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Falacy Summary And Application Essay

1061 words - 4 pages

IntroductionMy first thought when I hear the word "fallacy" is the word "false." The two words do go together in that a fallacy is described as, "an error in reasoning." (WB F p.15) These errors can be very persuasive forms of logic and can lead people to believe in conclusions that are false. Fallacies come in two different forms: Fallacies of relevance and Fallacies of insufficient evidence. Fallacies of relevance are "fallacies that occur because the premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusion."(CT pg 140) Fallacies of insufficient evidence are "fallacies that occur because the premises, though logically relevant to the conclusion, fail to provide sufficient evidence to support the conclusion." (CT pg 140) In this paper I will be discussing three logical fallacies. The first fallacy is the Inappropriate Appeal to Authority, the second is the Straw Man Fallacy, and the third is the Fallacy of Hasty Generalization. You will be able to see how each of these fallacies are based on false perceptions whether by the speaker or the audience.Inappropriate Appeal to AuthorityInappropriate Appeal to Authority is a fallacy that tries to convince you to believe in or follow a person of authority because of their position. This fallacy is used everywhere. You see it used in television commercials, political advertisements, magazine articles, and more. The authorities may be athletes, politicians, movie or TV stars, religious leaders, or even family relatives. An example could be:Brother: Where should we go to eat?Sister: I think that we should eat at Joe's. I saw the Mayor eat there and so it must be the best.Just because the Mayor ate at a restaurant does not make him an authority of which one is best and does not mean that others are not. Neither the sister, not the Mayor, are authorities on what makes a restaurant the best. Is the sister biased toward the Mayor or the restaurant? Just because the mayor is a political official does not make his choice of eating establishment the best. Has the sister thought this through or did she come to this conclusion because of the Mayor's position in the community? If she would have said that she talked to the Mayor and he said that the soup there is very tasty, then she could have used that information the help decide for her about the food. Instead she chose to rate the restaurant by who ate there at least once. She needed to talk to people that have eaten there and even try the food herself instead of letting an image decide where she will eat and which restaurant is the best.Straw Man FallacyThe Straw Man Fallacy is defined as, "when an arguer distorts an opponent's argument or claim in order to make it easier to attack."(CT, p 150) This fallacy reminds me of what a bully does to a victim. He or she will find a way to tear down the other person to make their attack easier to perform and to control the way the fallacy is used. An example of a Straw Man Fallacy is as follows. "Doctor Johnson said that I...

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