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Techniques of Persuasion – Quiz 2 Notes.docx

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York University
Modes Of Reasoning
MODR 1770
Glen Hoffman

Techniques of Persuasion – Quiz 2 Notes Chapter 3 (starting on pg. 92) Diagramming Arguments Barack Obama has great ideas for preserving the natural environment. You bet he does! Therefore Obama being elected is good for Canada. First thing is underline any premise or conclusion indicator words (therefore, since, because) Barack Obama has great ideas for preserving the natural environment. You bet he does! Therefore Obama being elected is good for Canada. Next number all the statements. Questions and commands are not statements 1. Barack Obama has great ideas for preserving the natural environment. 2. 2. You bet he does! 3. Therefore Obama being elected is good for Canada. Then cross out all extraneous statements, those that are neither premises nor conclusions, those that are redundant, and those that are nothing more than background information 1. Barack Obama has great ideas for preserving the natural environment. 2. 2. You bet he does! 3. Therefore Obama being elected is good for Canada. Place the numbers of the premises inside squares, and above the number for the conclusion, which itself is placed in a circle. Then draw arrows from the premises to the conclusion Premise=square Conclusion=circle 1 3 If premises are dependent on each other, underline them together and use one arrow A point can be a conclusion and a premise. If it is a premise, but has a statement that is used to support it. Circle-square combination indicates that a statement is a sub- conclusion 1 Chapter 4 – Reasons for Belief and Doubt When Claims Conflict  If a claim conflicts with other claims we have good reason to accept, we have good ground for doubting it  With conflicting claims, you are not justified in believing either one of them until you resolve the conflict  If a claim conflicts with our background information, we have good reason to doubt it  We should proportion our belief to the evidence  The more evidence a claim has in its favour, the stronger our belief in it should be  It’s not reasonable to believe a claim when there is no good reason for doing so Experts and Evidence  If a claim conflicts with expert option, we have good reason to doubt it  When the experts disagree about a claim, we have good reason to doubt it  If a claim is in dispute among experts, then non-experts can have no good reason for accepting (or rejecting) it  Appeal to authority – believe a claim that comes from someone deemed to be an expert who in fact is not an expert  Happens in one of two ways  Find ourselves disregarding that just because someone is an expert in the field, he or she is not necessarily an expert in another  Fall into appeal to authority by regarding a non-expert as an expert  Prerequisites for being considered an expert 1. Education and training in the relevant field 2. Experience in making reliable judgments in the field  Sometimes these indicators don’t always work. Two additional indicators 3. Reputation among peers 4. Professional accomplishments Personal Experience  It’s reasonable to accept the evidence provided by personal experience only if there’s no good reason to doubt it  Personal experience, though generally reliable, is not infallible Impairment  If perceptual powers are somehow impaired or impeded, we have reason to doubt them  Ill, injured, tired, stressed out, excited, drugged, drunk, distracted  Environment is too dark or too bright, too noisy, too hazy 2 Expectation  Often perceive exactly what we expect to receive, regardless of whether there’s anything there to detect  Expectation can distort perceptions  Pareidolia – seeing a vague image as something significant, representing something else. An illusion Innumeracy  People are terrible at calculating probabilities  Common error is the misjudging of coincidences  Gambler’s fallacy – to think that previous events can affect the probabilities in the random event at hand Fooling Ourselves  Ignore evidence, deny it m, manipulate it, distort it  Common mistakes we make when we deal with evidence Resisting Contrary Evidence  Human tendency is to try to resist evidence that goes against our cherished beliefs  May deny evidence, or ignore it, or reinterpret it so it fits better with our prejudices Looking for Confirming Evidence  Seek out and use only confirming evidence, a phenomenon known as confirmation bias  Can end up accepting a claim that’s not true, seeing relationships that aren’t there, and finding confirmation that isn’t genuine Preferring Available Evidence  Availability error  When we rely on evidence, not because it’s trustworthy, but because it’s memorable or striking  Example, people who believe air travel is more dangerous than car Inside the News  Most people get information from TV news rather than newspapers, even though they present a lot less information  News outlets makes most of its money through advertising  News outlets will present whatever will get them the most viewers or readers, try not to upset people  Less serious reporting, more light features  Write articles that will not upset their sources, keep their sources of information open  Reporters may decide not to cover certain stories or aspects of a story 3  Reporters can dramatically alter our perception of the news by playing certain aspects up or down Advertising and Persuasion  We generally have good reason to doubt advertising claims and to be wary of advertising’s persuasive powers  Goal is to sell or promote something  Primary function is not to provide objective and accurate information to consumers  Advertising has a reputation and history of misleading messages  Identification o Many ads persuade by inviting the consumer to identify with attractive people or groups o Identify with a celebrity that you feel his product choices are your preferred choices  Slogans  Misleading Comparisons  Weasel words water down a claim in subtle ways  Ensure that it is technically true but superficially misleading Chapter 5 – Faulty Reasoning Two types of fallacies 1. Those that have irrelevant premises 2. Those that have unacceptable premises Irrelevant Premises Genetic Fallacy  Genetic fallacy consists of arguing that a claim is true or false solely because of its origin or source  Arguments fail because they reject a claim solely on the basis of where it comes from, not on its merits  Source of an idea is irrelevant to its truth Appeal to the Person  Reject a claim by criticizing the person who makes it rather than the claim itself  Attempt to discredit a claim by appealing to someone’s character, motives, or personal circumstances, which are most often irrelevant  Can be regarded as a special case of the genetic fallacy  What distinguishes an appeal to the person that it not only mentions a person as the origin of an argument, but it also attacks the person and usually ignores the argument altogether  When there are charges of hypocrisy, fallacy known as tu quoque 4 o Ellen claims that X, but Ellen doesn’t practice/live by/condone X herself, so X is false  Poisoning the well – X has no regard for the truth or has non-rational motives for espousing a claim, so nothing that X says should be believed  Can’t get water out of a poisoned well, can’t get reliable claims out of a discredited claimant Composition  The fallacy of composition is to argue that what is true of the parts must be true of the whole  The error here is to think that the characteristics of the parts are some how transferred to the whole  The atoms that make up the human body are invisible. Therefore, the human body is invisible  Each member of the club is productive and effective. So the club will be productive and effective Division  Opposite of composition  Arguing that what is true of the whole must be true of the parts  The fallacy is also committed when we assume that what is true of a group is true of individuals in the group Equivocation  The fallacy of equivocation is the use of a word in two different sense in an argument  Flip-flop of meanings of a word, but used in the same paragraph to make a conclusion Appeal to Popularity  The fallacy of the appeal to popularity (or to the masses) is to argue that a claim must be true merely because a substantial number of people believe it  Appeal to common practice is not about what many people believe, but rather about what many people do Appeal to Tradition  The appeal to tradition is arguing that a claim must be true just because it’s part of a tradition Appeal to Ignorance  The appeal to ignorance consists of arguing that a lack of evidence proves something  Problem arises by thinking that a claim must be true because it hasn’t been shown to be
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