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Fallacious Argument

Jan 30, 2012 1215 Words
1. Fallacious Arguments
 
Considering the fallacies discussed in Chapter Four of An Introduction to Logic, construct three different arguments that display distinct fallacies. Give an explanation of why each makes a mistake in drawing the conclusion it does. Review your classmates’ examples and see if they, in fact, commit the fallacy identified. Before getting to examples of different arguments that display distinct fallacies I will define a fallacious argument. In our text fallacy is defined as “a mistake in reasoning that fails to provide appropriate support for a conclusion”. (mosser, 2011) With that said a fallacious argument is one of those arguments that just don’t have reasonable evidence to support its conclusion. Examples:

1. During the last two track meets, every time John finished in first place, he was wearing the same socks. So if John wants to keep finishing in first place John better continue to wear the same socks. This argument is an example of false cause fallacy. Wearing the same socks does not guarantee that John will always finish in first place. 2. The soldier will not fail the physical fitness test if he/she is 1lb overweight The Soldier will not fail the physical fitness test if he/she is 2lb overweight But the Soldier will be counseled for being overweight if he/she keeps gaining weight and may get chaptered out of the Army. This example demonstrates what is known as a slippery slop fallacy. Within these types of arguments “often the idea is that if an exception is allowed to a rule, then more and more exceptions will follow, leading to the inevitable result that few people, if any, will follow the rule”. (Mosser, 2011) The Soldier may get away with gaining a couple of pounds but the more he or she gains increases the chances of being put out of the Army. Mosser, K.. (2010). Critical Thinking, Eighth Edition. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

3. The Brazilian steakhouse parking lot is always full; it must be really cheap. This is an example of Appeal to Popularity Fallacy, because this argument is saying that since there are a lot of cars and people at the restaurant it must be cheap. There are many other reasons as to why the restaurant draws such a crowd and not necessarily because it is cheap.

 
2. The Media and Fallacie 
One rich source of fallacies is the media: television, radio, magazines, and the Internet (including, of course, commercials.) Identify two distinct fallacies you see committed in the media. Do you think it is more likely that you will not be fooled by these fallacies having studied logic? What do you think those presenting these arguments assume about the logical skills of their viewers? Is this a good or bad assumption for them to make?

The media is definitely filled with lots of fallacies. With this year being an election year there are many commercials being aired with political messages. We all know that these are not always true statements, but the messages are what they think the people want to hear so they say them just for the vote. Example: Hasty Generalization Fallacy is “when the conclusion is based on insufficient information: a generalization is made too quickly” (Mosser, 2011) This type of fallacy is very common in media especially in political cases. In the example below Herman Cain a former president candidate made a comment and did not provide sufficient information. “I would not be comfortable [with a Muslim in my administration] because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us. And so when I said I wouldn't be comfortable, I was thinking about the ones that are trying to kill us, number one. Secondly, yes, I do not believe in sharia law in American courts. I believe in American laws in American courts. Period. There have been instances in New Jersey. There was an instance in Oklahoma where Muslims did try to influence court decisions with sharia law. I was simply saying very emphatically American laws in American courts.” (Herman Cain) Argument from authority is another big fallacy used in the media in which someone especially politicians who wants your attention or interest uses the words or phrases of others who already has authority. It is not always bad but it is often used to make those of authority appear to be less than what they may be. I can’t say that I could never be fooled again by these fallacies because I have studied logic but I can say that it won’t be as easy to fool me. I think that most of them assume that most of the viewers are not as intelligent or will not look into the actual details of the message and just go along with what is being said. We are known to fall for what sounds good whether it is good or not. I do think that some of it is bad because it is like taking advantage of the less knowledgeable individuals and it shows that it is all about them. Mosser, K.. (2010). Critical Thinking, Eighth Edition. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Your initial post should be at least 150 words in length. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

1. Analyzing Point of View
 
Chapter Five discusses the importance of point of view in literature and, more specifically, in the short story. Choose one short story from the course text about which you have not yet written, and analyze it in terms of point of view.

When writing your post, consider the following questions
* How would you categorize the point of view [e.g., first-person, second-person (i.e., “you”), third-person limited, third-person omniscient]? * Is the point of view consistent throughout the story (told from the same perspective), or does it shift at any points in the narrative? (If so, make note of when and how those changes occur.) * How does point of view shape your reading of the work? In what ways does it contribute to or detract from your reading of the work? * How does point of view relate to the story’s themes or content?

Your initial post should be at least 150 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the text, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.  

2. Symbolism in the Short Story
 
Chapter Seven explores the role of symbols in conveying literary themes. Themes are abundant in literary works (though they are at some times more obvious than at others). Select one short story from the reading assignments (from either Week One or Week Two) to examine more closely in relation to symbolism. Consider the story’s overall theme(s) and use of images as well as how these two relate to one another. You may choose to explore one single recurring symbol, or you may discuss multiple symbols and how they relate to one another.

At the beginning of your post, identify (a) the literary work that you will analyze and (b) the theme(s) that is/are most relevant to the symbolism you will explore.  

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