utilizing social media posts and applying concepts learned during the semester to critically analyzing them

Chapter 5: Informal FallaciesChapter 5: Informal Fallacies What is a Fallacy?

 Fallacy – when an argument appears to be correct but on further examination is found to be incorrect  Formal fallacy – the form of the argument is invalid  Ex. On pg. 137 Dropouts, men, doctors  Informal fallacy – occurs when an argument is psychologically or emotionally persuasive but logically incorrect  “ If we legalize this drug, people will want all drugs legalized.”What is a Fallacy?  Fallacy – when an argument appears to be correct but on further examination is found to be incorrect  Formal fallacy – the form of the argument is invalid  Ex. On pg. 137 Dropouts, men, doctors  Informal fallacy – occurs when an argument is psychologically or emotionally persuasive but logically incorrect  “ If we legalize this drug, people will want all drugs legalized.” Fallacies of Ambiguity  Contain arguments with vague words or phrases, sloppy grammar, and confusion between closely related concepts  Equivocation – occurs when a key term in an argument is not clearly defined, changes during the argument  Ex. Legal right vs. moral right  Hospitals can deny a necessary surgery if the patient cannot pay  Is it morally acceptable to stabilize a patient but let them die because they are poor?

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 60% of bankruptcies in America are directly related to unpaid medical billsFallacies of Ambiguity  Contain arguments with vague words or phrases, sloppy grammar, and confusion between closely related concepts  Equivocation – occurs when a key term in an argument is not clearly defined, changes during the argument  Ex. Legal right vs. moral right  Hospitals can deny a necessary surgery if the patient cannot pay  Is it morally acceptable to stabilize a patient but let them die because they are poor?

 60% of bankruptcies in America are directly related to unpaid medical bills Fallacies of Ambiguity  Amphiboly – A grammatical mistake in an argument that allows more than one conclusion to be drawn  “ Terri Schiavo’s mother and her husband are on opposite sides of the battle over her life.”  Accent – when the meaning of an argument changes according to which word or phrase is emphasized  Often occurs when religious texts are being utilized  “ Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”  So, what about the husband?Fallacies of Ambiguity  Amphiboly – A grammatical mistake in an argument that allows more than one conclusion to be drawn  “ Terri Schiavo’s mother and her husband are on opposite sides of the battle over her life.”  Accent – when the meaning of an argument changes according to which word or phrase is emphasized  Often occurs when religious texts are being utilized  “ Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”  So, what about the husband? Fallacies of Ambiguity  Division – making erroneous inference from the characteristics of an entire group about one member  Bob is a Republican  Republicans are pro-life  Bob is pro-life  Consumption – opposite direction of the fallacy of division  Bob is believes the 2020 election was stolen  Bob is a Republican  All Republicans must believe the 2020 election was stolenFallacies of Ambiguity  Division – making erroneous inference from the characteristics of an entire group about one member  Bob is a Republican  Republicans are pro-life  Bob is pro-life  Consumption – opposite direction of the fallacy of division  Bob is believes the 2020 election was stolen  Bob is a Republican  All Republicans must believe the 2020 election was stolen Fallacies of Relevance  One or more of the premises is logically irrelevant, or unrelated to the conclusion  Ad Hominem (Personal Attack)  Two types:

 Abusive – attacking the character of the person  Ex. “What would you know about community safety? You have had multiple DUI arrests.”  Circumstantial – dismiss argument or accuse someone of hypocrisy because of the person’s circumstances  Ex. “How are can you support building a border wall? You are Hispanic.”Fallacies of Relevance  One or more of the premises is logically irrelevant, or unrelated to the conclusion  Ad Hominem (Personal Attack)  Two types:

 Abusive – attacking the character of the person  Ex. “What would you know about community safety? You have had multiple DUI arrests.”  Circumstantial – dismiss argument or accuse someone of hypocrisy because of the person’s circumstances  Ex. “How are can you support building a border wall? You are Hispanic.” Fallacies of Relevance  Appeal to Force (Scare Tactics)  Threatening to use force (physical, psychological, legal) to get someone to accept our conclusion as correct  Ex. Florida governor says masks in schools are unnecessary  Threatens funding removal for schools who undermine his position  Appeal to Pity  Evoking pity when it is not relevant to the conclusion  “ I can’t get a B in this class or I will lose my scholarship and get kicked off of the team.”  What about all of your other classes?Fallacies of Relevance  Appeal to Force (Scare Tactics)  Threatening to use force (physical, psychological, legal) to get someone to accept our conclusion as correct  Ex. Florida governor says masks in schools are unnecessary  Threatens funding removal for schools who undermine his position  Appeal to Pity  Evoking pity when it is not relevant to the conclusion  “ I can’t get a B in this class or I will lose my scholarship and get kicked off of the team.”  What about all of your other classes? Fallacies of Relevance  Popular Appeal – appeal to popular opinion to gain support for our conclusion (bandwagon approach)  Showering every single day is essential, most people shower every day.

 Snob appeal  Elon Musk and Mark Cuban support Dogecoin, so it will be successful and increase in price  Appeal to ignorance – ignorant of the means of proving or disproving something  “ There is no such thing as god since no one has definitively proven it doesn’t exist  This may or may not be true, but there is a lack of evidence either wayFallacies of Relevance  Popular Appeal – appeal to popular opinion to gain support for our conclusion (bandwagon approach)  Showering every single day is essential, most people shower every day.

 Snob appeal  Elon Musk and Mark Cuban support Dogecoin, so it will be successful and increase in price  Appeal to ignorance – ignorant of the means of proving or disproving something  “ There is no such thing as god since no one has definitively proven it doesn’t exist  This may or may not be true, but there is a lack of evidence either way Fallacies of Relevance  Hasty Generalization – using a sample that is too small or biased as evidence for conclusion  Stereotypes are a good example  My mother is more emotional than my father, my girlfriend is more emotional than me. Therefore, a female president would be too emotional for the job.

 “ Obama, Oprah, and Kanye are all rich, so wealth inequality is not a structural issue.”  What is a sufficient sample size?

 Varies according to the research question and the population.

 By polling this class alone, can we get a good measure of political affiliation on Keiser Flagship Campus?*Fallacies of Relevance  Hasty Generalization – using a sample that is too small or biased as evidence for conclusion  Stereotypes are a good example  My mother is more emotional than my father, my girlfriend is more emotional than me. Therefore, a female president would be too emotional for the job.

 “ Obama, Oprah, and Kanye are all rich, so wealth inequality is not a structural issue.”  What is a sufficient sample size?

 Varies according to the research question and the population.

 By polling this class alone, can we get a good measure of political affiliation on Keiser Flagship Campus?* Fallacies of Relevance  Straw Man – distortion or misrepresentation of the opponent’s argument  Makes it much easier to refute or disprove  “ The BLM movement is full of socialists and feminists who want to overthrow capitalism, democracy, and the American way.”  This group actually seeks to gain equality for black Americans  Did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 actually equalize major social institutions?

 Red Herring – person tries to sidetrack an argument by doing on a tangent and bringing up a different issue  Political debates  Ask your professor any question and he will give you the politician’s answer when they don’t want to answer Fallacies of Relevance  Straw Man – distortion or misrepresentation of the opponent’s argument  Makes it much easier to refute or disprove  “ The BLM movement is full of socialists and feminists who want to overthrow capitalism, democracy, and the American way.”  This group actually seeks to gain equality for black Americans  Did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 actually equalize major social institutions?

 Red Herring – person tries to sidetrack an argument by doing on a tangent and bringing up a different issue  Political debates  Ask your professor any question and he will give you the politician’s answer when they don’t want to answer Fallacies Involving Unwarranted Assumptions  Begging the Question – the conclusion is simply a rewording of the premise  Ex. “The Bible is the word of god. Therefore, god must exist because the Bible says god exists.”  Also known as “circular reasoning”  Inappropriate appeal to authority – looking for authority in a field that is not under investigation  “ My sociology professor says there is no need to take vitamins if you eat healthy.”  From whom should we get our information in this instance?

 Also, think about celebrity product endorsements.

 Why are they so effective?Fallacies Involving Unwarranted Assumptions  Begging the Question – the conclusion is simply a rewording of the premise  Ex. “The Bible is the word of god. Therefore, god must exist because the Bible says god exists.”  Also known as “circular reasoning”  Inappropriate appeal to authority – looking for authority in a field that is not under investigation  “ My sociology professor says there is no need to take vitamins if you eat healthy.”  From whom should we get our information in this instance?

 Also, think about celebrity product endorsements.

 Why are they so effective? The Halo Effect  Uniforms and distinguished titles reinforce the idea that being knowledgeable in one field equates with knowledge in other areas  Ex. Doctor, president, professor, lieutenant, general  Linked with symbolic interaction  Professional dress also makes us assume someone may be more knowledgeable  We tend to judge people by their front stage, outward appearance and mannerismsThe Halo Effect  Uniforms and distinguished titles reinforce the idea that being knowledgeable in one field equates with knowledge in other areas  Ex. Doctor, president, professor, lieutenant, general  Linked with symbolic interaction  Professional dress also makes us assume someone may be more knowledgeable  We tend to judge people by their front stage, outward appearance and mannerisms Fallacies of Relevance  Loaded Question – Assumes a particular answer to another unasked question  We try to avoid using these for purposes of research  Lots of surveys may use loaded questions as a means of garnering specific responses  Pushes respondents in a direction  Ex. Do you eat meat and meat byproducts, or are you an annoying vegan?

 False Dilemma – reduces responses to complex issues to an either/or choice  Ignores common ground and any other solutions  Ex. “If you don’t like it in ‘Merica, you can get the hell out!”Fallacies of Relevance  Loaded Question – Assumes a particular answer to another unasked question  We try to avoid using these for purposes of research  Lots of surveys may use loaded questions as a means of garnering specific responses  Pushes respondents in a direction  Ex. Do you eat meat and meat byproducts, or are you an annoying vegan?

 False Dilemma – reduces responses to complex issues to an either/or choice  Ignores common ground and any other solutions  Ex. “If you don’t like it in ‘Merica, you can get the hell out!” Fallacies of Relevance  Questionable Cause – assuming, without sufficient evidence, that one thing is the cause of another  Also known as the “post hoc” fallacy  Since one event preceded another, that event must have cause the 2 nd event  Tied with superstition – Ex. The Sooners always lose to the Red Raiders when I watch with my friend Ed  Slippery Slope – if we permit a certain action, then all actions of this type, even the most extreme ones, will be permissible  If community college is free, what next, all colleges?

 Naturalistic – unwarranted assumption that what is natural is good or morally acceptable and unnatural is bad or immoral  Heterosexuality is good because of procreation; homosexuality is bad because no children are produced  What about adoption or other medical options?Fallacies of Relevance  Questionable Cause – assuming, without sufficient evidence, that one thing is the cause of another  Also known as the “post hoc” fallacy  Since one event preceded another, that event must have cause the 2 nd event  Tied with superstition – Ex. The Sooners always lose to the Red Raiders when I watch with my friend Ed  Slippery Slope – if we permit a certain action, then all actions of this type, even the most extreme ones, will be permissible  If community college is free, what next, all colleges?

 Naturalistic – unwarranted assumption that what is natural is good or morally acceptable and unnatural is bad or immoral  Heterosexuality is good because of procreation; homosexuality is bad because no children are produced  What about adoption or other medical options?

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