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Archive for the ‘Logic’ Category

Question-Begging Analogy

November 7th, 2009 Comments off

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Question-Begging Analogy

classification : informal – begging the question

An analogical argument begs the question when the strength of the analogy depends upon some controversial point at issue.

Foundations

Commonality of Begging the question and Weak analogy

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Categories: Logic

Loaded Words

November 7th, 2009 Comments off

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Loaded Words

classification : informal – begging the question

A loaded word carries a value judgment along with its descriptive element. The use of emotive words to influence the reader. This technique is frequently used in advertisements to persuade us to buy things. Bad words are used to make us buy products to rid ourselves of things that we have been persuaded are undesirable. Glad words are used to make us buy products to obtain what we have been persuaded is desirable.

Foundations

A word or phrase is “loaded” when it has a secondary, evaluative meaning in addition to its primary, descriptive meaning. When language is “loaded”, it is loaded with its evaluative meaning. A loaded word is like a loaded gun, and its evaluative meaning is the bullet.

Other Names

Loaded Language
Question-Begging Epithets
glad and bad words fallacy

Sub fallacies

Appeal to Nature

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Categories: Logic

Illicit Observation

November 5th, 2009 Comments off

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Illicit Observation

classification : informal – fallacies of ambiguity – equivocation

Committed when someone uses two terms as if they were negations of each other when they are not really.

Foundations

Examples

Other Names

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Categories: Logic

Scope Fallacy

November 5th, 2009 Comments off

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Scope Fallacy

classification : informal – fallacies of ambiguity – amphiboly

The scope fallacy is caused by improperly changing or misrepresenting the scope of a phrase.

Foundations

Ambiguity based on scope. Logical terms such as “not” have a scope, that is, a part of the proposition in which they occur that they affect logically.

Examples

Other Names

Sub fallacy of Amphiboly

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Categories: Logic

Fallacy Of Division

November 5th, 2009 Comments off

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Fallacy Of Division

classification : informal – fallacies of ambiguity

Fallacy of division occurs when one reasons logically that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts.

Foundations

The fallacy of division consists in assuming (wrongly) that a predicate that applies collectively must also apply distributively.

Examples

Starting with the Greek Philosophers, it was assumed that the atoms constituting a substance must themselves have the salient observed properties of that substance: so atoms of water would be wet, atoms of iron would be hard, atoms of wool would be soft, etc. This doctrine is called homeomeria, and it plainly depends on the fallacy of division.

Bill lives in a large building, so his apartment must be large.

Other Names

Note: The converse of this fallacy is called fallacy of composition.

Note: On Sophistical Refutations – Translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge

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Categories: Logic

Fallacy OF Composition

November 4th, 2009 Comments off

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Fallacy Of Composition

classification : informal – fallacies of ambiguity

arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part).

Foundations

the fallacy of inferring from the fact that every part of a whole has a given property that the whole also has that property.

Caveat: It is important to note that drawing an inference about the characteristics of a class based on the characteristics of its individual members is not always fallacious. In some cases, sufficient justification can be provided to warrant the conclusion.

Examples

A counterfeiter who prints a million dollars will certainly benefit himself (if he doesn’t get caught) but if we all become counterfeiters and each print a million dollars, a quite different effect is rather obvious.

The bicycle is made entirely of low mass components, and is therefore very lightweight.

A car creates less pollution than a bus. Therefore, cars are less of a pollution problem than buses.

Other Names

Fallacy of Mediocrity
Sometimes confused with the fallacy of hasty generalization.

Note: The fallacy of composition is the converse of the fallacy of division.

Note: On Sophistical Refutations – Translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge

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Categories: Logic

Fallacy OF Amphiboly

November 4th, 2009 Comments off

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Fallacy OF Amphiboly

classification : informal – fallacies of ambiguity

amphiboly occurs when the construction of a sentence allows it to have two different meanings.

Foundations

Results from ambiguous grammar, as opposed to one that results from the ambiguity of words or phrases.

Examples

Save soap and waste paper.

Sub fallacy

Scope Fallacy

Note: On Sophistical Refutations – Translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge

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Categories: Logic

Fallacy Of Accent

November 4th, 2009 Comments off

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Fallacy Of Accent

classification : informal – fallacies of ambiguity

Accent refers to the stress placed upon a word in a sentence or a syllable in a word. In Greek, this was very important because a written word with one spelling could have more than one pronunciation and meaning, thus creating multiple words.

Expanded Definition

Foundations

The Fallacy of Accent was one of the original fallacies described by Aristotle. Fortunately, it was more of a fallacy in his native Greek than it is for anyone else today.

Other Names

Fallacy of Amphiboly

Note: On Sophistical Refutations – Translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge

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Categories: Logic

Appeal To Emotion

November 3rd, 2009 Comments off

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Appeal To Emotion

classification : red herring

Appeal to emotion is a potential fallacy which uses the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions, rather than valid logic, to win an argument. Also this kind of thinking may be evident in one who lets emotions and/or other subjective considerations influence one’s reasoning process.

Foundations

Fallacies introduce a failure to support a claim, and thus limit the possibility of an ideology to be recognized as credible. The appeal to emotion fallacy uses emotions as the basis of an argument’s position. Therefore, factual evidence does not support the major ideas endorsed by the elicitor of the argument.

Other Names / Sub fallacies

Appeal to consequences
Appeal to fear
Appeal to flattery
Appeal to pity
Appeal to ridicule
Appeal to spite
Wishful thinking

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Categories: Logic

Argument From Ignorance

October 30th, 2009 Comments off

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Argument From Ignorance (ad ignorantiam)

classification : informal – fallacies of defective induction

A logical fallacy of irrelevance occurring when one claims that something is true only because it hasn’t been proved false, or vice versa.

Foundations

A claims truth or falsity depends upon supporting or refuting evidence to the claim in favor of an alternative view. Not knowing that a statement is true is taken to be proof that it is false.

Examples

Jim said he is smarter than David but failed to prove it. Therefore his argument ( assertion ) is logically flawed. Claiming something does not make it true.

Failing to prove that Unicorns do not exist, affirms that they do exist

If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law.

Other Names:

lack-of-knowledge inference

negative evidence

default reasoning

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Categories: Logic