File Name: formal and informal fallacies .zip
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- 4.1: Formal vs. Informal Fallacies
- Deductivism and the Informal Fallacies
- Types of Logical Fallacies: Recognizing Faulty Reasoning
Abrami, P. Instructional interventions affecting critical thinking skills and dispositions: A stage I meta-analysis.
A fallacy is a kind of error in reasoning. Fallacious arguments should not be persuasive, but they too often are. Fallacies may be created unintentionally, or they may be created intentionally in order to deceive other people.
4.1: Formal vs. Informal Fallacies
Fallacies are mistaken beliefs based on unsound arguments. They derive from reasoning that is logically incorrect, thus undermining an argument's validity. Fallacies are difficult to classify, due to their variety in application and structure. In the broadest sense possible, fallacies can be divided into two types: formal fallacies and informal fallacies.
Formal or deductive fallacies occur when the conclusion doesn't follow the premise. These are often referred to as non-sequiturs , or conclusions that have nothing to do with initial claims. In formal fallacies, the pattern of reasoning seems logical but is always wrong. A deductive argument often follows the pattern: 1 All dogs have legs. Therefore: 3 Tiny has legs. Appeal to Probability - This is a statement that takes something for granted because it is probable or possible.
Bad Reasons Fallacy - Also known as Argumentum ad Logicam, in this type of fallacy, the conclusion is assumed to be bad because the arguments are bad. If the two things that are interchanged are identical, then the argument is assumed to be valid. Non Sequitur - A fallacy wherein someone asserts a conclusion that does not follow from the propositions.
Informal or inductive fallacies abound. Not only are we more likely to come across them than formal fallacies, their variations are endless. While formal fallacies are identified through an examination of the statement or claim, informal fallacies are identified through supporting evidence. In these instances, the statement or claim is not supported with adequate reasons for acceptance.
A strong inductive argument follows this pattern: 1 The sun has not exploded for all its existence. Therefore: 2 The sun will not explode tomorrow. There are so many varieties of informal fallacies they can be broken down into subcategories. Presumption of truth without evidence can also cause fallacious reasoning. Examples of these fallacies include:. Hasty Generalization Fallacy - This is based upon only one abnormal situation.
It is the reverse of a sweeping generalization fallacy. Sweeping Generalization Fallacy - This includes too broad of an application of a premise. Appeal to Ignorance - Or Arguing from Ignorance, these fallacies abound in everyday conversation, advertising, politics, and history. This fallacy argues that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false. Circular Argument - Also referred to as Circulus in Probando, this fallacy is when an argument takes its proof from a factor within the argument itself, rather than from an external one.
False Dilemma - Sometimes referred to as Bifurcation, this type of fallacy occurs when someone presents their argument in such a way that there are only two possible options. A fallacy can also be caused by a lack of clarity or by a misunderstanding of the words. Accent Fallacies - These are based on the stress or emphasis of a word or word parts being unclear. Equivocation Fallacies - These occur when words are used multiple times with different meanings. Straw Man Fallacies - These include misrepresentations to make an argument look weak.
These fallacies attempt to persuade people with irrelevant information, appealing to emotions rather than logic. Appeal to Authority - also referred to as Argumentum ad Verecundia argument from modesty.
In this case, rather than focusing on the merits of an argument, the arguer will try to attach their argument to a person of authority in order to give credence to their argument. Appeal to Popular Opinion - This type of appeal is when someone claims that an idea or belief is true simply because it is what most people believe.
Attacking the Person - Also known as ad Hominem, this is quite a common occurrence in debates and refers to a person who substitutes a rebuttal with a personal insult.
Bandwagon Fallacy - This contains arguments that are only appealing because of current trends and growing popularity. Genetic Fallacy - This involves acceptance or rejection of concepts based on their source, not their merit.
Red Herring Fallacy - This uses irrelevant information or other techniques to distract from the argument at hand. Weak Analogy - These fallacies employ analogies between things that are not really alike. In argumentation or debate, bad reason fallacies are quite common. How often do you hear people compare two unrelated things while making judgments?
We sometimes make character judgments about others based upon their material possessions or the friends they keep when one tends to have nothing to do with the other. When making a case in a research paper or essay, it's easy to fall into the trappings of an appeal to authority fallacy. Examples, statistics, and testimony are all important measures of supporting evidence in an academic paper. We just need to make sure that we're drawing proper conclusions from the authority figure to the case we're developing.
In advertising, appeal to authority fallacies abound. Celebrity endorsements are popular for a reason. If we decide we like the lifestyle of a certain celebrity, then we are likely to purchase the sports drink, jewelry, or organic food they are pitching. This is an easy fallacy to fall prey to. Perhaps if we purchase this item being advertised, we might be more like our beloved celebrity.
It might be best, however, to purchase a product based upon its proven benefits, not the celebrity being paid to pitch it. If you watched any of the presidential election debates, you would've seen countless attacking the person fallacies. Political opponents spend hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars to undermine their opponent's legitimacy and make them look unqualified.
As we can see, there are many different types of fallacies. Informal fallacies are particularly complex because layers of subcategories exist within them. Now that you know what some of the most prevalent fallacies look like, we hope you'll be able to identify these lapses in logic right away! Take a look at Examples of Fallacies to dive even deeper into these multi-faceted waters. Formal Fallacies Formal or deductive fallacies occur when the conclusion doesn't follow the premise.
I see a dark cloud on the horizon. Dark clouds mean rain. Her new boyfriend drives an old car. He must be poor. She should break up with him. Jeremy's private investigator reported that a man with a beard was having dinner with his wife.
Jeremy's best friend, Ronnie, has a beard. Therefore, Ronnie is having an affair with Jeremy's wife. All Dubliners are from Ireland. Ronan is not a Dubliner, therefore, he is not Irish. Informal Fallacies Informal or inductive fallacies abound.
Subcategories of Informal Fallacies There are so many varieties of informal fallacies they can be broken down into subcategories. Fallacies of Presumption Presumption of truth without evidence can also cause fallacious reasoning. Examples of these fallacies include: Complex Question Fallacy - This involves questionable assumptions.
This question presumes guilt either way. Hitler was a vegetarian. I saw a magpie and then I crashed my car. Magpies are bad luck. Hospitals are full of sick people. Therefore hospitals make people sick. Slippery Slope Fallacy - This falsely assumes the consequences of actions. Running is a good way to keep fit, so everyone should run a mile every day. During his Communism investigations Joe McCarthy presented a case saying, "I do not have much information on this except the general statement of the agency…that there is nothing in the files to disprove his Communist connections.
Rovere, Methuen, I believe that Frosted Flakes are great because it says so on the Frosted Flakes packaging. Fallacies of Ambiguity A fallacy can also be caused by a lack of clarity or by a misunderstanding of the words.
You have faith in science, and I have faith in God. First senator: The nation is in debt and we should not add to the defense budget. Second senator: I cannot believe you want to leave the nation defenseless!
Fallacies of Relevance These fallacies attempt to persuade people with irrelevant information, appealing to emotions rather than logic. Examples of these fallacies include: Appeal to Authority - also referred to as Argumentum ad Verecundia argument from modesty. Well, Isaac Newton believed in alchemy, do you think you know more than Isaac Newton?
Lots of people bought this album, so it must be good. More people are turning to meditation and mindfulness to help them cope with the stress of modern-day living.
Therefore meditation can make us all calmer. This coin has landed heads-up nine times in a row. So it will probably land tails-up next time it is tossed. Did you know that I volunteer at a local shelter?
Deductivism and the Informal Fallacies
Two competing conceptions of fallacies are that they are false but popular beliefs and that they are deceptively bad arguments. These we may distinguish as the belief and argument conceptions of fallacies. Academic writers who have given the most attention to the subject of fallacies insist on, or at least prefer, the argument conception of fallacies, but the belief conception is prevalent in popular and non-scholarly discourse. As we shall see, there are yet other conceptions of what fallacies are, but the present inquiry focuses on the argument conception of fallacies. Being able to detect and avoid fallacies has been viewed as a supplement to criteria of good reasoning.
Whether a fallacy is an error or a trick, whether it is formal or informal, its use undercuts the validity and soundness of any argument. Either the premises are untrue or the argument is invalid. Below is an example of an invalid deductive argument. Premise : All black bears are omnivores. Premise : All raccoons are omnivores.
This essay proposes and defends a general thesis concerning the nature of fallacies of reasoning. These in distinctive ways are all said to be deductively invalid. More importantly, the most accurate, complete and charitable reconstructions of these species and specimens of the informal fallacies are instructive with respect to the individual character of each distinct informal fallacy. Reconstructions of the fallacies as deductive invalidities are possible in every case, if deductivism is true, which means that in every case they should be formalizable in an expressively comprehensive formal symbolic deductive logic. The general thesis is illustrated by a detailed examination of Walter Burleigh's paradox in his c. Several solutions to the problem are considered, and the inference is exposed as an instance of the common deductive fallacy of equivocation.
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Types of Logical Fallacies: Recognizing Faulty Reasoning
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Ethics of Fallacy Detection
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