"Critical thinking is disciplined thinking governed by clear intellectual standards. Among the most important of these intellectual standards is clarity, precision, accuracy, relevance, consistency, logical, correctness, completeness and fairness" (Bassham, 2002). In order to achieve a conclusion that incorporates all of the intellectual standards, the critical thinker must have the ability to identify and evaluate logical fallacies in arguments. This paper will define three fallacies, explain their significance to critical thinking, discuss the general application to decision-making, and provide examples that illustrate each fallacy.
Logical Fallacies Defined
We encounter fallacies everywhere, in the work place, home, school, and the media. "An argument is fallacious when it contains one or more logical fallacies. A logical fallacy or fallacy, for short is an argument that contains a mistake in reasoning" (Bassham, 2002). A logical fallacy is an argument that contains a mistake in reasoning. Logical fallacies can be categorized into two groups, fallacies of relevance, and fallacies of insufficient evidence. Fallacies of relevance are arguments in which the premises are not relevant to the conclusion. Fallacies of insufficient evidence are arguments which the premises do not supply enough evidence to support a conclusion.
Fallacies always have two premises and a conclusion. These premises create two types of arguments. Deductive arguments where the conclusion is somewhat supported. Inductive arguments create a strong case for the premises and conclusion to be true. Some fallacies are factual errors. Factual errors are simply mistakes about the facts. Regardless of the characteristics of the fallacies, identification of fallacies is essential not only in today's work place, but in society in general. According to a quote by Fischer, being able to identify logical fallacies is a necessity in everyday living.... [continues]
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