Logical Fallacies

Topics: Critical thinking, Ad hominem, Fallacy Pages: 4 (1167 words) Published: September 3, 2007
How do we define a fallacy? A logical fallacy is an argument that contains a mistake in reasoning. There are many types of fallacies that fall under two main groups: fallacies of relevance or fallacies of insufficient evidence. A fallacy of relevance occurs because the premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusion. A fallacy of insufficient evidence occurs because the premises, although logically relevant, fails to support the conclusion. I have chosen to touch on 3 fallacies of relevance and 2 fallacies of insufficient evidence. (Critical Thinking – A Students Introduction, 140) Fallacies of Relevance

Ad Hominem or Attacking the Person
This type of fallacy is the most familiar of all of the fallacies, also being the most used. With this type of fallacy we tend to attack the person instead of their argument. We could care less about how relevant the information is. It is all about being negative about he person himself. There are 2 sub fallacies that fall under Ad Hominem: abusive and circumstantial. In an abusive Ad Hominem, the person is attacked by a personal quality, which is used as the evidence against them. A circumstantial ad hominem is an irrelevant personal circumstance that surrounds the opponent, which is used as the evidence against the opponent. (Argumentum ad Hominem, www.fallacyfiles.org) An insult is considered to be fallacious if it is made in a manner as to insult the opponent's argument, and to encourage the audience to give it less weight that it merits. The argument is not judged on its material, rather it is judged on the arguer. (www.adamsmith.org/logicalfallacies.php) A perfect example is John Kerry. Back when he was in the Army, he protested against the Vietnam War, but yet he joined the military. Doesn't really make much since considering he knew what was going on with that war.

Tu Quoque or Look Who's Talking
This fallacy is normally utilized when a person rejects another person's stance on a...

Cited: Retrieved August 16, 2005, from http://www.adamsmith.org/logicalfallacies.php
Retrieved August 16, 2005, from http://www.fallacyfiles.org
Retrieved August 16, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org
Critical thinking – A Student 's Introduction. Logical Fallacies – 1 (pp. 140-160). (2002). The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Critical thinking – A Student 's Introduction. Logical Fallacies – 2 (pp. 162-188). (2002). The McGraw-Hill Companies.
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