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Lecture 6_Fallacies in general; some fallacies of relevance

Lecture 6_Fallacies in general; some fallacies of relevance...

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Lecture 6 Fallacies in General. Some Fallacies of Relevance Patrick Maher Philosophy 102 Spring 2009
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Fallacies Definition A fallacy is a defect in an argument other than merely false premises. An invalid deductive argument contains a fallacy and so does a weak inductive argument.
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Formal fallacies Definition Formal fallacies are ones that may be identified through mere inspection of the form of an argument. Example All bullfights are grotesque rituals. All executions are grotesque rituals. Therefore, all bullfights are executions. This has the form: All A are B . All C are B . All A are C . This is an invalid form. Only deductive arguments contain formal fallacies.
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Informal fallacies Definition Informal fallacies are ones that can be detected only through analysis of the content of the argument. Example All factories are plants. All plants contain chlorophyll. Therefore, all factories contain chlorophyll. Superficially this seems to have a valid form. The defect is that “plants” has a different meaning in each premise. Both deductive and inductive arguments can contain informal fallacies.
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Exercise Determine whether the fallacies committed by the following arguments are formal or informal. Question 1 If Rasputin was really mad, then he deceived Czar Nicholas II. Rasputin was not really mad. Therefore, he did not deceive Czar Nicholas II. Question 2 Everything that runs has feet. The Columbia River runs very swiftly. Therefore, the Columbia River has feet.
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Question 3 All persons who believe we create our own reality are persons who lack social responsibility. All persons governed by selfish motives are persons who lack social responsibility. Therefore, all persons who believe we create our own reality are persons governed by selfish motives.
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