MODULE 1 HOMEWORK 4
NEUTRALIZING A FALLACY
In each of the following, identify and neutralize the fallacy using the 6-step process for neutralizing a fallacy taught in class.
Senator Biddle has argued that we should outlaw violent pornography. The senator obviously favours complete governmental censorship of books, magazines and films. I am shocked that such a view should be expressed on the floor of the Senate. It runs counter to everything that this nation stands for.
1. Identify the conclusion or main point in a fallacy. (1 Mark)
Senator Biddle has argued that we should outlaw violent pornography.
2. Identify the reason being given for that main point. (1 Mark)
The senator obviously favours complete governmental censorship of books, magazines and films.
3. Name of the Fallacy. (1 Mark)
Identify the criteria for the fallacy. (1 Mark)
Step 2 of the process of analyzing fallacies consists of defining the fallacy
= explaining the conditions under which the fallacy occurs
Consists of misrepresenting an opponent’s position or argument, usually for the purpose of making it easier to attack.
4. Show how this particular fallacy fits the criteria. (2 Marks)
The fallacy reports back an incorrect, exaggerated version of what Senator Biddle said. Senator Biddle said that we should outlaw only violent pornography. The arguer reports back an irrelevant thesis that the Senator is in favour of complete governmental censorship of books, magazines and films.
Challenge the fallacy. (4 Marks)
Explain what is wrong with using this pattern of reasoning with reference to any violations of the 3 criteria for a good argument .
State which criteria for a good argument the fallacy violates. Explain what it means to violate that criteria for a good argument (relevancy, sufficiency, acceptability) in any argument.
Violates the relevancy criterion for a good argument.
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