Fallacies in Disguise:
A Review of the Fallacious World of Media and Literature
Raul A. Medina
14 May 2013
In the world we live in, we often forget about the things that we strive to go after because there is an infinite number of distractions that deviate us from such goals. And we have a tendency to do this over and over again. Such distractions are usually temporary and do not last for long before we realize they are not what we were looking for. It is hard to figure out why we fall into these sort of momentary pleasures. However, the purpose of this paper is to venture into some of the most alluring and inviting ads and commercials that tend to engage us in one way or another so that we can buy into their product or service.
The first fallacy I would like to address is perhaps the most important in my own opinion because it portrays why products are so successful: Appeal to authority. Mr. Bean, which is a world known comedian who does not speak but acts very funny. This comedian has been around for longer than some of us classmates, but the point here is that since his image carries so much history and happy moments for those who admire him, anything he promotes or advertises is most likely to be successful. Such example is from back in 2007, Macintosh computers put on a commercial where Mr. Bean is dancing to a Hawaiian song. The only thing that is showing is him dancing, nothing else. This is one of the biggest ‘appeal to authority’ fallacies I have seen before, because the product is not shown until the very last 3 seconds of the commercial. It is amazing how one figure can persuade the public to buy a Mac, which everybody loves. a) Identified fallacy: Appeal to Authority
b) Appeal to authority is an argument from the fact that a person judged to be an authority affirms a proposition to the claim that the proposition is true. c) This fallacy is evident here because Mr. Bean being such a big comedy icon has the ‘power’ to persuade people through an ad to buy a Mac just because he is dancing and is a cool thing to do, so ‘buy a Mac!’ that is what the commercial is screaming out loud. d) I think this fallacy is present in a lot of commercials around, Mr. Bean is a great example and Mac did a great job by using his image to sell their product. I am sure lots of British people bought a Mac due to this commercial back in 2007.
Coors Light has an advertisement that says ‘Equality is Refreshing’: this already seems like a way of misinterpreting the word equality. The fact that refreshing means something that is revitalizing or reviving does not mean that equality or fairness is also refreshing. a) Identified fallacy: Hasty Conclusion
b) Hasty conclusion is the drawing of a conclusion based on a small sample size, rather than looking at statistics that are much more in line with the typical or average situation. c) How does Coors Light beer know that equality is refreshing? What kind of evidence are they providing to prove this true? I think they are trying to convince people that their beer is tasty and they deserve equality by consuming it. d) The reason why this is being employed is because the very own purpose of the ad is to convince those who believe they deserve equality in their life they should drink Coors Light beer. Especially because it is refreshing.
In the May 2013 volume of the National Geographic magazine, the cover is announcing that a little baby will live to be 120* then it says in the bottom: * “it’s not just hype. New science could lead to very long lives”. In the article itself, the words of the “experts” say that “genes are likely to explain all the secrets of longevity”. a) Fallacy identified: Begging the Question
b) Begging the Question is the argument in which one gives a reason or reasons in support of some claim. The reasons are called premises and the...
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