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Up until Test 3.doc

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University of Ottawa

FaultyReasoningandFallaciesNovember8thFaulty ReasoningCertain types of defective arguments happen so frequently that they have been given namesThese are known as fallacies and such arguments are said to be fallaciousFallacy An error in reasoningoFallacies can seem plausible oThey are psychologically persuasive though logically powerless Common Fallacies1 Appeal to Ignorance arguing that a lack of evidence proves something In one type of this fallacy the problem arises by thinking that a claim must be true because it hasnt been shown to be falseoExample No one has shown that ghosts arent real so they must be realoThe problem is that lack of evidence is supposed to prove somethingbut it cant oA lack of evidence alone can neither prove nor disprove a proposition oA lack of evidence simply reveals our ignorance about something 2 Appeal to inappropriate authority When a claim comes from someone deemed to be an expert who in fact is not an expert oBecause someone is an expert in one field does not mean that he or she is necessarily an expert in another oThis point is not that these experts cant be right but that their expertise in a particular field doesnt give us reason to believe them in all thingsExample My lawyer says that the new treatment for MS is no good I guess hes right
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