Download e-book for kindle: 42 Fallacies by Dr. Michael Cooper LaBossiere

By Dr. Michael Cooper LaBossiere

This ebook provides descriptions and examples of forty two universal casual fallacies: advert Hominem advert Hominem Tu Quoque attract the implications of a trust entice Authority attract trust entice universal perform entice Emotion entice worry attract Flattery attract Novelty attract Pity entice recognition attract Ridicule entice Spite entice culture Begging the query Biased Generalization Burden of facts Circumstantial advert Hominem Fallacy of Composition complicated reason and influence Fallacy of department fake challenge Gambler’s Fallacy Genetic Fallacy Guilt via organization Hasty Generalization Ignoring a standard reason heart floor deceptive Vividness Peer strain own assault Poisoning the good submit Hoc Questionable reason pink Herring Relativist Fallacy Slippery Slope targeted Pleading highlight Straw guy Wrongs Make a correct

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Extra info for 42 Fallacies

Example text

A person falls prey to this fallacy if he accepts a claim as being true simply because most other people approve of the claim. It is clearly fallacious to accept the approval of the majority as evidence for a claim. For example, suppose that a skilled speaker managed to get most people to absolutely love the claim that 1+1=3. It would still not be rational to accept this claim simply because most people approved of it. After all, mere approval is no substitute for a mathematical proof. At one time people approved of claims such as “the world is flat”, “humans cannot survive at speeds greater than 25 miles per hour”, “the sun revolves around the earth” but all these claims turned out to be false.

This sort of “reasoning” is quite common and can be quite an effective persuasive device. Since most humans tend to conform with the views of the majority, convincing a person that the majority approves of a claim is often an effective way to get him to accept it. Advertisers often use this tactic when they attempt to sell products by claiming that everyone uses and loves their products. In such cases they hope that people will accept the (purported) approval of others as a good reason to buy the product.

This is because no one person can be an expert on everything and people do not have the time or ability to investigate every single claim themselves. In many cases, Arguments from Authority will be good arguments. For example, when a person goes to a skilled doctor and the doctor tells him that he has a cold, then the patient has good reason to accept the doctor’s conclusion. As another example, if a person’s computer is acting odd and his friend, who is a computer expert, tells him it is probably his hard drive then he has good reason to believe her.

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42 Fallacies by Dr. Michael Cooper LaBossiere


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