Logical Fallacies

Scare Tactics= Coercing a favorable response by preying upon an audience’s fears. Anti-drug commercial- This is your brain. These are drugs. This is your brain on drugs. (with the appropriate pictures. Either or choices= making an audience choose between one choice or the other. “Either you’’’ do this or I’ll leave you. Slippery Slope= A fallacy in which a course of action is objected to on the grounds that once taken it will lead to additional actions until some undesirable consequence occurs. “All politics takes place on a slippery slope.

The most important four words in politics are ‘up to a point.’ Sentimental Appeals= when emotion is used to distract an audience from the real facts. “The thousands of baby seals killed in the Exxon Valdez oil spill have sown us that oil is not a reliable energy source.” Bandwagon Appeals= encourage audiences to agree with an author because everyone else is doing so.

“When Alabama was winning national titles, I was a fan of them, but I switched to Florida when they started winning.” Purple Patch= a section in a piece of writing characterized by rich, fanciful, ornate language. Still full of pride and passion, if not his old athleticism, Carey enjoyed a purple patch in the third quarter, booting three goals. Ethical Appeals

Appeals to False Authority= using a biased, suspicious, or incredible source to defend a conclusion. The mother responded to her child when he asked why with, ‘Because I said so.” Dogmatism= Proposing that there simply be any other possible way of making sense of and engaging with an issue but the one you represent. “There’s no way that anyone can argue that abortion is anything other than murder.” Moral Equivalence= Proposing that because some people act a certain way, then everyone has the right to act that way as well.

“If governments are going to impose restrictions on smoking for health reasons then they must impose then they must impose the same restrictions upon drinking and the eating of fatty foods.” Ad Hominem Arguments= Attacking the character of a person rather than engaging with the claim, reasons, and evidence he or she is setting forth. “In listening to what you have to say, I have this to say in response: only an idiot would argue for pursuing a peaceful solution to this argument.” Logical Appeals

Hasty Generalization= Drawing a conclusion, especially a sweeping one, from insufficient evidence. “I knew a gay guy once who wasn’t very masculine; this just goes to show that gay guys are more effeminate than straight men. Faulty Causality or Pos Hoc=The faulty assumption that because one event follows another, the second caused the first.

“The terrorists attacked the locals because the locals had more money than they did.” Begging the Question= Assuming as true the very claim that is disputed, in a circular argument. “You can’t give me a C; I’m an A student.” Non Sequiter= An argument which leaves out a necessary portion in a logical sequence, seeming to suggest a logical connection when one doesn’t actually exist. “She is a feminist; she must hate men.”

Faulty Analogy= Drawing an analogy that is based upon faulty equations or identifications of terms.”It has been scientifically that people need to drink a certain amount of water every day to keep healthy. Water is a liquid and so is beer, so people should be able to substitute the daily amount of water for beer and still keep healthy. Red Herring= Draws attention away from the issue at hand by focusing on an irrelevant issue as a substitute for making a case.

“You can’t trust Jim to do a good job as student body president; he doesn’t dress with an up-to-date sense of style.” Circular Reasoning= An argument that commits the logical fallacy of assuming what it is attempting to prove. Also known as begging the question. ”You can’t give me a C. I’m an A student.” Strawman= an fallacy in which an opponent’s argument is overstated or misrepresented in order to be attacked or refuted. “A boxer set up a scare crow and tore it apart, he then proclaimed he had achieved a great victory.

Syllogism= In logic, a form of deductive reasoning consisting of major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. “All men are mortal. Socrates is mortal. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.” Deductive Reasoning= A method of reasoning from the general to the specific. “You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you? You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong, so you could’ve put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

But, you’ve also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.” Enthymeme= An informally stated syllogism with an implied premise. “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.”