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A Fallacy Recognition Handbook

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A Fallacy Recognition Handbook

CONTENTS

Zen & Understanding the Middle East

Introduction
Sellers' Market
Will to Believe
Rules of Thumb

"The truth is out there "
Use & misuse of words
False information signals more false information
Technical whiz-bang
Understand the Context
Lies, More Lies, Damn Lies and Newspapers
Beware of Generalizations
Theology and scripture
Misleading Statistics
Smoke in your eyes
What is Missing?
Myth versus fact versus narrative
The past was not like the present; the future will be different

Fallacy Recognition in the Middle East

Fallacies and Arguments
Cause and Effect
Slippery Slope
Gambler's Fallacy
Ad Hominem
Authority
Beliefs
Appeal to Novelty
Appeal to Emotion
Appeal to Tradition
False Dilemma or Black and White Thinking
Special Pleading
The Spotlight Fallacy
Who is to Say?

Fallacy Handbook

Fallacies and Arguments

Fallacies

Ad Hominem

Ad Hominem Tu Quoque

Appeal to Authority

Appeal to Belief

Appeal to Common Practice

Appeal to Consequences of a Belief

Appeal to Emotion

Appeal to Fear

Appeal to Flattery

Appeal to Novelty

Appeal to Pity

Appeal to Popularity

Appeal to Ridicule

Appeal to Spite

Appeal to Tradition

Bandwagon

Begging the Question

Biased Sample

Burden of Proof

Circumstantial Ad Hominem

Composition

Confusing Cause and Effect

Division

False Dilemma

Gambler's Fallacy

Genetic Fallacy

Guilt By Association

Hasty Generalization

Ignoring A Common Cause

Middle Ground

Misleading Vividness

Peer Pressure

Personal Attack

Poisoning the Well

Post Hoc

Questionable Cause

Red Herring

Relativist Fallacy

Slippery Slope

Special Pleading

Spotlight

Straw Man

2 Wrongs Make A Right
Who is to say

False Dilemma

Also Known as: Black & White Thinking

Description:

A False Dilemma is a fallacy in which a person uses the following pattern of “reasoning”:

1. Either claim X is true or claim Y is true (when X and Y could both be false).

2. Claim Y is false.

3. Therefore claim X is true.

This line of “reasoning” is fallacious because if both claims could be false, then it cannot be inferred that one is true because the other is false. That this is the case is made clear by the following example:

1. Either 1+1 =4 or 1+1=12 .

2. It is not the case that 1+1 = 4.

3. Therefore 1+1 =12.

In cases in which the two options are, in fact, the only two options, this line of reasoning is not fallacious. For example:

1. Bill is dead or he is alive.

2. Bill is not dead.

3. Therefore Bill is alive.

 

Example #1:

Senator Jill: “We’ll have to cut education funding this year.”

Senator Bill” “Why?”

Senator Jill: “Well, either we cut the social programs of we live with a huge deficit and we can’t live with the deficit.”

Example #2:

Bill: “Jill and I both support having prayer in public schools.”

Jill: “Hey, I never said that!”

Bill: “You’re not an atheist are you Jill?

Example #3:

“Look, you are going to have to make up your mind. Either you decide that you can afford this stereo, or you decide you are going to do without music for a while.”

 

Previous: Division   Next: Gambler's Fallacy

See also False Dilemma or Black and White Thinking (Middle East Fallacies)


Legal Information

This book is copyright 2002 by Dr. Michael C. LaBossiere. It may be freely distributed for personal or educational use provided that it is not modified and no fee above the normal cost of distribution is charged for it. Visit my web site at www.opifex.cnchost.com.

Reproduced by permission


 

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