Examples from the Assignment Fallacies

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A few examples from the assignment.  I hope that you find this information helpful.  Feel free to share some of your own tips or examples. 1. Ad hominem/genetic -  Refutes a claim based on its origin or history. Example: All of the criticism of the President’s educational background is unwarranted. The President’s political opponents generated the attacks.  

2. Wishful thinking - Accepts or rejects a claim based on what you want it to be. Example: “When I go to Burger King, I usually get the Texas Double Cheeseburger with bacon, super-sized of course, and a large diet Coke to offset the calories from the burger.”

3. Argument from Popularity – Use all or most argument to urge others to accept or reject claim. Example: If you polled the majority of US taxpayers, all would agree that the tax system in this country is unfair.  

4. Hasty generalizing - Generalization based on a small sample as representation. Example: Based on one experience, I do not like doctors. I think that they are all quacks.  
5. Argument from Outrage – Uses inflammatory words or thoughts. Example: Student speaker: “Student fees have jumped by more than 300 percent in just two years! This is an outrage!”  
6. Straw man - Ignores someone’s position and presents instead a distorted or exaggerated misrepresentation. Example: This political candidate did not support  bankruptcy reform.  If he/she were elected, everyone would file for bankruptcy for sure.  

7. Posthoc –  Reasoning that X caused Y because Y occurred after X. Example: “ If it weren’t for the president’s environmental policy, we wouldn’t be dealing with these environmental catastrophes.”  

8. Red herring/smokescreen – Introduces a diversion to draw attention away from the original issue. Example: From a teenager confronted by his parent about breaking curfew: “Why do we have to keep harping on this curfew thing? Let’s talk about that A grade I’m getting in algebra.” I just love this example.  ...
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