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Eng 72 83 r week 13 day 2 april 23 logical fallacies
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Eng 72 83 r week 13 day 2 april 23 logical fallacies


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  • 1. English 72 (83R) Week 13, Day 2, April 23, 2014 Elizabeth Buchanan
  • 2. Agenda  Peer Review Rough Draft – Research Essay  Logical Fallacies  Literature Circle 8
  • 3. Peer Review
  • 4. The Book Thief Literature Circle #8
  • 5. Logical Fallacies Professor Elizabeth Buchanan Adapted from Gwen Silva & Joanne Chapman
  • 6. Logical Fallacies  Logical fallacies are errors in reasoning or defects present in an argument.  These errors make the argument weak or may even invalidate the argument.  If the argument rests entirely on the fallacy, then it is determined that the argument is not worth considering.
  • 7. Logical Fallacies  The problem with logical fallacies is that they are so common that they actually sound right.  Since logical fallacies are very persuasive, you, as a critical reader, must analyze them objectively.  Objectively means: based on facts rather than feelings or opinions  Note: Like emotional appeals, not all fallacies are purposely intended to manipulate or deceive.
  • 8. 1) Ad Hominem  Definition: This logical fallacy in Latin literally means ―to the man‖.  This fallacy can take two forms:  1. attack the person’s personality traits or the events in his or her life  2. attack the character and reputation of the person because of individuals he or she associates with (guilt by association).  Watch this video
  • 9. 2) Begging the Question  In this fallacy, the writer asserts to be true an idea that has not yet been proved to be true.  To beg a question is to argue in a circle, to offer a claim that assumes the validity of the claim.  In other words, the person making the argument is saying ―This is true because this is true.‖  This unproven ―truth‖ then becomes the basis of the discussion  Example: ―When did you stop beating your wife?‖  Santa Club
  • 10. 3) False Cause  This fallacy happens when the writer cites something false or a remote cause to explain a situation  It can also happen when the writer oversimplifies the cause of a complicated issue.  Example: I failed that last test because I went to a concert the night before. (The reason this student failed the test was because he did not study).  Coke Commercial
  • 11. False Cause: It rained because I just washed my car Washing my car caused the rain to come
  • 12. 4)Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc  This fallacy means ―after this, therefore because of this‖ in Latin.  It is a type of cause and effect fallacy.  This fallacy suggests that because event B occurred after event A, event A caused event F.  A connection is made based on chronology.  Many silly superstitions are based on this type of logical fallacy  Example: Yesterday I forgot to wear my special Hawkeye hat during the annual Michigan-Iowa football game. No wonder Iowa lost.  Post Hoc Big Bang Theory
  • 13. 5) Either-Or Fallacy  Sometimes called false dilemma  Issues are presented with only two alternatives available, ignoring other possibilities.  Often rejects one choice which requires one to accept the other.  Example: Bumper sticker in South Dakota: There are Americans. And then there are liberals.  Pepsi and Coke
  • 14. 6) Evasion  Involves ignoring the question by talking around the issue.  This fallacy is similar to Red Herring.  Example: Senator Trueheart is asked in a press conference whether he supports the American military presence in Afghanistan. The senator replies: ―I think it’s important to defend democratic principles. I don’t want to see any American boys die, but we must defend our precious liberties that we bought so hard to attain. (Note: he doesn’t answer the question)
  • 15. 7) False Analogy An analogy points out similarities in things that are otherwise different. A false analogy claims comparison when differences outweigh similarities. Essentially, it’s comparing apples and oranges! 15
  • 16. False Analogy Example 16 If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we find the cure for the common cold? While both things being compared here are related to science, there are more differences than similarities between space and biological advancements.
  • 17. 17
  • 18. 8 )Oversimplification Arguer distorts or oversimplifies opponent’s argument and then attacks the distorted argument. Environmentalists won’t be satisfied until not a single human being is allowed to enter a national park. President Bush wants our country to trade with Fidel Castro's Communist Cuba. I say there should be a trade embargo against Cuba. The issue in our election is Cuban trade, and if you are against it, then you should vote for me for president. 18
  • 19. 8) Oversimplification A. ―Those of our people who are forced by circumstances beyond their control rely on Social Security and government support such as Aid to Dependent Children, Food Stamps, etc.—these victims of an anarchistic economy are now faced with a second threat to their very existence: their already minimal benefits are now being reduced by inflation.‖ B. ―A represent naïve liberals who only steal the taxpayer’s hard-earned money—and throw it away on the idle. This is robbery—and I oppose it.‖ 19
  • 20. 9) Rationalization A self-serving and incorrect reason to account for one’s actions. It uses reasons that sound plausible but that are actually false, or at least questionable. Example: I ate the biggest piece of pie because I didn’t want you to get fat. Example: I could have finished my paper on time if my printer was working. People often come up with excuses and weak explanations for their own and others’ behavior that often avoid actual causes. 20
  • 21. 10) Red Herring An argument that does not offer reasons to support its conclusion but diverts attention to other issues that are irrelevant. Similar to Evasion Fallacy. Marijuana smoking is not all that harmful. I would feel safer in a car with a driver who has smoked weed than one under the influence of liquor any day. Debating a gas tax increase in valuable, but I really think there should be an extra tax on SUVs.21 Watch!
  • 22. Red Herring Why worry about pandas becoming extinct when we have homeless people in our country? 22
  • 23. A RED HERRING CAN ACTUALLY PROVE A CLAIM; HOWEVER, THE CLAIM PROVEN WILL NOT BE THE CLAIM THAT WAS ORIGINALLY PRESENT.  Example: Guns are not America’s major problem, or even high on the list of our problems. Cars, cancer, accidents in the kitchen all kill far more people than guns do. It’s not guns that we should be frightened of but the effects of poverty, lack of education, a judicial system that sends criminals and psychopaths back out into the streets. Guns are not a solution, but they are not the problem, either! 23
  • 24. 11) Slippery Slope  An argument that states the conclusion will lead to a chain reaction of events when there is not sufficient evidence to support such a chain.  A slippery slope is like an ice covered hill: once you start down, you can’t stop. The result is likely to be extreme and negative. Ex: Once we allow medical use of marijuana, we’ll legalize it for everyone, after which we’ll legalize cocaine and heroin. Ex: We shouldn’t grant citizenship to illegal immigrants now living the U.S. because no one will want to obey our laws. 24
  • 25. Slippery Slope Example If you permit scientists to destroy human embryos for the purpose of research, it's a slippery slope from there to killing human fetuses in order to harvest tissue, and from there to euthanizing disabled or terminally ill people to harvest their organs, and from there to human cloning and human-animal hybrids, and if making chimeras is okay, well then Dr. Frankenstein must also be okay, and Dr. Mengele, too, and before you know it, it's one long hapless inevitable slide from high-minded medicine to the Nazis. Marty Kaplan, The Huffington Post, March 9, 2009 Optional: View the following YouTube video on Slippery Slope (8:13 minutes) Watch!25
  • 26. 12) TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT Argument used to distract attention from a wrongdoing by claiming that similar actions went unnoticed or unpunished. Example: Why bother trying to conserve energy? China is opening a new coal burning power plant every day. If they’re not doing their part to prevent climate change, why should we? Example: So what if I don’t separate the cans and newspapers out from the garbage for recycling? I don’t have that much time. Neither do most other people. 26
  • 27. Review  The following YouTube video offers a review of several fallacies and some emotional appeals. Watch!
  • 28. WITH YOUR PARTNER, CREATE AN ANALOGY ABOUT GUN CONTROL IN THE MEDIA. 1. false analogy 2. oversimplification 3. two wrongs don’t make a right 4. red herring 5. rationalization 6. slippery slope 28
  • 29. For Monday  Vocabulary List 8  Literature Circle 9