Skip to comments.Vanity: A link to a listing of logical fallacies
Posted on 04/25/2003 2:21:00 PM PDT by Buckeye Bomber
The following list of logical fallacies is taken from Rise Axelrod and Charles Cooper's The Concise Guide to Writing.
Fallacies are errors or flaws in reasoning. Although essentially unsound, fallacious arguments seem superficially plausible and often have great persuasive power. Fallacies are not necessarily deliberate efforts to deceive readers. They may be accidental, resulting from a failure to examine underlying assumptions critically, establish solid ground to support a claim, or choose words that are clear and unambiguous. Here, listed in alphabetical order, are the most common logical fallacies:
Begging the question. Arguing that a claim is true by repeating the claim in different words. Sometimes called circular reasoning.
Confusing chronology with causality. Assuming that because one thing preceded another, the former caused the latter. Also called post hoc, ergo propter hoc (Latin for "after this, therefore because of this").
Either/or reasoning. Assuming that there are only two sides to a question, and representing yours as the only correct one.
Equivocating. Misleading or hedging with ambiguous word choices.
Failing to accept the burden of proof. Asserting a claim without presenting a reasoned argument to support it.
False analogy. Assuming that because one thing resembles another, conclusions drawn from one also apply to the other.
Overreliance on authority. Assuming that something is true simply because an expert says so and ignoring evidence to the contrary.
Hasty generalization. Offering only weak or limited evidence to support a conclusion.
Oversimplifying. Giving easy answers to complicated questions, often by appealing to emotions rather than logic.
Personal attack. Demeaning the proponents of a claim instead of their argument. Also called ad hominem (Latin for "against the man").
Red herring. Attempting to misdirect the discussion by raising an essentially unrelated point.
Slanting. Selecting or emphasizing the evidence that supports your claim and suppressing or playing down other evidence.
Slippery slope. Pretending that one thing inevitably leads to another.
Sob story. Manipulating readers' emotions in order to lead them to draw unjustified conclusions.
Straw man. Directing the argument against a claim that nobody actually holds or that everyone agrees is very weak.
3% of adult males in the U.S. are gay.
I and my 35 adult male relatives are all straight.
Therefore, you must be gay.
Name 10 real quick.
Around here? This fallacy seems to be universal.
You're just saying that because of what the flouride's done to your brain!!!! </sarcasm>
Hell, the "either/or reasoning" fallacy is the basis for the whole of American journalism.
"Conflict" is the die through which all the paste of journalism is squeezed.
Is it fallacious to assume that major media are founded in fallacy?
Yes, I have coined a new internet term just for your comment. It means Fell Out Of My Chair On My A$#
There are only two kinds of logical or formal fallacies; affirming the consequent and denying the antecedent. The first is in the form of, If X, then Y. Y, therefore X. Eg. If it rained last night, then the streets are wet. The streets are wet. Therefore it rained last night.
The second is in the form If X, then Y. Not X. Therefore, not Y. Eg. If it rained last night, then the streets are wet. It did not rain last night. Therefore, the streets are not wet.
My apologies for nitpicking. Here is a site that has more info on fallacies. http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html As far as I know, informal fallacies are generally categorized as either fallacies of relevance or fallacies of ambiguity. There are a larger number of them than are being presented on either site, though I don't know of any comprehensive list.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.