lecture8

lecture8 - Appeal to Pity An appeal to pity attempts to...

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Appeal to Pity An appeal to pity attempts to persuade you of a conclusion by making you feel sorry for the arguer, in a way irrelevant to the conclusion. Example: Gee Professor, I really think you should give me a better grade in this class. I really need a C to graduate, and I’ve had a really rough quarter – my girlfriend broke up with me, my Wii was stolen, and my dog died. It’s just been really tough all round. Here the arguer is not offering good reasons to think that he deserves a better grade. He’s trying to make the Professor feel sorry for him, and raise his grade because of that.
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Appeal to Pity Caution is required in spotting this fallacy. Sometimes the bad circumstances that the arguer describes are actually relevant to the truth of the conclusion. Consider: Gee Professor, I really think you should let me take the exam late, even though I didn’t give you advance warning. On my way to the exam I slipped on the wet sidewalk and crashed into a hornet’s nest. They chased me all the way to the lagoon and the only way I could escape was to dive in. As a result, I immediately came down with a fever and was in no position to take the exam.
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Appeal to Pity In this second case, if what the student is saying is true, then he has a good excuse for
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lecture8 - Appeal to Pity An appeal to pity attempts to...

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