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Question

For each of the following cases, suppose that the speaker is presenting an argument. Assess whether the premises

are relevant to the conclusion. For any premises you determine to

be irrelevant, explain your answer. If appropriate, label the argument as containing one of the fallacies of irrelevance discussed in Lecture Eight and/or Chapter 6.

Fallacies:


The straw man fallacy:First, they must be trying to refute someone else's position on some issue. Secondly, wittingly or unwittingly, they must misinterpret that other position and attribute a view other than the one held by that person or group to her or them. Finally, they must "refute" the position by attacking that view which is not the one the person or group holds.


red herring fallacy: One who is in a debate of some sort with another makes a remark that diverts the other from the issue at hand and causes her to begin debating an irrelevant issue, is said to commit the red herring fallacy.


argumentum ad baculum: One says, in effect, you should believe what I say, or else I'll knock your teeth out; the fallacy here, in Latin, was called argumentum ad baculum. 


argumentum ad populum: To begin with, the fact that most people are going to vote for the Liberal Party (if they are) obviously doesn't at all suggest that you should. Earlier logicians used a Latin expression to label the fallacy embedded in this sort of "appeal to the populace": argumentum ad populum.


argumentum ad misericordiam: If instead one appeals to pity, as in "You should believe me, or else I'll be very unhappy," the fallacious reasoning, again in Latin, was called argumentum ad misericordiam.


Ad Hominem:In the ad hominem fallacy, an argument or theory is criticized by means of attacks on the person who holds it. In the fallacy of guilt by association, the attack is less direct. 


Argument 1:

Philosophy is an ancient subject. It, along with mathematics, probably deserves to be considered the first academic subject. Indeed, the word "academy" goes back to Plato's school of, guess what, philosophy. So people have been teaching it for a long time. And the way it has always been taught is by experienced philosophers lecturing to students.

If you're going to have successful philosophy courses, you can't do them on line, because there's no way for an on-line course to implement a proper philosophical lecture.

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Argument 2:

You want to vote for the Conservative candidate? Are you sure? I know some people from his church. They home school their kids ... but not because they think they can provide a better education. It's because they want to make sure their kids don't hear anything contrary to their cramped view of the Bible. They want their kids to think the world is 6000 years old, that being gay is a ticket to Hell, and stuff like that. 

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