Don’t Get Fooled Again!<br />Six Common Fallacies in Argument to Look for and Avoid<br />Mr. Richard “The Grammar Hammer” Martin<br />
Everyday, ARGUMENTS!<br /><ul><li>Everyday, we’re bombarded with arguments trying to convince us of something…</li></ul> ---from parents ---from friends<br /> ---from teachers ---from the internet<br /> ---from television ---from radio<br /><ul><li>We’re told to…</li></ul> ---do our homework ---watch this movie<br /> ---buy this product ---clean our rooms<br /> ---drink this type of soda ---go out for this activity <br /><ul><li>But, should we agree with everything everyone tells us? Is every </li></ul> argument we hear a good one? ….<br /><ul><li>NO! Some arguments are faulty!</li></li></ul><li>Ad Hominem Fallacy<br /><ul><li>When an argument is said not to be true because of a claim against the speaker.
Examples:</li></ul>---Thad says that Coach Jones is a great coach, but of course he’s going to say that. Coach Jones’s always puts Thad in the starting line-up.<br /> ---Sarah says I should take Mr. Thomas’s debate class because it’s easy. Yeah, easy for her. She gets A’s without even trying.<br /> ---Your going to the dance because Brady said it’d be a good time? Brady thinks showing you his stamp collection is a good time.<br /><ul><li>Just because you hold something against the speaker doesn’t mean that their claim is false.</li></li></ul><li>Ad Populum Fallacy<br /><ul><li>The idea that because everybody else thinks something, it must be true.
Examples:</li></ul>---I think Mrs. Smith is a great math teacher. But because all the other kids make fun of her, she must not be that good.<br /> ---I see a lot of kids drinking KICKBUTT Energy Drink every morning, so it must really help you get going.<br /> ---I think that new Black-Eyed Pea’s song “Imabee” is totally dumb, but everybody’s always singing it in the hallways. I guess it’s kind of good.<br /><ul><li>If 99% of the people in school thought 2+2=5, the answer would still be 4. </li></li></ul><li>Post Hoc Fallacy<br /><ul><li>Falsely assuming that because event “A” happened before event “B,” event “A” must have caused event “B.”
Examples:</li></ul> ---Every time I wore my lucky socks, we won. Then I lost them, and guess what happened… we got creamed.<br /> ---I was feeling fine until I ate the cafeteria’s spaghetti-o surprise for lunch. Now I feel like I’m going to pass out. It must have been the cafeteria’s fault. I’m suing!<br /> ---I had really bad breath on our last date. I’m sure that’s why Tyler dumped me. Whaaaah!<br /><ul><li>There can be many reasons for something occurring. Sometimes event “A” has nothing to do with event “B.”</li></li></ul><li>Appeal to Tradition Fallacy<br /><ul><li>Because something has always been done, it must be correct to do it.
Examples:</li></ul> ---Yeah, but Mr. Substitute, Mr. Martin always reads the daily announcements before we do D. O. L. Read the announcements first.<br /> ---For thousands of years, citizens of the isolated island nation of Papawapa have eaten the brains of their deceased loved ones, hoping to carry their loved ones’ knowledge with them.<br /> ---We can’t NOT have dress up days for homecoming week! The school has had dress up days for as long as anyone can remember.<br /><ul><li>Just because it’s always been done doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right.</li></li></ul><li>Appeal to Pity Fallacy<br /><ul><li>When someone tries to get you to agree with them by making you feel sorry for them.
Examples</li></ul> ---Mr. Johnson, I know I bombed the test Monday, but can you keep me eligible in your class? My team is playing in the state finals, and if I’m on the court, I know we’ll win.<br /> ---Please don’t tell your mom that it was me who broke your cell phone. If you tell your mom, she’ll tell my mom, and then I’ll be grounded.<br /> ---I know I got fired from my last two jobs. But I’m more responsible now and I just need one more chance. Please hire me and give me that chance.<br /><ul><li>Feeling sorry for somebody doesn’t make what they’re saying correct.</li></li></ul><li>Appeal to Flattery Fallacy<br /><ul><li>When someone attempts to compliment you in order to get you to agree with them.
Examples:</li></ul> ---You look really pretty this morning, mom. You always look great for work. Hey, can I have $50 to go to the mall after school?<br /> ---Mr. Martin, I always leave your class smiling. You are so funny, I swear. My parents are sick of hearing me say, “Mr. Martin did this…, Mr. Martin did that…” I’m always telling them about the fun things we do in class. Um, do you think I could get an extension on this assignment?<br /> ---Ugh! I can’t stand those other boys. They’re so immature—nothing like you. You’re just so mature, and handsome. Are you going with anyone to the dance?<br /><ul><li>Just because they try to make you feel good doesn’t mean you have to agree with them.</li></li></ul><li>Fallacy Quiz Time!!!Match the fallacy with the example.<br />1.___Ad Homenim<br />2.___Ad Populum<br />3.___Post Hoc<br />4.___Appeal to Tradition<br />5.___Appeal to Pity<br />6.___Appeal to Flattery<br />Jane’s dad told her to eat lots of carrots to make her acne go away temporarily. She eats carrots, her face clears, and she thanks her dad. <br />“I never get picked for any team. I tried out for every team this year and never made the roster. Couldn’t you just let me be on the team, coach?”<br />“You can’t believe Hunter! Don’t you know he got caught with cigarettes in his locker last semester?”<br />Student council member Amy proposed that instead of a Valentine’s dance, the student council should host a St. Patrick’s Day dance. “Are you nuts?” exclaimed the president. “We’ve always had a Valentine’s dance!”<br />“Everybody thinks Billy’s the smartest kid in class, but I know you are way smarter than that dork. You’ve got to be the smartest kid I know. Hey, have you chosen a lab partner?”<br />I think Ms. Green is boring. But everyone else was signing up for her Ancient History class, so I did too.<br />
Choose a partner.<br />Mr. Martin will come around and give you and your partner a sample situation and a type of fallacy.<br />With your partner, write a paragraph-length argument that applies to your situation and uses the fallacy given to you.<br />Each group will read their paragraph aloud. Your classmates will then have to decide which type of fallacy you used.<br />Write a Fallacious Paragraph!<br />
The Fallacy Song(to the tune of the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”)<br />Well, don’t try to fool me<br />With your appeal to flattery<br />Just because you’re nice to me don’t make you right<br />Try tearing down her or him<br />With your cruel ad homenim<br />We’ll they’re still correct, so don’t you take’em light<br />Just because it’s a part of your holy tradition<br />Don’t mean that I have to make it my ambition<br />I’m immune to your appeal to pity<br />I’ll just pick up my guitar and strum<br />And ignore your ad populum<br />And I think that your ad hoc’s dumb<br />We won’t get fooled again!<br />Won’t get fooled again!<br />No, no!<br />YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!<br />No more fallacy<br />Or idiocracy<br />