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Canada (158,170)
Sociology (145)
SOCI 2P00 (11)
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Chapter 6

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Brock University

Chapter 6: Are There Any Fallacies in the Reasoning?  Fallacies = tricks  A fallacy is a reasoning “trick” than an author might use while trying to persuade you to accept a conclusion  Ad hominem – an attack, or an insult, on the person, rather than directly addressing the person’s reasons o Not usually relevant  Slippery slope – making the assumption that a proposed step will set off an uncontrollable chain of undesirable events, when procedures exist to prevent such a chain of events  Searching for a perfect solution – falsely assuming that because part of a problem remains after a solution is tried, the solution should not be adopted  Equivocation – a key word or phrase used with two or more meanings in an argument such that the argument fails to make sense once the shifts in meaning are recognized  Appeal to popularity (Ad Populum) – an attempt to justify a claim by appealing to sentiments that large groups of people have in common; falsely assumes that anything favored by a large group is desirable  Appeal to questionable authority – supporting a conclusion by citing an authority who lacks special expertise on the issue at hand  Appeals to emotion – the use of emotionally charged language to distract readers and listeners from relevant reasons and evidence. Common emotions appealed to are fear, hope, patriotism, pity, and sympathy  Straw person – distorting our opponent’s point of view so that it is easy to attack; thus we attack a point of view that doesn’t truly exist  Either-or (or false dilemma) – assuming only two alternatives when there are more than two  Explaining by naming – falsely assuming that because you have provided a name for some event or behaviour, you have also adequately explained the event  Glittering generality – the use of vague, emotionally appealing virtue words that dispose us to approve something without closely examining the reasons  Red herring – an irrelevant topic is presented to divert attention from the
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