Fallacies

Topics: Thought, Hasty generalization, Thomas de Quincey Pages: 2 (324 words) Published: November 19, 2008
Hasty Generalization

“In epidemiological studies of dog bites, the pit bull is overrepresented among dogs known to have seriously injured or killed human beings, and, as a result, pit bulls have been banned or restricted in several Western European countries, China, and numerous cities and municipalities across North America. Pit bulls are dangerous.”

Troublemakers. Malcolm Gladwell. 6 Feb. 2006

In this article the author was generalizing pit bulls as dangerous. Even though there have been cases that prove some are, there are also cases in which the pit bulls are friendlier than others. We can’t just assume that all pit bulls are dangerous.

7. Slippery Slope

“For if once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begin upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.”

Second Paper On Murder. Thomas De Quincey.

This clearly demonstrates the slippery slope fallacy. The author tells of sequences by assuming that because a man murders he will fall into other crimes, yet he provides no proof of either argument.

12. Ad Populum

“Everyone is selfish; everyone is doing what he believes will make himself happier. The recognition of that can take most of the sting out of accusations that you're being "selfish." Why should you feel guilty for seeking your own happiness when that's what everyone else is doing, too?”

Browne, Harry. “The Unselfishness Trap.” How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World. 1973

This demonstrates the Ad Populum fallacy because the author is trying to justify selfishness by saying that everyone does it. His argument is “If everyone is making himself happy by being selfish, why shouldn’t you...
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