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FALLACIES OF REASONING

Fallacy Comes from the Latin word fallere, which means to deceive. A type of argument that seems to be valid, it conceals error, and projects an apparent truth.

4. Fallacy of Division A fallacy committed when a property of the whole is illicitly ta en to belong to its parts. "en are more li ely than women to be involved in fatal automobile accidents. %o if you2re a man, you are more li ely than the ne3t woman you see to be involved in a fatal automobile accident. A balanced diet consists of the right proportion of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. /ence, each meal should consist of the same proportion of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. !he /ealth %ciences of 0%! has an outstanding international reputation. !hus, "i aela Lan4on, a graduate of C#%, has an outstanding international reputation. 5. Fallacy of Equivocation 5hen a word carrying different meanings is used in the same conte3t in a particular argument. A king moves one s,uare in any direction1 .ut, %olomon is a King1 6rgo, %olomon moves one s,uare in any direction. Cancer is malignant growth in the body. !he fourth sign of the 7odiac is Cancer. Ergo, the fourth sign in the zodiac is a malignant growth in the body. . !o"# Const"uction !his fallacy infers a similarity of meaning from the similarity of the material pattern of the two words. !he plural of fungus is fungi. !he plural of alumnus is alumni !herefore, the plural of circus is circi. +eople of .urma are called .urmese +eople of China are called Chinese Therefore, the people of Canada must be Canadese.

A. Fallacies of Language
1. Semantic Amphiboly A statement contains an ambiguous word or phrase. Jessica always lines up on the rightside. Joseph is cold. I now a little Italian. !erry disputed their claim. Aunt Amy does not use glasses. "edical #eport$ %he has had no rigors or sha ing chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night. 2. Syntactic Amphiboly &rammatical construction of a sentence is not clear and is therefore open to different interpretations. !he patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in '()*. +atient was becoming more demented with urinary fre,uency. !he patient states there is a burning pain in his penis which goes to his feet. 3. Fallacy of Composition A fallacy committed when a property of the parts is illicitly ta en to belong to the whole. !he present LA La ers is composed of the best bas etball players in -.A. /ence, their team is the best in -.A. %ince the cost for printing the boo is relatively cheap, the boo as a whole must also be relatively cheap. -o member of faculty at 0%! ma es a lot of money1 hence, faculty salaries don2t cost 0%! a lot.

B. Psychological and Emotional Fallacies


1. A"$umentum a# %aculum 8%care tactic9 A fallacy committed when one uses physical force, fear, or moral pressure in ma ing an assertion. If you do not transfer your money to my ban account, then I2ll have you beaten up until your half dead.

:ou would not want the world to now the real you, right; %o better sign the contract so both of us could live peaceful lives. "a2am, do not hesitate to buy the shoes now for it is only on special sale today and someone else might be able to get it instead of you.< 2. A"$ument f"om &ut"a$e %ubstitute anger for reason and judgment through the use of inflammatory words and insults. Anyone who does not agree with me must either be a fool or a traitor= :ou must step down from the presidency for you have stolen it not once but twice= "oney greedy foreigners in the country are a cause for our people2s demise. 5e must e3pel all of them and eep the +hilippines only for natural born >ilipinos= 3. A"$umentum a# 'ise"ico"#iam 8Appeal to +ity9 A fallacy committed when one pleads for mercy and trying to get someone to accept the claim by ma ing him?her feel guilty for not accepting it. !rying to get your professor to thin you deserve a better grade by trying to ma e him?her sorry for you. :our honor, my client, +edro Abdan, does not deserve imprisonment. /e has three small children that needs a father, and a wife that needs a husband.< %he should be hired in spite of her lac of s ills for she needs to support her starving children and she needs wor desperately. 4. Appeal to Envy A fallacy committed when one emphasi4es or e3aggerates someone2s bad points to downplay the person or group. 5ell, he may have a lot of money but certainly he has bad manners. %he maybe a summa cum laude but the way she dresses is old school. It is commendable that they won the awards for e3emplary public service but their community projects are only limited to microfinancing, unli e ours which is wholistic. 5. Apple (olishin$

8Appeal to +ride9 A fallacy committed in which flattery is disguised as a reason for accepting a claim. 5ell, whoever will be the highest in the e3am will be definitely me. I am the smartest person here.< I believe since all of you are !homasians, ind, prayerful, and obedient as you are, you will not disagree with the proposed hi e of tuition and miscellaneous fees.< . Appeal to (opula"ity 5e urge someone to accept a claim on the grounds that all or most people believe or commonly practice it. I shouldn2t get a speeding tic et because everyone drives over the limit. !o live a life of sin is in< nowadays so I2d better join the bandwagon rather than be left out. 5e should not abolish ha4ing since it has been a long standing tradition. ). *"oup +hin, Fallacy >allacy occurs when someone lets identification with a group cloud reason and deliberation when arriving at a position on an issue. I will protect and defend him even though he is guilty of the crime because he is a member and part of our fraternity. 5e cannot appoint her as @ean even though she is professionally ,ualified because she is not one of us, a home grown !homasian. 5e only give aid to our people, if your not a >ilipino then better find food somewhere else. -. +.o !"on$s 'a,e a /i$ht Accurs when we consider a wrong to be justification for any retaliatory action. :ou destroyed your neighbor2s car because they made too much noise at night. -ot returning an e3cess change to a jeepney driver on the grounds that, if the situation were reversed,< the jeepney driver wouldn2t have given bac the e3cess money.

C. Ad

ominem Fallacies

1. A# 0ominem Fallacy "ost common of all mista es in reasoning. It is Latin for to the man, indicating that it is not really

the subject matter that is being addressed, but the person. !he fallacy rests on a confusion between the ,ualities of the person ma ing an assertion and the ,ualities of the assertion itself. Cecile is an ingenious fellow, thus it follows that her opinion on some subject, whatever it is, is the opinion of an ingenious person. +eter is a strange and weird guy, thus we must e3pect that this proposal he sent to us, even though we have not read it yet, must be odd. 2. (oisonin$ the !ell a# 0ominem !his fallacy is committed when one focuses on character assassination rather than challenge the merit of the opponent2s argument. John has suchBandBsuch a negative feature1 therefore, his assertion stands refuted.< "y opponent is a notorious liar. :ou can2t believe a word that he is going to say.< :ou can forget what +eter says about love and relationship because he himself cannot even get a date.< 3. +u quoque a# 0ominem 8you, too9 0sed when accused of an offense to accuse the accuser of the same offense Lety2s assertion is inconsistent with her actions, hence, her assertion stands refuted.< :ou say that I should stop smo ing because its bad for my health but loo at you, you2re a cigarette smo er yourself=< /ey wait a minute. :ou tell me that I should not steal. @on2t you forget you buy pirated @C@s, isn2t that a form of stealing;< 4. Ci"cumstantial a# 0ominem Attention is directed to the relationship between the person ma ing the assertion and his?her membership in a certain group. Jose belongs to a group who are nown for such and such1 hence, his assertion stands refuted.< 5ell, you can forget about what >ather Calderama says about the dangers of abortion because being a priest, they are re,uired to hold such views.< 5e should not vote for -oynoy A,uino because he is a Cojuangco , a family of land grabbers.< 5. *enetic Fallacy

#ejecting a claim on the basis of its origin or history. All criticisms about the president2s poverty alleviation plans is completely unwarranted. It all just comes from the Apposition party. !he +hilippine constitution is invalid because it was drafted to protect the interests of property owners. @o not support the fun run cause for the +asig #iver, it is organi4ed by a group of atheists and people from the proBchoice camp.

!. Othe" Fallacies
1. (ost 0oc1 e"$o p"opte" hoc 8>alse Cause9 An argument made when one asserts that the occurrence of two events, one after the other, is a causeBeffect relationship. "oney is the root cause of all evil. %occer games causes the crowd to order more cold refreshments. 0ncle !ed2s heart attac was caused by ta ing a bath last night. 2. False Dilemma >allacy occurs when one limits considerations to only two alternatives although other alternatives may be available. Senato"2 5e need to cut bac e3penditures on social development programs such as health and education +ina2 5hy2s that; Senato"25ell, we either do that or live with this high budget deficit, and that2s something we can2t allow. Steve2 Loo "ario, you need to ma e up your mind. 6ither you decide that you can afford this stereo, or you decide that you2re going to do without music for a while. 3. %e$$in$ the 3uestion An argument whose conclusion restates a point made in the premises or clearly assumed by the premises. !wo gold miners roll a boulder away from its resting place and find * huge gold nuggets underneath. %ea$ &reat= !hat2s one nugget for you and two for me.

%en$ 5ait a minute= 5hy do you get D and I just only get one; %ea$ .ecause I am the leader of this operation. %en$ 5hat ma es you the leader; %ea$ I2ve got twice the gold you do. 4. Ci"culato"y !he cause merely states the effect. !his is a flawless gem because it is without blemish.< &in as an into3icating alcoholic beverage causes drun enness because it is into3icating. 5e are living today in a moderni4ed world because everything now is modern.< 5. 4on5Sequitu" 8It does not follow9 !he conclusion does not follow from the premises. "ovie stars are famous people. .ut &ina wants to be a movie star. !herefore, &ina is going to /ollywood. If he passes the course, then he will not have summer classes. .ut he did not pass the course, therefore he will have summer classes.< . Comple6 3uestion As ing a ,uestion in such as way as to presuppose the truth of some conclusion buried in the ,uestion. /ave you stopped cheating in your logic class;< @o you still cheat on your wife;< 5hen was the last time you actually told the truth;< ). /e# 0e""in$ An irrelevant topic or consideration introduced into a discussion to divert attention from the original issue. Sheila2 5here is the money I lent you; :ou told me your going to pay me bac today. 'il#"e#2 Ah about that. .ut wait a minute, did you now that your boyfriend is cheating on you; I saw him yesterday cuddling #ebecca, your sworn enemy. 7nte"vie.e"2%ince the rhythm method is endorsed by your organi4ation due to the claim that it is the natural way to prevent pregnancy, how is it different from the goal of using contraceptives which also promotes pregnancy prevention;

7nte"vie.ee2 !he use of contraceptives promotes se3ual recreation not procreation. Also the most chilling effects of the use of contraceptives is that it encourages premarital se3 among teenagers.

-. 'isplacin$ the %u"#en of ("oof Accurs when the burden of proof is placed on the wrong side of an issue. 8olo %en2 @id you now that if you rub red wine on your head your gray hair will turn dar again; 8olo Cas2 .aloney= 8olo %en2 .aloney; /ey, how do you now it won2t wor ; 9im2 !he car won2t start. 8i:2 :eah, I now. It2s a problem with the ignition. 9im2 5hat ma es you thin that; Li#$Well, why not? ;. A"$umentum a# 7$no"antiam 8Appeal to Ignorance9 A fallacy committed when one argues that something must be true on the basis that it has not been proven false. !he two did not ma e a public statement denying that they are having an illicit affair, thus, this only affirms our suspicion about them is right.< &hosts e3ists because nobody has shown there are no such things.< :ou are a liar since you cannot prove that you are not. 1<. 'isplacin$ the %u"#en of ("oof = A"$umentum a# 7$no"antiam 8olo %en2 @id you now that if you rub red wine on your head your gray hair will turn dar again; 8olo Cas2 .aloney= 8olo %en2 .aloney; /ey, how do you now it won2t wor ; 8olo Cas2 It just sounds absurd. 8olo %en2 /a= !hat2s a lame answer. !hus, rubbing red wine on your head really ma es your gray hair turn dar . 9im2 !he car won2t start. 8i:2 :eah, I now. It2s a problem with the ignition. 9im2 5hat ma es you thin that; 8i:25ell, why not; 9im25ell, I don2t now.

8i:2 %o you see, there is something wrong with the ignition. 11. (e"fectionist Fallacy Concluding that a policy or proposal is bad simply because it does not accomplish its goal to perfection. It2s a mista e to install CC!C around the campus because no matter how many cameras you have monitoring around, you2re still bound to miss something. !here2s no way to see everything that2s going on.< +overty has been around the world even before the time of Christ, and will stay here as long as human ind e3ists. %o what2s the use of joining a cause to alleviate poverty; It2s just a waste of time.< 12. Slippe"y Slope A form of fallacious reasoning in which it is assumed that some event must inevitably follow from some other, but which no argument is made for the inevitability. If we let E happen, the first thing you now : will happen.< ("ofesso" >2 5e should not allow students to have their Magna Cartabecause there will come a time that they will as for something more that will compromise our authority over them.< 5e should not allow the use of contraceptives because it will only lead to abortion.< 13. A"$umentum a# ?e"ecun#iam 8Appeal to misplaced authority9 A fallacy committed when one ma es an appeal using an alleged e3pert advice who is not an authority in the subject matter. %leeping with your hair wet can ma e you blind. !hat2s true= !hat2s what my Literature +rofessor said. I invested my money in this scheme since my medical doctor told me it was safe to do so. I am ta ing this pill because my lawyer told me it will help me cure my lung cancer. 14. Acci#ent A fallacy committed when a general rule is applied when circumstances suggest an e3ception to the rule. %tudents should be allowed to loo at their te3tboo s during e3aminations. After all, surgeons

have EBrays to guide them during an operation, lawyers have briefs to guide them during a trial, carpenters have blueprints to guide them when they are building a house. 5e have to be generous to others. !herefore, during e3amination we have to share our answers with our seatmate to show that we are generous. 15. Cont"a#icto"y ("emises 5hen the premises of an argument contradict each other, there can be no argument. !he patient is tearful and crying constantly. %he also appears to be happy. !he patient refused an autopsy. !hus, she was not admitted. /ealthy appearing decrepit F(ByearBold male, mentally alert but forgetful. !he patient2s past medical history has been remar ably insignificant with only a GHBpound weight gain in the past three days. 1 . 0ypothesis Cont"a"y to Fact @rawing a conclusion out of a hypothesis that is not true. If "adame Curie had not happened to leave a photographic plate in a drawer with a chun of pitchblende, the world today would not now about radium.< If the %paniards and Americans did not coloni4e the +hilippines, then the >ilipinos today would not now about &od and democracy respectively.< 1). A"$ument f"om the %ea"# @rawing a conclusion that differences are unnoticeable since small differences are not always important. In an airport$ +lease e3empt me from the penalty charge. "y luggage is only an e3cess of ' g, no one will notice.< @ean, grant me the %umma Cum Laude. I2m just D decimal points away from the re,uired average. It is not that significant.< !"ill$ Identify the Fallacies in the follo%ing &assages$
1.This piece of proposed environmental protection legislation must not be approved because it comes from a group of people advancing gay and lesbian rights.

.The patient left the hospital feeling much better e!cept for her original complaints. ".#ischarge status$ %live but without permission. The patient will need disposition, and hence we will get #r. Cruz to dispose of him. &.'ou secretly threw away the research pro(ect of your classmate since she)he has been spreading bad rumors about you. *.+nly intelligent and enlightened individuals li,e you can understand my appeal to legalize abortion in the country. -..an is a "/letter word. 0onathan is a .an. 1ence, 0onathan is a "/letter word. 2.3ec,y is honest because she is trustworthy and truthful. 4.#o not listen to her criticisms about 5resident 6ic,y, she (ust can7t get over the fact she lost the last two presidential elections to her.8 9.These pills must be safe and effective for reducing because Toni :onzaga is endorsing it. 1;.0a,e$Can you prove that :od e!ists? <aye$Well, the =criptures say very clearly that :od e!ists. 0a,e$Why should we believe the =criptures? <aye$The =criptures are divinely inspired by :od 1imself, so they must be true. 11.>+f course, you don7t agree with death penalty because you7re a Catholic.8 1 .We should not let Western thoughts creep in our traditional ways. ?t has only taught our youth to @uestion the authority of their elders and be disrespectful. 1ence, we must ban Western thin,ingA 1".=he slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early #ecember. 1&.>Bo matter what we do, we cannot alter anymore climate change. Thus, there is no point anymore for me to lessen my carbon footprints.8 1*.=he maybe beautiful but she has bad body odor. 1-.Coger Dedererand =vetlana <uznetsovaare the two best tennis players in the world. Thus, they7d ma,e the best mi!ed double team. 12.=wallowing a tablespoonful of 6ic,s 6apor Cub will cure your colds. 14..a7am please pass me. ? have big problems in the family

and my grandma is very sic,, she7ll be very depressed if ? don7t ma,e it this year. 19.?f laws to register handgun is passed, the ne!t thing we ,now there will be laws to ma,e owning any ,ind of gun illegal. ;.>.ost teenagers my age are already not a virgin, so why should ? be different?8 1.0ess$#oes :od e!ist? 0oe$'ou ,now what, in the name of :od, many people went to war and ,illed each other. .1ow many times did you cheat your girlfriend? ".'ou are guilty because you have not proven yourself to be innocentA &.:ive me the (eans that ? want and 0enny will not ,now what you did last night. *.%my$'ou ,now what, ? believe you have a big problem. Ted$WaA What ma,es you say that? %my$ #on7t as, me, you7re the one who has the problem. =o you tell me. -.?t7s o, to get coo,ies from her (ar, there are so many of them she won7t even notice it. 2.Either you endorse prayer in public schools or you7re an atheist. =ince you do not endorse it, you must be an atheistA 4.+ne has to tell the truth always. Thus, if a murderer confesses his crime to a priest, it is but proper for the priest to reveal the truth to the authority. 9.?f =t. Thomas %@uinas was not born, then we would not ,now how to rationally prove :od7s e!istence. ";. >1ow dare you accuse me of being immoral. ?t is perfectly acceptable to have a mistress given that you7re @uite happy with the other woman you have.8 "1.The Catholic Church is a holy institution. Therefore, =heila, a Catholic, is a holy person. " .?f it rained, then the ground is wet. 3ut the ground is wet. Therefore, it rained. "".?f :od can do anything, then 1e can ma,e a stone so heavy that 1e won7t be able to lift it. "&.%id to 1aiti? :ive me a brea,A Why should we care more about the people in 1aiti than our own people? "*.?, a womanizer? ?7m (ust following Christ7s command to >love one another.8 Thus, ?7m (ust sharing the love brother. There is nothing wrong about that.