You are on page 1of 5

FALLACIES

a deceptive argument
appears conclusive, but actually not
o appearance of validity
o appears to be formally in order
2 classes:
o Of Language
o Not of Language

OF LANGUAGE:
-

Equivocation
o natural good or bad
o LIMITATIONS IN NATURE
o goes in line with the saying, tao lang po
o to identify, try to juxtapose with the context and meaning of the situation
involved

AMPHIBOLY
o Using a phrase whose individual words have individual meanings but
when taken as a whole, can be taken in different ways

COMPOSITION
o Taking words or phrases as a unit, when it should be taken in separation
(separately)

DIVISION
o Opposite of Composition
o Taking separately what should be taken as a whole/collectively

ACCENT
o Different modulation of pronunciation changes the interpretation which
may or may not include what is intended
** Figures of Speech wrongly inferring similarity of meanings
from similarity of word structure
e.g. inflammable not flammable

NOT OF LANGUAGE:
-

ACCIDENT
o Mere Accident: incidental; nagkamali lamang OR
o Substance: Transubstantation
e.g. Hostia becomes Christ, be accidents remain the same; men in
masks, costumes, disguises (person donning the mask acquires a
new identity, but the accidents remain the same)
Bruce Wayne Batman, but both are still Bruce Wayne,
nonetheless
o The abuse of the fallacy must be forbidden, but not its use.

CONFUSION
o Absolute vs. Qualified Statement
e.g. Germans are good musicians, thus, this German is a good
musician

IGNORATIO ELENCHI
o elenchus refutation
o ignoring the issue missing the point
it does not follow
e.g. dahil nakalimutan mo ang tamang argument iba na
lang ibibigay mo para lang may masabi
o Argumentum ad hominem may be valid and effective in the realm of
argument or rhetoric
o Includes name-calling
o A logical fallacy that consists in apparently refuting an opponent while
actually disproving something not asserted

Argumentum ad Populum
o Appeal to popular weakness than to reason
o Bandwagon Fallacy
e.g. most people approve of X, therefore, X must be true
o The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because
most people are favorably inclined towards the claim. More formally, the
fact that most people have favorable emotions associated with the claim is
substituted in place of actual evidence for the claim. A person falls prey to
this fallacy if he accepts a claim as being true simply because most other
people approve of the claim.

Appeal to Pity
o An Appeal to Pity is a fallacy in which a person substitutes a claim
intended to create pity for evidence in an argument. The form of the
"argument" is as follows:
P is presented, with the intent to create pity. Therefore claim C is
true.

o This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because pity does not serve as


evidence for a claim.
-

Argumentum ad Terrorem
o Appeal to chaos or fear
o When fear, not based on evidence or reason, is being used as the primary
motivator to get others to accept an idea, proposition, or conclusion. BUT
when fear is not the primary motivator, but a supporting one, and the
probabilities of the fearful event happening are honestly disclosed, it
would not be fallacious.
If you dont accept X as true, something terrible will happen to
you. Therefore, X must be true.
Timmy: Mom, what if I dont believe in God?
Mom: Then I would hope that you dont believe in God for the
right reasons, and not because your father and I didnt do a good
enough job telling you why you should believe in him, including
the possibility of what some believe is eternal suffering in Hell.
Timmy: Thats a great answer mom. I love you.

Argumentum ad Verocudiam
o Appeal to misplaced authority
Presenting the improper experts for testimony
An appeal to authority, but on a topic outside of the authority's
expertise or on a topic on which the authority is not disinterested
(aka. the authority is biased). Almost any subject has an authority
on every side of the argument, even where there is generally
agreed to be no argument.

Appeal to the State (ad Baculurn)


o Also known as appeal to force
o An argument where force, coercion, or the threat of force is given as a
justification
e.g. If x accepts P as true, then Q. Q is a punishment on x.
Therefore, P is not true.
Employee: I do not think the company should invest its money into
this project.
Employer: That opinion is sufficiently poor that expressing it will
get you fired.

BEGGING THE QUESTION (Petitio Principii)


o Not addressing the main question (To dodge the question)
o Conclusion that one is attempting to prove is included in the initial
premises of an argument, often in an indirect way that conceals this fact.
o Committed "when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without
proof

e.g. "To allow every man an unbounded freedom of speech must


always be, on the whole, advantageous to the State, for it is highly
conducive to the interests of the community that each individual
should enjoy a liberty perfectly unlimited of expressing his
sentiments"

FALSE CAUSE (Non-Causa, Pro Causa)


o Drawing a conclusion from a wrongly assumed matter
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc:
night follows day, hence, the former CAUSES the latter
o The fallacy of giving as a reason for a conclusion a proposition not
actually relevant to that conclusion.

NON-SEQUITUR
o An argument in which its conclusion does not follow from its premises. In
a non sequitur, the conclusion could be either true or false, but the
argument is fallacious because there is a disconnection between the
premise and the conclusion. All invalid arguments are special cases of non
sequitur.
e.g. Life is life and fun is fun, but it's all so quiet when the goldfish
die.
Mary: I wonder how Mrs. Knowles' next-door neighbor is doing.
Jim: Did you hear that the convenience store two blocks over got
robbed last night? Thieves got away with a small fortune.

APPEAL TO IGNORANCE
o Accepted because it cannot be imputed.
o A proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice
versa). Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be
two (true or false), but may be as many as four, (1) true, (2) false, (3)
unknown between true or false, and (4) being unknowable (among the first
three).
o Arguments involving the appeal to ignorance rely merely on the fact that
the veracity of the proposition is not disproven to arrive at a definite
conclusion. These arguments fail to appreciate that the limits of one's
understanding or certainty do not change what is true. They do not inform
upon reality. That is, whatever the reality is, it does not "wait" upon
human logic or analysis to be formulated. Reality exists at all times, and it
exists independently of what is in the mind of anyone.
If a proposition has not been disproven, then it cannot be
considered false and must therefore be considered true.
If a proposition has not been proven, then it cannot be considered
true and must therefore be considered false.

ARGUMENT IN SILENCE
o A conclusion based on the absence of statements in historical documents,
rather than their presence.
o The absence of a reference to an event or a document is used to cast doubt
on the event not mentioned.
o An argument from silence may apply to a document only if the author was
expected to have the information, was intending to give a complete
account of the situation, and the item was important enough and
interesting enough to deserve to be mentioned at the time.