Logical Fallacies Basics


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Logical Fallacies Basics

  1. 1. Logical Fallacies Introduction and Activities
  2. 2. What is a logical fallacy? A fallacy is an error of reasoning. These are flawed statements that often sound true Logical fallacies are often used to strengthen an argument, but if the reader detects them the argument can backfire, and damage the writer’s credibility
  3. 3. Origins The word “fallacy” may derive from the Latin word fallere meaning, “to deceive, to trip, to lead into error or to trick.” The word may also derive from the Greek phelos, meaning “deceitful.”
  4. 4. Why study logical fallacies? It is important to develop logical fallacy detection skills in your own writing, as well as others’. Think of this as “intellectual kung-fu: the art of intellectual self defense.” (Logical Fallacies Handlist)
  5. 5. Types of Logical Fallacies The following slides will briefly explain various categories under which logical fallacies can be divided. Each slide contains one example from that category; please keep in mind there are many kinds of fallacies in each category. For a comprehensive list see the following website: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_fallacies.html
  6. 6. Types of Logical Fallacies Fallacies of Relevance - These fallacies appeal to evidence or examples that are irrelevant to the argument at hand. - “Bandwagon Approach” - “It must be cool because everyone is doing it…”
  7. 7. Types of Logical Fallacies Component Fallacies - Component fallacies are errors in the process of reasoning. - “Slippery Slope” “If you don’t stop smoking cigarettes, then you are going to start shooting heroin.” - “Marijuana is the gateway drug.”
  8. 8. Types of Logical Fallacies Fallacies of Ambiguity - These errors occur with ambiguous (unclear) words or phrases. - Division: what is true of the whole, or the group, must be true of the parts, or the members - “I have so much homework to do, I won’t even try to get started.”
  9. 9. Types of Logical Fallacies Fallacies of Omission - Material is simply left out - “Stacking the Deck” - “It’s impossible to write a bad essay when there are such fantastic instructors in this department!”
  10. 10. More Fallacies Read Chapter 6 in The Well-Crafted Argument pg 175-182 On your own, visit the link below to explore the vast universe of logical fallacies! http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_fallacies.html !
  11. 11. Classroom Activities (Using a printout of the Owl fallacy list)  Logical fallacy roundup: in groups, search websites, newspapers, advertisements, etc. to find arguments that may contain logical fallacies. Present these to the class.  Find two logical fallacies to share with the class
  12. 12. In conclusion, always be on the lookout for faulty reasoning! If you read this PowerPoint and completed some of the activities, you are a genius! Congratulations!