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GCC PHI 100 - Logical Fallacies

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PhilosophyWeek 2Logical FallaciesThere are a total of 15 Logical Fallacies. Logical Fallacies are flawed, deceptive, or falsearguments that can be proven wrong with proper reasoning. Arguments and debates are animportant part of college and academic discourse. Arguments can be picked apart because theyhave errors in reasoning and rhetorical. There are two types of main fallacies.- Formal Fallacy, an argument with premise and conclusion that doesn’t hold up toscrutiny.- Informal Fallacy, an error in the form, content, or context of the argument.The 15 Types- Ad Hominem- Straw Man- Appeal to Ignorance- False Dilemma/False Dichotomy- Slippery Slope- Circular Argument- Hasty Generalization- Red Herring- Appeal to Hypocrisy- Casual Fallacy- Sunk Cost- Equivocation- Appeal to Pitty- Bandwagon FallacyInductive ReasoningAn inductive argument is an argument that is intended by the arguer merely to establish orincrease the probability of it’s conclusion. In a strong inductive argument, the premises are sostrong that, if they were true, then it would be unlikely (but not impossible) that the conclusion isfalse. A cogent inductive argument is one which is strong, plus all of its premises are in fact true.The success or strength of an inductive argument is a matter of degree, unlike with deductivearguments. (A deductive argument is either valid or invalid, with no values in between.) Here isan example of an inductively strong argument.97% of the Republicans in Pittsfield voted for McSweeney; Jones is a Republican in Pittsfield;therefore, Jones voted for McSweeney.In an argument like this, an arguer often will conclude "Jones probably voted for McSweeney"instead of "Jones voted for McSweeney," because they are signaling with the word "probably"that they intend to present an argument that is inductively strong but not valid. Here is another,mildly strong, inductive argument:Every time I've walked by that dog, he hasn't tried to bite me. So, the next time I walk by thatdog, he won't try to bite me.Inductive arguments can take very wide ranging forms. Inductive arguments might concludewith some claim about a group based only on information from a sample of that group. Otherinductive arguments draw conclusions by appeal to evidence or authority or causal relationships.Here is a somewhat strong inductive argument based on authority:The police said John committed the murder. So, John committed the murder.Here is an inductive argument based on evidence:The witness said John committed the murder. So, John committed the murder.Here is a stronger inductive argument based on better evidence:Two independent witnesses claimed John committed the murder. John's fingerprints are the onlyones on the murder weapon. John confessed to the crime. So, John committed the murder.Logic PrimerWe ordinarily think of an argument as an attempt to convince someone of a conclusion byoffering what a logician calls premises, that is, reasons for believing the conclusion. But in orderto study arguments very generally, we will characterize them by saying: An argument is acollection of declarative sentences, one of which is called the conclusion, and the rest of whichare called the premises.By declarative sentences, I mean those, such as 'Adam is happy,' or 'Grass is green,' which weuse to make statements. Declarative sentences contrast with questions, commands, andexclamations, such as 'Is Adam happy?', 'Cheer up, Adam!' and 'Boy, is Adam happy!' We willdeal only with declarative sentences; though if you continue your study of logic you willencounter such interesting topics as the logic of questions and the logic of


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