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MODR 1730 (5)
Chapter

THE FALLACIES (SPECIFIC NOTES)

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Department
Modes Of Reasoning
Course
MODR 1730
Professor
Hilary Davis
Semester
Winter

Description
THE FALLACIES: 1. Appeal to Force or Threat:  Instead of offering rational grounds, he/she threatens or uses force to get another to do something or to accept an idea VIOLATION: truth seeking principle, respect principle, argument principle, resolution principle “You don’t want to be a social outcast, do you? Then you better join us tom” “I don’t think it would be wise to run a story on my son’s driving escapades. After all, my firm does thousands of dollars advertising business with your paper.” 2. Appeal to Emotion, Pity:  When pity, shame, flattery, disgust, sympathy, or some other emotion instead of to reasons as a way of persuading someone to believe or do something a. Appeal to Pity -pleading someone or saying something to make them feel SORRY for you “please officer, don’t give me a ticket. Im a single mother on welfare” b. Appeal to Fear -using fear to scare someone or making them do what you want “If you don’t convict this defendant of murder and you do not find him guilty, you will be his next victim” c. Appeal to Guilt or Shame -making someone feel guilty or making them feel in shame of something “you should make an exception and give me an extension otherwise I will fail the course and would not get a scholarship” d. Appeal to Flattery -sucking up to someone so they do what you want them to do “you should make an exception and give me an extension because your are the most companionate prof on campus” 3. Ad Hominem  Arguer commits fallacy by attacking an individual rather than the individuals arguments  Arguer’s character is attacked a. Abusive Ad Hominem (Mudslinging, Name-Calling) -Opponent is insulted or abused -attempt to make a person characteristic of the opponent a valid reason to discount his or her ideas -ATTACK IS NOT ON THE ARGUMENT BUT PRESENTER (TO ON SPECIFIC PERSON) -is effective because once the arguer is made to make a person look suspicious, ridiculous, or inconsistent—they seem unworthy “mayor is a sexiest pig so we shouldn’t listen his plans to reorganize City Council” b. Circumstantial Ad Hominem (Vested Interest) - argument critized on basis that it just encouraged the interests of the opponent - because a person has done it or is used to it, it “must” be dismissed “we should ignore the views of the mayor on legalizing drugs, he has admitted to be a casual drug user in his youth” “sure he opposes rent control: he owns 2 apartment buildings, doesn’t he?” c. Guilt by Association -opponent’s arguments are rejected because she/he is the member of a particular group *IF YOU DO THIS…THEN U MUST BE THAT…(making someone feel guilty if they don’t do something) “If you agree with the theories about global warming you must be a radical environmentalist” d. Tu Quoque - person encouraging a position, is accused of acting in a manner which contradicts that position (HYPOCRIT) “How can she tell me to exercise more when I know that all she does is sit behind a desk?” e. Poisoning the Wall -a psychological technique which aims to make it impossible for the opponent to reply or disagree *excluding someone from the group -anyone who objects this looks FOOLISH -making someone look STUPID “anyone that has any sense would agree that gun control is necessary” “Anyone who doubts the presidents approach to the war on terror is only helping the terror is only helping the terrorists” (if you disagree then ure assumed a terrorist) 4. Shifting the Burden of Proof  When someone who introduces an argument shifts the burden of proof to the critic rather supporting their argument with reasons  The person who states the argument questions the other person by saying “can u prove it “  MUST GIVE REASONS in order to do something (giving evidence) “you will have to show me why I shouldn’t believe in astrology before I will consider giving it up” “pornography causes harm. Can u prove it doesn’t?” 5. Self-Evident Truth  Arguer presents his position as self-evident and not in need of defense.  “EVERYONE KNOWS”, “COMMON SENSE”, “NO ONE CAN DENY THAT”, “OBVIOUSLY..” “This man has lied his way out of far tougher situations than this. Obviously we shouldn’t listen to him” 6. Appeal to Ignorance  Uses an inability to prove something as evidence for the truth of the arguer’s own conclusion. 1) if you cant prove it wrong, it MUST be right 2)if you cant prove it is right, it MUST be wrong =NO EVIDENCE is GIVEN “it must be extraterrestrial life. No one has proven there isn’t” “there is no proof that the dean leaked the news to the papers, so im sure she couldn’t have done such a thing” 7. Loaded Presupposition  When someone makes a claim or ASKS A QUESTION that has a argumentative presupposition (assumptio
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