Logical Fallacies

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Logical Fallacies

Logical fallacies are errors in reasoning, defects that weaken arguments. At first they might seem correct. but if they are examined closely, it is obvious that they are incorrect. Critical thinkers recognize these fallacies in newspapers, advertisements, and other places so they can make good decisions in all areas of their lives. Here are some of the most common fallacies:

Circular Reasoning: Supporting a premise with a premise, rather than a conclusion. In other words, it is an attempt to support a statement by simply repeating the statement in different terms. The reason given is nothing more than a restatement of the conclusion, so instead of offering proof, it just states the conclusion in another form.

Examples of circular reasoning:

* Gordon is the most successful mayor this town has ever had because he is the best mayor in our history. * Jimmy is stupid because he’s an idiot.

False Causality: Mistakenly concluding that an event is caused by another simply because it follow that other. In other words, it is an argument based on cause and effect in which the cause is not accurate (assuming that because two things happened, the first one caused the second one).

Examples of false causality:

* That baby is crying, so it must be hungry. (It might just be tired or uncomfortable.) * Before women got the right to vote, there were no nuclear weapons. (One has nothing to do with the other.) Over-generalization: Making sweeping statements that are so general they over-simplify reality. In other words, they are statements making assumptions about a whole group based on a sample that is just too small or not at all typical. Stereotypes are often based on over-generalizations (also called hasty generalizations).

Examples of over-generalizations:

* Wealthy people are snobs.
* Three senior citizens died after receiving the flu vaccine in 1976, so no seniors should get one. Over-simplification: Making a...
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