Semester 1, 2013
Student Name: Sushma Shrestha
Student Number: 1158200
Submitted on: 3 MAY. 13
Submitted to: George Alexander
Fallacy simply means mistake and logical fallacy means mistake done with knowingness. It is an incorrect or misleading idea that are based on inaccurate facts. To understand the concept of common fallacies more clearly one must understand what an argument is. Argument contains the statement either true or false with is offered in support of the claim being made with the conclusion either true or false. There are mainly two types of arguments, inductive and deductive argument. Deductive argument is an argument that provides the complete support to the conclusion; the premises provided are guarantee of the truth of conclusion for example, there are 10 spoons on the top-shelf of my kitchen and 12 spoons on my lower shelf of my kitchen. There are no other spoons anywhere else in my kitchen. Therefore, there are 22 spoons in my kitchen. Inductive argument is an argument with the premises that don’t provide the complete support to the conclusion, the premises are intended only to be so strong that, if there are true then it is unlikely the conclusion is false for example, it has rained in Sydney every April in recorded history, therefore, it will rain in Sydney this coming April also. So, simply a fallacy is an argument in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support.
Following are some common logical fallacies and there explanation:
1 Two Wrong Makes a Right
Description: - When a person attempts to justify his action against another person only because that another person did the same action against him or her, like a revenge.
Logical form: - Person A did xxx to person B so; person B thinks it ok to do the same xxx to person A.
Example# Sam stole Jim’s pen in past. So, it is justified for Jim to steal Sam’s pen today.
Explanation: - It is totally wrong when Sam stole Jim’s pen, but it is not a good or justified reason to say that Jim stealing Sam pen would make the situation right. In this situation we are left with the conclusion that both person stole things with no better understanding of why they shouldn’t steal.
Example 2# after leaving a store Sam realise that he had underpaid $10, he decided not to pay that amount to store thinking that if he had overpaid the store might not have return him his money back.
Explanation: - This reason is a bit fallacious because Sam shouldn’t make a decision just by assuming what the store man would do, even if that were true, ripping off don’t make the situation right.
2 Appeal to Force (Argumentum ad Baculum)
Description: - Appeal to force also known, as threat of force is an attempt to force someone or persuade them using threats. Disbelief of such argument may lead to sanctions, perhaps physical abuse so you have to believe.
Logical Form: - If you don’t accept xxx as a true, I will hurt you or you will be punished.
Example # Jade asked his boss why he have to work even in weekend when nobody does? Boss answers, I can find another employee very quickly if you are not interested.
Explanation: - Here Jade asked a logical question to his boss but he didn’t get the logical answer of it rather his question was deviated by a threat of force i.e. replacing him.
Example # A child ask her mother why do we have to go to church every Sunday? Mother replies saying if we don’t go to church every Sunday we will be send to hell after death.
Explanation: - Here a child seek for a true reason of going to church every Sunday. But her mother gives her an unrealistic answer saying that if we don’t go to church we will send to hell after death. It makes no...