Fallacy Summary And Application Paper

2148 words - 9 pages

IntroductionThere are a number of common pitfalls to avoid when constructing an argument; they're known as fallacies. In our everyday lives, we refer to many kinds of mistaken beliefs as fallacies; but in logic, the term has a more specific meaning; moreover, a fallacy is a technical flaw that makes an argument unsound or invalid (Engel, 1999). Arguments are almost always presented with some specific purpose in mind, and the intent of the argument may also be worthy of criticism (Engel, 1999). Arguments that contain fallacies are described as fallacious, and often appear valid and convincing. Only inspecting these arguments with a very closely will reveal their logical flaw, this is why they are so tricky and hard to catch (Engel, 1999). In this paper, I will discuss three of the most common fallacies seen in arguments: black and white fallacy, common belief, and hasty generalization. The more one knows about these little buggers, the higher the chance we will not get fooled by them.Black and White FallacyThe Black and White Fallacy, or the Slippery Slope, is a fallacy in which a person fails to distinguish between degrees of difference about the subject at hand (Curtis). This argument only deals with extremes, only black and white, no grey. The fallacy asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question (Curtis). In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed. This argument has the following form (Curtis):1. Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).2. Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.This sort of reasoning is fallacious because there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim. This is especially clear in cases in which there are a significant number of steps between one event and another.Example of Black and White FallacyThe boss at my accounting firm is sometimes guilty of making these fallacies. Being a Cuban-American, he tends to deal with extremes. This coupled with the fact that he is an accountant running a small business in a city as volatile as Miami, and you would not believe the realms of black and white that he spews of out his mouth. For example, the landlord of our office building is a client that has brought a substantial number of companies our way throughout the years. When it comes down to assessing the monthly lease payment for the year, my boss sits down with him, and they make a deal for cheap rent, as long as we waive some of the unpaid balances he has with us.This sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but sometimes my boss leaves with a bad taste in his mouth. This particular time, he told our landlord that if he does not get the lease payment he wants, he would like him to take all his companies and find...

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