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FALLACIES

What is a Fallacy?
Fallacy: A false or mistaken idea; A faulty argument that at first appears to be correct (133). Fallax: Deceitful; of deceptive appearance Formal Fallacy: A type of mistaken reasoning in which the form of an argument itself is invalid. Informal Fallacy: A type of mistaken reasoning that occurs when an argument is psychologically persuasive but logically incorrect.

Three Types of Fallacies


Fallacy of Ambiguity: Fallacy of Relevance:
Arguments that have ambiguous phrases of sloppy grammatical structure
Effective communication

Fallacies Involving Unwarranted Assumptions:


Assumption Assume: Ass-U-Me

The premise is logically irrelevant, or unrelated, to the conclusion A fallacious argument that contains an assumption that is not supported by evidence.

Fallacies of Ambiguity
Equivocation Amphiboly
An ambiguous word or phrase changes meaning during the course of the argument
A grammatical error in the premises allows for more than one conclusion to be drawn The meaning of an argument changes depending on which word or phrase is emphasized.

Fallacy of Accent

Fallacies of Ambiguity cont.


Fallacy of Division
A characteristic of an entire group is erroneously assumed to be a characteristic of each member of that group
A characteristic of a member of a group is erroneously assumed to be characteristic of the whole group.

Fallacy of Composition

Equivocation
Equivocation: An ambiguous word or phrase changes meaning during the course of the argument Fallacious Reasoning Semantic Shift Metaphor Better than nothing

Equivocation
Fallacious Reasoning: The use in a syllogism (logical chain of reasoning) or a term several times, but give the term different meanings.
A feather is light What is light cannot be dark Thus, a feather cannot be dark.

Equivocation
Semantic Shift: The fallacy of equivocation is often used with words that have a strong emotional content and many meanings
"Do women need to worry about man-eating sharks?
What is the meaning of man here?

Equivocation
Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance
All the worlds a stage/

And all the men and women merely players/ They have their exits and their entrances William Shakespeare, As You Like It 2.7

Metaphor cont.
Metaphor:
All jackasses have long ears My coworker, Carl, is a jackass Therefore, Carl has long ears.

Equivocation
Better than nothing
Margarine is better than nothing Nothing is better than butter Therefore, Margarine is better than butter.

Amphiboly
Amphiboly: A grammatical error in the premises allows for more than one conclusion to be drawn.
Teenagers shouldnt be allowed to drive. Its getting too dangerous on the streets.
How can this argument be interpreted??

Amphiboly
A student turns it his fifty-page term paper to his professor, to which the professor responds, I shall waste no time reading it.
How may we interpret the professors words??

NO FOOD IS BETTER THAN OUR FOOD

Fallacy of Accent
Fallacy of Accent: The meaning of an argument changes depending on which word or phrase is emphasized.
We should not steal our neighbors car.

Fallacy of Accent
We should not steal our neighbors car. We should not steal our neighbors car. We should not steal our neighbors car. We should not steal our neighbors car. We should not steal our neighbors car. We should not steal our neighbors car.