Fallacy Summary And Application Essay

1061 words - 4 pages

The use of critical thinking requires one to understand how to comprehend an argument. Part of this comprehension includes the ability to recognize a logical fallacy in an argument. The understanding of logical fallacies will help one become a better critical thinker by enabling them to break apart an argument from an opponent and debate the argument by pointing out the flaws. In this paper three logical fallacies will be discussed: the false analogy, begging the question, and hasty generalization.One must understand what an argument is and how it is constructed to understand when and why a logical fallacy is used. According to Bassham, Irwin, Nardone, and Wallace (2002), "arguments are composed of one or more premises and a conclusion. Premises are statements that are claimed to provide evidence for another statement, the conclusion. The conclusion is the statement that the premises are claimed to prove or support" (p. 25). When an argument has flawed logic it would be considered to have a logical fallacy. The use of a logical fallacy might distract someone from understanding the true issue of an argument, or it might be used because the arguer has an imperfect argument.There are two main types of arguments: deductive and inductive. A deductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) complete support for the conclusion. An inductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) some degree of support (but less than complete support) for the conclusion. If the premises actually provide the required degree of support for the conclusion, then the argument is a good one. A good deductive argument is known as a valid argument and is such that if all its premises are true, then its conclusion must be true. If all the argument is valid and actually has all true premises, then it is known as a sound argument. If it is invalid or has one or more false premises, it will be unsound. A good inductive argument is known as a strong (or "cogent") inductive argument. It is such that if the premises are true, the conclusion is likely to be true.A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support. A deductive fallacy is a deductive argument that is invalid (it is such that it could have all true premises and still have a false conclusion). An inductive fallacy is less formal than a deductive fallacy. They are simply "arguments" which appear to be inductive arguments, but the premises do not provided enough support for the conclusion. In such cases, even if the premises were true, the conclusion would not be more likely to be true.The first fallacy that will be discussed is the false analogy fallacy. This fallacy is "an unsound form of inductive argument in which an argument is...

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