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    FALLACIES

    WRD104: Composition & Rhetoric

    II

    Winter 2014

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    APPEALS TO THE MIND

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    APPEALS TO AUTHORITY

    Definition Example

    Claiming something is

    true because an

    expert says it is

    Using evidence from

    an unnamed expert

    or group to claim

    something is true

    They say once youget a cat, youll love

    them for life!

    Hundreds ofprestigious doctors

    agree ADHD is amade-up disorder.

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    APPEAL TO COMMON PRACTICE

    Definition Example

    Something is true

    because it is

    commonly practiced.

    Social media must

    be good, because

    everyone uses it.

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    APPEAL TO TRADITION

    Definition Example

    Claiming

    something is truebecause it has

    always been that

    way.

    Women have

    traditionallyplayed the

    homemaker,

    therefore that is

    their rightful placein a family

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    APPEAL TO POPULAR BELIEF

    Definition Example Claiming something is true

    because the majority of

    people believe it.

    Justin Beiber must be a

    talented musician because

    his albums are always top

    sellers.

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    APPEALS TO EMOTIONS

    Pityattempting to induce pity to sway opponents (see Prezi)

    SpiteDismissing a claim by appealing to personal bias against

    the opposition

    FearAn argument made by increasing fear and prejudice

    towards the opposition

    NatureMaking your claim seem more true by drawingcomparisons to what is natural

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    MANIPULATING CONTENT

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    BEGGING THE QUESTION

    Definition: Example:

    Making a claim while leaving

    out one or more major

    contributing factors that may

    affect the conclusion

    Labeling food with food

    warnings will encourage

    people to eat healthier

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    RED HERRING (SEE PREZI)

    Definition: Example:

    Introducing

    irrelevant material to

    the argument todistract and lead

    towards a different

    conclusion.

    The senator doesnt

    need to account for

    irregularities in hisexpense account.

    After all, there are

    other senators who

    have done worse

    things

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    SLIPPERY SLOPE (SEE PREZI)

    Definition: Example:

    Assuming a relatively small

    first step will inevitably lead

    to a chain of related,

    negative events.

    If we allow same sex

    marriage, people will

    eventually want to marry

    animals or inanimate

    objects.

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    FAULTY DEDUCTIONS

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    ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE

    Definition: Example:

    Discounting Evidence arrived

    at by systematic search or

    testing in favor of a few first

    hand stories.

    Its okay to smoke my

    grandfather did for 70 years,

    and lived to be 85!

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    COMPOSITION/DIVISION

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    HASTY GENERALIZATION (SEE

    PREZI)

    Definition: Example:

    Drawing a conclusion from a

    tiny sample.

    The guys cologne on the

    train smelled awful. All

    cologne is awful!

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    SWEEPING GENERALIZATION

    Definition: Example:

    Applying a general rule too

    broadly.

    A lot of teenagers went to

    the Justin Beiber concert the

    other day. All teenagers must

    love Justin Beiber.

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    ON THE ATTACK

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    AD HOMINEM

    Definition: Example:

    Bypassing the argument by

    launching an irrelevant attack

    on the person, not the claim.

    Of course she shouldnt be

    reelected to office, she

    acknowledged she hate

    Justin Beiber!

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    STRAW MAN

    Definition: Example:

    Creating a distorted

    or simplified version

    of the oppositionsstance, and arguing

    against that.

    You say Israel

    should stop building

    settlements on theWest Bank? So

    youre saying Israel

    doesnt have the

    right to be a nation?

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    CAUSE & EFFECT

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    POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC

    Defintion: Example:

    Claiming that because one

    event followed another, it is

    also caused by it.

    Since Obama was elected,

    more people than ever are

    unemployed. Obama is bad

    for the economy

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    CAUSAL FALLACY

    Definition: Example:

    Claiming two events

    that occur together

    must have a cause-and-effect

    relationship.

    Rap music is

    violent, and teens

    listen to rap music.Therefore, rap music

    must cause teens to

    be violent.

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    AFFIRMING THE CONSEQUENT

    Definition: Example:

    Assuming theres

    only one explanation

    for the observationsyoure making.

    A lot of people who

    use social media

    also have shortattention spans.

    Social media must

    effect attention

    span.

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    CIRCULAR LOGIC

    Definition: Example:

    A conclusion is

    drawn from a

    premise based onthe conclusion.

    Stripping privacy

    rights only matters to

    those withsomething to hide.

    You must have

    something to hide if

    you oppose privacy

    protection