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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fallacies of Argumentation

We are bombarded daily with messages, many of them flawed.

We make decisions often many times an hour based in incomplete or assumed information.

For society to advance, and for our own best interests, it is important we understand the forces and elements that impact our decision making. Among these are the fallacies of argumentation below:

An error in reasoning
Neutral in ethics
Dangerous to use
•Used heavily in marketing and politics with mixed ethical motivations

Click read more below for a brief overview of some of the fallacies of argumentation and how they may impact your life.
Red Herring
A fallacy that introduces
Irrelevant issues
To divert attention from the subject under discussion

Ad Hominem
To make human,
A fallacy that attacks the person rather than dealing with the real issue
To divert attention through personal attack.

False Dichotomy
A fallacy that forces listeners
To choose between two alternatives
When more than two alternatives exits.
Can divert from actual alternative or cause.
Polarizes audience
Used to solidify “right and wrong”,
“for or against.”

A fallacy that assumes
   that because something is popular
   it is therefore good.
   Group think
    Mob mentality

Slippery Slope
A fallacy that assumes
   that taking a first step
   will lead to subsequent steps
   that cannot be prevented.
False assumption that if this happens than there is a 100% certainty that a series of subsequent event will occur.

Hasty Generalization
Jumping from specific to general
    On the basis of insufficient evidence
False assumption that if a specific events cause is true, than all similar events must have the same or similar causes.

Invalid Analogy
An analogy in which the two cases being compared are not essentially alike
Making parallels between things that may not be parallel or alike

False Cause
Assuming that if one event follows another, there must be a cause and effect.
“Post hoc”, “Ergo proper hoc”
“After this, therefore because  of this.”
Jumping to the conclusion of cause without proper evidence of a causal effect.

See textbook, search the Internet or use Virtual Text included on this blog for additional fallacies of argumentation. These can be used, if ethical, in your own persuasive conversation or speech. They are best used as a way to spot and safeguard yourself against false or misleading advertising, politics and those who seek to persuade you without presenting all of their facts and sources for review.

-Art Lynch

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