Fallacy • An error of reasoning based on faulty use of evidence or incorrect interpretation of facts. Common Fallacies •Hasty Generalization •Faulty use of authority •Post Hoc or Doubtful Cause •False Analogy •Ad Hominem •False Dilemma •Slippery Slope •Begging the Question •Straw Man •Two Wrongs Make a Right •Non Sequitur •Ad Populum •Appeal to Tradition •Faulty Emotional Appeals Hasty Generalization Definition: Applying knowledge of a few examples to a much larger category. Example: Shane doesn’t like salmon. He won’t eat any fish. Faulty Use of Authority Definition: The faulty use of authority occurs when individuals are presented as authorities or experts in fields in which they are not. Example: Mazdas are good cars because Mr. Lavezzo and Ms. Dolan drive them. Post Hoc or Doubtful Cause Definition: The arguer infers that because one event follows another event, the first event must be the cause of the second. Example: Anthony drove my car last night. That’s why it isn’t running well. False Analogy Definition: Comparing only similarities between things, concepts, or situations while overlooking significant differences that might weaken the argument. Example: Playing the violin is just like playing the cello. They are both stringed instruments. Ad Hominem Definition: Attacking a person’s ideas or opinion by discrediting him or her as a person. Example: President Obama smoked marijuana in college and should not be trusted when discussing the legalization of drugs. False Dilemma/BlackWhite/Either/or Reasoning Definition: Restricting the complex aspects of a difficult problem or issue to only one of two possible solutions. Example: In high school, you can either party hard and become popular or stay sober and have no friends. Slippery Slope Definition: If an arguer predicts that taking a first step will lead inevitably to a second usually undesirable step, he or she must provide evidence that this will happen. Otherwise, the arguer is guilty of a slippery slope fallacy. Example: If teachers let students use smart phones during tutorial, eventually teachers will let students use them during regular classes. Pretty soon cell phones will always be out during class time. Begging The Question Definition: Assuming that the statement being argued has already been proven true. Example: John should go to prison because he is guilty. Straw Man Definition: The straw man fallacy consists of an attack on a view similar to but not the same as the one your opponent holds. Example: People who support gun control do not believe in self-defense. They don’t want you to be able to protect yourself in a life threatening situation. That’s why they support gun control. Two Wrongs Make a Right Definition: The two-wrongs-make-a-right fallacy is another example of the way in which attention may be diverted from the question at issue. Example: My parents drink a bottle of wine every night so it’s all right if I drink a six pack on the weekend. Non Sequitur Definition: Asserting as a conclusion something that doesn’t follow from the first premise or premises. Example: If you don’t bring your children to Disneyland, they will hate you. Ad Populum Definition: Arguers guilty of the Ad Populum fallacy make an appeal to the prejudices of the people. Example: The majority of people like The Lego Movie so it must be quality film. Appeal to Tradition Definition: In making an appeal to tradition, the arguer assumes what has existed for a long time and has therefore become a tradition should continue to exist because it is a tradition. If the arguer avoids telling his or her reader why the tradition should be preserved, he or she may be accused of failing to meet the real issue. Example: My family has always owned Ford cars. My first car will be a Ford. Faulty Emotional Appeals Definition: You can recognize fallacious emotional appeals if they are irrelevant to the argument or draw attention from the issues being argued or they appeal to conceal another purpose. Example: Shane was so upset. He was yelling and stamping his foot. I though he might break something. I had to let him go to the eighth grade bonfire at Muir Beach.