Get Notebooks! What is a fallacy? A fallacy May In is an error in reason be accidental or intentional arguments or propaganda, they are often used to persuade There are various types of fallacies: Appeal to fear Personal attack (Ad hominem) False dilemma False analogy Slippery Slope Non sequitur (should sound familiar) False authority Red Herring Appeal to fear (Scare tactics) Creates fear in people as evidence to support a claim Examples: "If you continue to drink, you will die early as your father did." "If you cannot graduate from high school, you will live in poverty for the rest of your life." Personal attack (Ad hominem) Involves insulting or belittling one's opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument attacks the person and not the issue Personal attack (Ad hominem) Examples: "You can't believe John when he says the proposed policy would help the economy. He doesn't even have a job." "Candidate Jane's proposal about zoning is ridiculous. She was caught cheating on her taxes in 2003." False dilemma A reasoner who unfairly presents too few choices and then implies that a choice must be made among this short menu of choices commits the false dilemma fallacy, as does the person who accepts this faulty reasoning. In other words…. limits the possible choices to avoid consideration of another choice False dilemma Example: Either the eyewitness saw an alien spacecraft or he's a liar. Perhaps he's simply mistaken. "It wasn't medicine that cured Ms. X, so it must have been a miracle." False analogy When reasoning by analogy, the fallacy occurs when the analogy is irrelevant or very weak or when there is a more relevant disanalogy Examples: A school is not so different from a business. It needs a clear competitive strategy that will lead to profitable growth. People are like dogs. They respond best to clear discipline. Slippery Slope Someone claims that a first step (in a chain of causes and effects, or a chain of reasoning) will probably lead to a second step that in turn will probably lead to another step and so on until a final step ends in trouble If the likelihood of the trouble occurring is exaggerated, the slippery slope fallacy is committed. Slippery Slope Examples: If we pass laws against fully-automatic weapons, then it won't be long before we pass laws on all weapons, and then we will begin to restrict other rights, and finally we will end up living in a communist state. Thus, we should not ban fully-automatic weapons. You should never gamble. Once you start gambling you find it hard to stop. Soon you are spending all your money on gambling, and eventually you will turn to crime to support your earnings. Non sequitur (should sound familiar) When a conclusion is supported only by extremely weak reasons or by irrelevant reasons Example: Nuclear disarmament is a risk, but everything in life involves a risk. Every time you drive in a car you are taking a risk. If you’re willing to drive in a car, you should be willing to have disarmament. False authority Fallacious whenever the authority appealed to is not really an authority on subject “Name dropping” Example: "We should abolish the death penalty. Many respected people, such as Snooki, have publicly stated their opposition to it." Red Herring A red herring is a smelly fish that would distract even a bloodhound. It is also a digression that leads the reasoner off the track of considering only relevant information. Basically a distracter Red Herring Examples I know your car isn't working right. But, if you had gone to the store one day earlier, you'd not be having problems. I know I forgot to deposit the check into the bank yesterday. But, nothing I do pleases you.