Fallacies

4.2.7

Fallacies are unsound, erroneous, or logically incorrect assertions.

          Fallacies are unsound, erroneous, or logically incorrect assertions. 

Red Herring

Red herrings are something that distracts attention from the real issue.

          Red herrings are something that distracts attention from the real issue.

 

Example: I understand you are concerned about the education system in our state, but if the roads aren’t fixed we will be in serious trouble.

Ad Hominem 

Ad Hominem is an attack on a person rather than their evidence or arguments.

         Ad hominem is an attack on a person rather than their evidence or arguments. Ad hominem attacks could be based on personal attributes and don’t prove anything.

Example: “She has to be stupid, just look at her.”

Appeal to Ignorance

Appeal to Ignorance claims the person didn't know anything.

          An appeal to ignorance is a claim that the person didn't know anything.

 

Example: "I just didn't know it would hurt anyone..." 

 

Example: "How was I to know if it was true..."  

Either/Or

Either/or limits responses to only two opposing sides/outcomes.

          An either/or fallacy limits responses and arguments to only two opposing sides/outcomes.

Example: “It will be either this or nothing . . .”

Slippery Slope

Slippery Slope says one thing will inevitably lead to another.

          A slippery slope argument that says one thing will inevitably lead to another.

Example: By implementing socialized health care, we will become a communist country.

Composition

Composition assumes that what is true of the separate parts is true of the whole.

          Composition fallacies assume that what is true of the separate parts is necessarily true of the collective whole.

 

Example: Some students fall asleep in class. The whole class will fall asleep.

Non Sequitur

Non Sequitur does not follow when there is no obvious connection between the data and the conclusion.

          Non sequitur fallacies do not follow when there is no obvious connection between the data and the conclusion.

Example: They’re giving it away for free. It must be good.

Hasty Generalization

Hasty Generalization reach a conclusion based on a few items of real evidence or information. 

          Hasty generalizations reach a conclusion based on a few items of real evidence or information. Jumping to a conclusion too quickly.

Example: I talked to three people in the class, and they said the test was too easy. Clearly, then, the whole class thinks the test was too easy.

Insufficient Cause

Insufficient Cause are when someone mistakes a single factor as the sole cause when other casual forces are present.

          Insufficient cause are when someone mistakes a single factor as the sole cause when other causal forces are present. Decisions/opinions are made based on unestablished information on the true causes.

Example: You had a drink with dinner the night before your exam. You failed the exam. Drinking caused you to fail the exam.

"Expert"

"Expert" taking only what "experts" say as truth and not giving credence to other sources who might be very acceptable, accurate, and valid.

          The "expert" fallacy takes only what “experts” say as truth and not giving credence to other sources who might be very acceptable, accurate, and valid.

Example: I saw a study by three university professors saying there isn’t a need for a revision in our education system, so I don’t think our system is in trouble.

Faulty Inference

Faulty inference is a decision or conclusion based on evidence, logic, and reasoning.

          A faulty inference is a decision or conclusion based on evidence, logic, and reasoning. A faulty inference is one in which the information or logical outcome is inaccurate or wrong.

Example: I thought we weren’t having school today because I didn’t see any information about it on Facebook.

Review Questions

1) A fallacy that assumes if one part is true, the whole thing must be true is what?

2) When a speaker attacks a person rather than their ideas it is considered to be what?

3) Write a unique example of a hasty generalization.