In the lesson, our professor Rebekah Hendershot goes through an introduction on a rhetoric crash course of logical fallacies She starts by discussing what a fallacy is, inductive fallacies and deductive fallacies. Then she reviews some common fallacies: hasty generalization. faulty use of authority, post hoc, false analogy, ad hominem, false dilemma, slippery slope, begging the question, straw man, two wrongs make a right, non sequitur, ad populum, appeal to tradition, and faulty emotional appeals.
Source: The Elements of Argument, Annette Rottenberg
What is a Fallacy?
A fallacy is an error in reasoning, a flaw in logic.
Inductive fallacies arise when an arguer leaps to a conclusion on the basis of insufficient or wrong evidence.
Deductive fallacies arise when an arguer fails to follow the logic of a series of statements (doesn’t connect the dots in his or her own argument).
Many writers use fallacies in place of actual reasoning. Do not be fooled!
1. Hasty Generalization
In the hasty generalization fallacy, the arguer draws conclusions based on insufficient evidence. Many prejudices and superstitions are the results of hasty generalizations.
2. Faulty Use of Authority
In this fallacy, the arguer cites an authority to back up his/her argument when a) the authority is not really much of an authority or b) there is significant difference of opinion among authorities on the subject (and the arguer doesn’t mention that).
3. Post Hoc
Originally “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” (“after this, therefore because of this”). In this fallacy, the arguer claims that just because one event follows another event, the first event must have caused the second.
4. False Analogy
In this fallacy, the arguer makes an analogy without proving the connection to the two things being compared.
5. Ad Hominem
This term means “against the man.” An ad hominem fallacy occurs when an arguer attacks the person on the other side of the argument rather than his or her ideas.
6. False Dilemma / Black-White
In this fallacy, the arguer insists that only two alternatives exist, even though there may be other possibilities in the situation.
7. Slippery Slope
In this fallacy, the arguer claims that taking a first step will lead inevitably to a second, usually undesirable step. (This is only a fallacy if the arguer does not provide evidence that this will happen.)
8. Begging the Question
In this fallacy, the arguer makes a statement that assumes that the very question being argued has already been proved. Extreme examples of this fallacy are called circular reasoning.
9. Straw Man
In this fallacy, the arguer attacks a view similar to, but not the same as, the one his or her opponent holds.
10. Two Wrongs Make a Right
In this fallacy, the arguer diverts attention from his or her own flaws by attacking the flaws of his or her opponent.
11. Non Sequitur
From the Latin for “it does not follow.” In this fallacy, the arguer makes an argument that doesn’t have anything to do with the subject under discussion.
12. Ad Populum
In this fallacy, the arguer makes an appeal to the prejudices of the people. One common form of ad populum is an appeal to patriotism (without evidence to support the claim.
13. Appeal to Tradition
In this fallacy, the arguer assumes that what has existed for a long time should continue to exist simply because it is a tradition (without saying why that tradition should be preserved).
14. Faulty Emotional Appeals
In this fallacy, the arguer appeals to the emotions of the audience without legitimate cause. These appeals are irrelevant to the argument, draw attention away from the issues, or conceal another purpose. The two most popular emotional appeals are to pity and fear.
Rhetoric Crash Course: Logical Fallacies
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