The Types of Fallacies

Topics: Critical thinking, Fallacy, Santa Claus Pages: 3 (872 words) Published: April 13, 2012
Types of Fallacies:
* “Argument” from pity: when feeling sorry for someone drives us to a position on an unrelated matter * We have a job that needs doing; Helen can barely support her starving children and needs work desperately. But does Helen have the skills we need? We may not care if she does; and if we don’t, nobody can fault us for hiring her out of compassion. But feeling sorry for Helen may lead us to misjudge her skills or overestimate her abilities, and that is a mistake in reasoning. * “Argument” from envy: When we find fault with a person because of envy * “Well, he may have a lot of money but he certainly has bad manners” would be an example of this if it is envy that prompts us to criticize him. * Apple Polishing: Pride can lead us to exaggerate our own accomplishments and abilities and lead to our making other irrelevant judgments * Moore recently sat on a jury in a criminal case involving alleged prostitution and pandering at a strip club; the defendant’s attorney told the members of the jury it would take “an unusually discerning jury” to see that the law, despite its wording, wasn’t really intended to apply to someone like his client. Ultimately the jury members did find with the defense, but let us hope it wasn’t because the attorney flattered their ability to discern things. * Guilt trip: Eliciting feelings of guilt to get others to do or not do something, or to accept the view that they should or should not do it * “How could you not invite Trixie to your wedding? She would never do that to you and you know she must be very hurt.” The remark is intended to make someone feel sorry for Trixie, but even more fundamentally it is supposed to induce a sense of guilt. * Wishful thinking: when we accept or urge acceptance (or rejection) of a claim simply because it would be pleasant (or unpleasant) if it were true. * Some people, for example, may believe in God simply on the basis of wishful thinking or...
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