Fallacy Flashcards

Terms Definitions
False Generalizations
"Protestants and Catholics"
ambiguous or multiple interpretations of a repeated word
An exaggeration of one characteristic, which becomes the "only" characteristic; strips person of complexity
Ad Hominem
Attack a person's characteristics instead of their argument
Hasty Generalization
generalization reached too hastily, too few instances to support a conclusion
Glittering generalities
This is an important-sounding but unspecific claim. It cannot be proved true or false because it really says little or nothing.
Red herring
To distract with an irrelevant topic
Doublespeak or obfuscating
Ex. NASA, challenge disasters Pentagon, bombs, using civilians as targets
knowledge of the results of a behavior
Does acupuncture work? Can it cure disease? Of course. It has been used in China by folk practitioners for at least three thousand years.
(look who's talking or two wrongs make a right) pointing to a similar wrong or error committed by another.
False Dilemma
Offering too few choices and implying that a choice must be made from this incomplete list
Bandwagon Thinking
claiming that because of everyone else agrees it must be correct. This appeals to a mass amount of people
This fallacy is evident when a writer offers neat and easy solutions for large , complicated problems.
Appeal to Ignorance
Claiming that something nis true simply because it cannot be disproved, or that something in untrue because it cannot be proved
Contradictory Premisis
when the premisis of an argument contradict eachother, there can be no arguement
Which fallacies belong in the "Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumption"?
-False Dilemma
-Loaded Question
-Begging the Question
-Slippery Slope

Possibly- Affirming the Consequent and Denying the Antecedent
slippery slope
one step will lead to an undesirable next step
Argumentum Ad Populum
It is correct because it is popular
examples of hasty generalization
All students enjoy studying, instead say some students enjoy studying math.
Appeal to Belief
This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because the fact that many people believe a claim does not, in general, serve as evidence that the claim is true.
occurs when a speaker makes a claim that presents an artificial range of choices.  For instance, he may suggest that there are only two choices possible, when three or more really exist. Example: Eat your broccoli or you won’t get desert.
Guilt/glory by Association
the attempt to discredit an idea based upon disfavored people or groups associated with it, or the reverse, association with favored people
Weasel words
used to evade or retreat from a direct or forthright statement or opinion
  Questionable claim:
a person uses statements that are so broad and general that they cannot withstand scrutiny. Words like all, every, never, none, and always are clues.  Exaggeration. Example: All football players use steroids.
Appeal to the Person
Attacking the person, and not the argument (such as character, circumstance, tuquoque - you too).
An attack made against your opponent's personal qualities.
ex. You egghead!
Personal Attack (Ad Hominem)
Argumentum Ad Misericordiam
To use emotion or call upon pity to hide the real argument
 Two wrongs make a right:
a person "justifies" an action against a person by asserting that the person would do the same thing to him/her, when the action is not necessary to prevent B from doing X to A. Example: After leaving a store, Maria notices that she has underpaid by $10. She decides not to return the money to the store because if she had overpaid, they would not have returned the money.
What is a Straw Man?
Changing someone's argument to make it easier to refute.
Hypothesis Contrary to Fact EX
if Madame Curie had not happened to leave a photogenic plate in a drawer with a chunk of pitchblende, the world would not have known about radium
What is Denying the Antecedent?
In an If, Then argument, the If statement is denied and it is concluded because of this that the then statement is also denied.
Appeal to the person (Tu quo que)
The hippies of the sixties railed against the materialistic, capitalistic system and everyone who prospered in it. But all their bellyaching was crap because they were a bunch of hypocrites, living off their rich mothers and fathers.
Is the Bible divinely inspired? There can be no doubt that it is, for it has been a best-seller for thousands of years.
The former mayor was convicted of drug possession, and he spent time in jail. So you can safely ignore anything he has to say about legalizing drugs.
background information
Considered the founder of modern logic
Example: "All seals are brown. Stanley is a seal. Mexican food is the best!"
Circular Argument
An assertion merely restated in slightly different terms; uses circular reasoning to make a conclusion on material that has already been assumed (Ex: Boxing is dangerous because it is not safe)
Making a judgment about an entire Group based on behavior, mostly undersirable, of a few that group.
any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound.
a display of narrow-minded and trivial scholarship; an arbitrary adherence to rules and forms
false analogy
comparing two items that do not deserve comparision
appeal to authority
attempting to strengthen an argument by adding the opinion of a supposed authority figure
Ad Homenim
A general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.
using weak evidence to judge probability without taking into account or disregarding known empirical statistics about the probability. (ex: 'Nevermind the statistics; X factor seems more important to the situation, so Y seems more likely.'
Base rate fallacy
Selective Perception
Looking only for things that support our current ideas, and ignoring evidence that does not.
Logical fallacy
defect in an argument which cause it to be invalid or unsound
ad hoc argument
giving an explanation of a situation after it occurs
Single Cause Fallacy
Example: "After looking over a major test and going slowly, and daydreaming for five minutes, you didn't have the time to finish the last essay question. You turned in the test and griped, 'Your test was too long; I couldn't finish'"
Joint effect
one thing is held to cause another when in fact they are both the joint effects of an underlying cause
because something could happen, it is inevitable that it will happen. (ex: Murphy's Law)
Appeal to probability
Straw Man (Fallacy Of Extension)
attacking an exaggerated or caricatured version of your opponent's position.
appeal to the public
basing argument off opinion of the majority
Unidentified or Anonymous Authority
the authority in question is not named
begging the question
claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true
ex: "If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law."
"The belief in God is universal. After all, everyone believes in God."
eitheror reasoning
the tendency to see an issue as having only two sides
Appeal to (False) Authority
Appealing to the opinion of a person who agrees with your because they are generally respected by the audience, but have no real authority on the topic at hand.
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