Argumentative Fallacies

Argumentative Fallacies - A rgumentative Fallacies A...

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Argumentative Fallacies A supplement to Communication 101 Instructor: Matt Vander Boegh What is a Fallacy? [ fal - uh -see] An error in reasoning that renders an argument logically invalid ( A violation of one of the criteria of a good argument (T. Edward Damer) Note: many of the examples used in this guide have been borrowed from T. Edward Damer’s book “Attacking Faulty Reasoning”, and are denoted after the word “Example” with a *. This guide will help you spot eight key argumentative fallacies and assist you in seeing through their misleading nature. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor will it help you combat these fallacies. For information on how to argue against these illogical tricks, purchase T. Edward Damer’s text ( or other similar books ) from -- or -- If you are interested in learning more about Argumentative Fallacies and prefer a classroom setting, take Communication 112 ( Reasoned Discourse ) , usually taught by Professor Marty Most.
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The Bandwagon Fallacy ( aka: Appeal to Common Opinion or Consensus Gentium ) Commonly denoted by phrases such as “everyone else is doing it!” and assuming that a large amount of participants equates to the soundness of the argument. Example 1*: “If tanning beds were really unsafe, then millions of Americans would not use them every week. Neither can the sun be that harmful to your skin. Virtually everyone I know goes to the beacy for one primary purpose the sun. Do you know anyone who goes to the beach and then sits inside the hotel or beach house?” Rewritten in Standard Form: ( 1 ) Since millions of Americans use tanning beds every week and go to beaches every year, ( 2 ) And beach - goers rarely avoid the sun’s tanning rays, ( 3 ) Therefore , the use of tanning beds and sunbathing on the beach are not activities that harm the skin. Example 2*:
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This note was uploaded on 10/11/2011 for the course COMM 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Boise State.

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Argumentative Fallacies - A rgumentative Fallacies A...

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