The logical fallacies that I have chosen to study in this paper are "Appeal to Emotion" Fallacy, "Common Belief" Fallacy, and the "Hypothesis Contrary to Fact" fallacy. In the following paragraphs I will be defining the fallacies and how they relate to critical thinking. I will also be providing a popular culture example for each fallacy to illustrate each fallacy. In conclusion I shall attempt to provide Pro's and Con's for each Fallacy.
The first Fallacy I chose was the "Appeal to Emotion" Fallacy. An Appeal to Emotion is a fallacy with the following structure: 1.
Favorable emotions are associated with X.
Therefore, X is true.
This fallacy is committed when someone manipulates peoples' emotions in order to get them to accept a claim as being true. (Fallacy: Appeal to Emotion, 2006) Example: In 1972, there was a widely printed advertisement printed by the Foulke Fur Co., which was in reaction to the frequent protests against the killing of Alaskan seals for the making of fancy furs. According to the advertisement, clubbing the seals was one of the great conservation stories of our history, a mere exercise in wildlife management, because "biologists believe a healthier colony is a controlled colony." (Master List of Logical Fallacies, 2004) Concrete critical thinking should be used to not be swayed by this fallacy. Its effectiveness is in its emotional appeal to its audience. Logical arguments are very difficult and time-consuming and rarely effectively spurn people to action. It is the power of this fallacy that makes it so popular and widely used. However, it is still a fallacy.
The next Fallacy I have chosen to examine is the "Common Belief" Fallacy. An Appeal to Common Belief Fallacy is defined by any argument that defends a belief by pointing out how many other people have the same belief. But consensus does not make something true. Just remember that even today, huge numbers of people remain ignorant of basic science and think that the earth...
References: Fallacy: Appeal to Emotion (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2006, from http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-emotion.html
Master List of Logical Fallacies (Copyright 2004). University of Phoenix. Retrieved June 19, 2006, from http://myresources.phoenix.edu
Appeal to Common Belief (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2006, from http://changingminds.org/disciplines/argument/fallacies/common_belief.htm
T. Gracyk (August 21, 2003). Explanations of Basic Fallacies. Retrieved June 19, 2006, from http://www.mnstate.edu/gracyk/courses/phil%20110/fallaciesexplained.htm#belief
Hypothesis Contrary to Fact (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2006, from http://www.cuyamaca.net/bruce.thompson/fallacies/contrarytofact.asp
The Nicene Creed (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2006, from http://www.creeds.net/ancient/nicene.htm
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