chewbacca defense. urdum in the OJ trial.

10 Chewbacca defense In the episode, Chef contacts a "major record company" executive, seeking only to have his name credited as the composer of "Stinky Britches". Chef's claim is substantiated by a twenty-year-old recording of Chef performing the song. The record company refuses, and furthermore hires Johnnie Cochran, who files a lawsuit against Chef for harassment. In court, Cochran resorts to his "famous" Chewbacca defense, which he "used during the Simpson trial", according to Gerald Broflovskiharassment finds Chef guilty of "harassing a major record label" and sets his punishment as either a two million dollar fine to be paid within twenty-four hours or, failing that, four years in prison (the judge initially sentences him to eight million years). He again successfully uses the Chewbacca defense, this time to defeat the record company and make them acknowledge Chef's authorship of their song. In the second use of the Chewbacca defense, he ends by taking out a monkey puppet and shouting "Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!" causing a juror's head to explode.monkey

11 Works Cited Top 20Logical Fallacies The Skeptics Guide to the Universe ©2008 THE NEW ENGLAND SKEPTICAL SOCIETY Watley E.F. Perspectives: Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal. Checkplease. 24 October2005 swift.php20 Checkplease swift.php

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