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Module 7 - Fallacies.docx

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Department
Modes Of Reasoning
Course
MODR 1730
Professor
Philip Mac Ewen
Semester
Fall

Description
Module 7 – Fallacies Test Review Fallacy – is a pattern of reasoning that is fundamentally erroneous  An argument with a false claim, involves a specific false claim or assumption, a fallacy is a pattern of faulty reasoning that can be found in many different arguments A fallacy meets the following two conditions: 1. It is a pattern of reasoning, not a specific error; and a. It can result from reasons no one should accept b. From a significant error in the reasoning c. From an error in the use of language d. From a failure to meet the constitutive rules of argument in a basic way 2. There is something fundamentally flawed about the pattern of reasoning Fallacies and the Dimensions of Argument Attacks on the Person ( Fallacies of (IR) Fallacies of Irrelevance and Presumption Relevance) (Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence) People Process Content  Violates the basis of argumentation -to  Undermine the process of argumentation  Provide reasons that establish the truth of a claim through by making it difficult to discover the may be relevant but are reasoned argument truth through rational means insufficient as given to 1. Attacking the person or trying  Arguments with hidden premises such establish their to influence the person by that these premises are a) unstated, b) conclusions attacking or dismissing the false, or: person’s arguments  Violate a number of Constitutive 2. By means of attacking the Principles, including truth-seeking, person or appealing to respect, burden of proof ad argument irrelevant appeals (ex. threat or emotion) 1. Ad hominem (abusive and 1. Shifting the burden of proof 8. Hasty generalizations circumstantial) 2. Appeal to Ignorance 9. Fallacy of False Cause 2. Poisoning the well 3. Begging the question or circular 10. The Slippery Slope 3. Appeal to force/threat argument 11. False analogy 4. Faulty appeal to emotion (pity and 4. Self-Evident Truth 12. Faulty Dichotomy fear) 5. Fallacy of Equivocation 13. Faulty Appeal to 5. Genetic fallacy 6. Fallacy of Common Practice/ Popularity Authority 7. Red Herring For the fallacy test (Dec. 4, 15:30-17:00)  Do a 1,2,3 analysis = map argument (1); identify one fallacy in the argument (2); and justify your selection of fallacy (3) 1. Use conventional form, indicating the premises with P1, P2 etc. and the conclusion with C 2. If someone or some group is being attacked as a way of trying to prove a conclusion about that person or group, a fallacy of relevance has been committed – otherwise if someone is not being attacked then it is a fallacy of presumption 3. Fallacies of relevance include The 2 families of fallacies are 1) relevance and 2) presumption. 1) has the common problem of having premises which are not relevant to/not related to the conclusion; 2) has the common problem of making a presumption which is not stated in the arguments which not stated in the arguments concerned which is false and also contrary to one or more of the rules of argument (Module 1) Fallacies of IR/Relevance - (I-IV, XIII) 172-177, 195-196 – Attacking someone or group in order to prove conclusion of argument 1. Ad hominem ( abusive or circumstantial) Abusive: ex. P1 You are a bad person and so C I can’t trust you Circumstantial: ex. P1 You own apartment buildings so C of course you oppose rent controls 123 Analysis: Ad hominem (attacking someone for who they are/ attack on character) P1 Dr.Khan is a member of the committee which authored the report. C I doubt that we can accept anything he has to say in favour of it. (1) The argument commits the fallacy of circumstantial ad hominem, a fallacy of relevance (2). Instead of using a relevant premise such as Dr. Khan was a member of a number of committees which plagiarized their reports, as revealed in a number of criminal cases, this argument rather attacks the situation of Dr. Khan and so fails to prove its conclusion. We are attacking the circumstance of Dr. Khan, as a member of the committee not about the legitimacy of what he wrote. (3) He is judged by association. 2. Poisoning the well ex. P1 You are a liar and so C I can’t trust you ex. P1 This person is a swindler so C don’t have anything to do with them in business 123 Analysis: Poisoning the well (attempt to smear the opponents or argument partner’s credibility) P1My opponent is a vulgar opportunist who will say and do anything to get elected and in so doing corrupts the entire electoral process. C Don’t support my opponent. (1) The argument commits the fallacy of poisoning the well, a fallacy or relevance (2). Not necessarily an attack on character, as they are simply a vulgar opportunist, not a bad person as the vulgar opportunist can still be a good person, so simply an attack on lack of credibility. Instead of smearing the person concerned, this argument should provide a relevant premise to support its conclusion (such as one’s opponent held political office before and left office without notification); since it does not do this, it fails to support its conclusion. (3) before and left office without notification) – it’s not an attack on your character, but an attack on a fact on your character 3. Appeal to Force or Threat Appeal to threat: ex. C I’ll hit you if P1 you don’t go to bed Appeal to force: ex. C I hit you because P1 I want you to go to bed 123 Analysis: Appeal to Force or Threat Go to bed or I’ll hit you (if P1 you don’t go to bed, C I’ll hit you.) (1) This argument commits the fallacy of appeal to threat, a fallacy of relevance. (2) Instead of offering a relevant premise to support conclusion, such as you need your sleep if you are to operate a full capacity tomorrow, this argument it simply threatens the person concerned and so fails to proves its conclusion. (3) 4. Appeal to emotion (pity or fear) Pity – an emotion, either for oneself or other conscious beings, such that one feels sorry for oneself/them because one/they are in an unfortunate situation for which one/they is/are not responsible ex. C Please officer, don’t give me a ticket for running the red light. P1 I’ll be grounded if you do and P2 I’ll lose all my friends Fear – an emotion, either for oneself or other conscious beings, because one/they finds oneself/themselves in a situation where one’s/their well-being is jeopardized and there may not be anything one/they can do to remove source of fear ex. C War breaks out at any time. P1 I had a horrible dream last night that we were attacked by a vicious enemy. P2 There was no time to mount any resistance. P3 The enemy slaughtered everybody in sight. P4 Blood and gore flowed like water. 123 Analysis: Appeal to Emotion (pity or fear) C Don’t go to the zoo or P1 the tiger there will eat you. (1) This argument commits the fallacy of appeal to fear, a fallacy of relevance. (2) Instead of offering a relevant premise such as we live too far away from the zoo to visit us, this argument appeals to fear and so fails to prove its conclusion (3) 5. The Genetic Fallacy ex. C I can’t trust you because P1 you come from country Z 123 Analysis: The Genetic Fallacy C You can’t trust these people because P1 they come from a dubious background. (1) This argument commits the fallacy of commits the fallacy of genesis (genetic fallacy), a fallacy of relevance (2). Instead of offering a relevant premise such as they have never kept any promises they made to me in the past, this argument attacks the origin of the people concerned and so fails to prove its conclusion. (3) Fallacies of Presumption (V-XII and XIV-XX) – Arguments have a missing premise, that is false and violates rules of argument 6. The Fallacy of Shifting the Burden of Proof  Occurs either when 1) arguer b to prove arguer a’s conclusion for arguer a or when 2) arguer a asks arguer b to prove the contrary conclusion arguer a was trying to establish but was unable to do so. 123 Analysis: The Fallacy of Shifting the Burden of Proof P1 I can’t prove that York University should have another campus [P2 An argument can prove its conclusion by shifting the burden of proof from one arguer to another.] so, C member of the committee on campus expansion, you need to help me out. (1) This argument commits the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof, a fallacy of presumption (2). Using the false, hidden presumption that [P2} which is false because it violates the rule of shifting the burden of proof, in which case the argument fails to prove its conclusion. (3) 7. The Fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance  Uses an opponent’s inability to prove something as evidence for the truth of the arguer’s own conclusion 123 Analysis: The Fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance P1 The absence of evidence that there is no extra-terrestrial live (ignorance) and [P2 An argument can prove its conclusion by using the absence of evidence for one position as evidence for the contrary position] proves that C life exists only on planet earth. (1) The argument commits the fallacy of appeal to ignorance, a fallacy of presumption (2). Through using the false hidden presumption is a violation of the truth-seeking principle and so fails to prove its conclusion (3). 8. The Fallacy of Begging the Question or Circular Argument  Begging the question or circular argument it’s a fallacy committed when an argument tries to prove a conclusion by appealing to a premise/s which say the same thing using different words.  This is sometimes called “circular reasoning” because the arguer starts and ends with the same basic claim. Gives not independent reason for the conclusion
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