This paper will define logical fallacies and explain their significance to critical thinking. There will also be examples to the three fallacies chosen on an organizational level. The three fallacies general application to decision-making and critical thinking will be discussed as well. The three fallacies that were chosen for this paper are begging the question, inconsistency and slanting.
In order to understand fallacies first we must define what a fallacy is. A logical fallacy in critical thinking "is an argument that contains a mistake in reasoning" (Baasham et al, 2004, p.140). An argument according to Baasham, Irwin, Nardone and Wallace "is a claim put forward and defended with reasons" (2004, p.30). These arguments are "composed of one or more premises and a conclusion" (Baasham et al, 2004, p.30). Premises are statements that can be true of false that are supposed to provide evidence for the conclusion. Basically fallacies can be very persuasive in critical thinking based on how they are presented.
The fallacy of begging the question is where the conclusion is already implied or assumed in the supporting statements or premises. There are two ways that this fallacy can be committed. One is basically restate the conclusion in a different way or with a different word with the same or similar meaning. The second way to commit this fallacy is called a circular argument. A circular argument occurs when the conclusion is restated with more than one statement which is reasons for the conclusion (Baasham et al, 2002, p.159).
The article Arkansas AG warns of Mystery Shopper Scams by Consumer Affairs shows an example of this type of fallacy. Mystery shopping is where and individual gets paid to pose as a regular customer then reports back to the referring company the type of treatment he or she received. According to the article there are ads for companies stating that anyone can become a mystery shopper, be paid up to $50... [continues]
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