Wk 5 CRT 205

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Published on November 19, 2008

Author: JulesWest

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CRT 205: Critical Thinking : CRT 205: Critical Thinking Week 5: Fallacies Overview : Overview Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Week 5 Assignments Chapter 5 : Chapter 5 Moral Rhetorical Devices Fallacies : Fallacies Definition: a false notion, a statement or argument based on a false notion; use of false logic Need to know: Fallacies are NOT apart of an argument Fallacies can NOT be a claim/conclusion Fallacies can NOT be support/premise Fallacies often act on your biases, emotions, and lack of critical thinking Good Ways to Spot Fallacies : Good Ways to Spot Fallacies Ask yourself the following questions when analyzing a passage: Are my emotions being activated? Are my biases being activated? What is the writer assuming? What is the writer not providing? Is there any information except the premises and conclusion? Does the writer/author make a clear, concise, and well supported point? Is the writer using facts as premises? Is there adequate support for the claim or claims being made? Argument from Outrage : Argument from Outrage Pattern: inflammatory words/thoughts followed by a conclusion How it occurs: We think we have a reason to be angry but do not. We let our anger influence our evaluation. Examples: All of these liberals are ruining our freedom with their far-fetched ideals of fairness and right. Conservatives are so stuck on stupid they are keeping our country in the dark ages! Faculty members are so blind they wouldn’t see an A paper if it hit them upside the head. Scapegoat – Argument from Outrage (#5) : Scapegoat – Argument from Outrage (#5) Pattern: blaming someone or something for an event, issue, or troubles Examples: If my teacher would have accepted my late paper I would have graduated from college, have a good job, and not be in debt! If my mother would have been more encouraging I would have a better life. If my brother was not so weird I would have had more friends in high school and have made better choices. If Oprah didn’t recommend that skin cream my face would never have broken out and I would have married last year. Apple Polishing : Apple Polishing Pattern: flattering the audience to gain support Examples: Good students submit work early. Any good mother knows when her child is lying. Any decent person would understand the ins and outs of the constitution. If you drink BGY energy drink you are attractive, high energy, and fun. Only intelligent persons will be able to see through the lies spewed by my opponent. Only those young at heart can understand the issues facing the youth of today. Scare Tactics or Argument by Force (#10) : Scare Tactics or Argument by Force (#10) Pattern: scaring someone into accepting and argument and following it blindly (without factual support) Examples: All of our borders have been infiltrated by dangerous criminals. Sex offenders are scouring the internet looking for your children. Drug dealers are stalking our youth and wrecking havoc on our community. Our prison system is over-run with dangerous criminals and the state cannot house all of the criminals so many are being released. Argument from Pity : Argument from Pity Pattern: feeling sorry for someone or his/her situation and allowing that to taint your evaluation Examples: Poor Hanna she lost her job and has 3 kids to support, we must give her a job. Dan has no work experience but he is trying so hard to finish school and turn his life around, we should hire him. Darla and Mike are trying so hard to kick their drug habit, we shouldn’t call DCFS on them. Amy is so young, no wonder she can’t take care of her baby, she just needs a little love. Drew had a lot of issues growing up so we should be extra patient while he gets his life together. Peer Pressure Argument : Peer Pressure Argument Pattern: convincing the audience to do something because the crowd does it or for acceptance Examples: Fred if you don’t think Heros is the coolest show on TV we can’t be friends. Soy milk is an excellent source of nutrition, everyone is using it now instead of dairy. Tide is the coolest detergent, all the cool moms are using it. Guns are for protection, we all know that. Brita (the boss) says “We need to redesign the work hours so everyone comes in at 6:00 am so we are more productive.” (Everyone nods their heads. Later you can’t help but think how you work better after 10 am.) Argument from Envy : Argument from Envy Pattern: envy and jealousy cause us to exaggerate a person’s bad points Examples: She is beautiful but has no brains. His parents bought him a nice car but they didn’t buy him driving ability. He may have a lot of money but he is not a looker. She does exercise a lot but she isn’t very tone. They have great voices but no fashion sense. She is lucky to have found him, too bad he isn’t as lucky to have found her. Guilt Trip : Guilt Trip Pattern: eliciting feelings of guilt to get someone to do or believe something Examples: You don’t want to disappoint me, so stop arguing. You shouldn’t hang out with Carl because it makes mommy sad. You need to get good grades because it makes daddy happy. I want you at my party, otherwise I will just be so mad I won’t talk to you anymore. If you eat those candies you are going to gain weight and no one will want to date you. Wishful Thinking (#2) : Wishful Thinking (#2) Pattern: an idea is presented but once reality is evaluated it is clear that this idea is not possible without a miracle or the laws of reality being broken Examples: I am going to be the next president of the United States (says a common person with no experience, training, money, or education). I could fix the economy in 24 hours. He likes me so much, he just doesn’t know it; someday we will get married. (Says a girl about a guy who has turned her down for a date 12 times) I am going to marry Brad Pitt. (Unless you are a movies star or Angelina Jolie this is probably wishful thinking) I am going to be a multi-million dollar recording artist next year. (Says a person who cannot sing on-key) Group Think Fallacy (#9) : Group Think Fallacy (#9) Pattern: when one substitutes pride of membership in a group for reason and deliberation in arriving at a position on an issue Examples: The army is the greatest organization on earth and I know because I am an army soldier. Key club is the most charitable organization. (says one of the group’s members) Alpha Phi Sorority has the hottest girls with the best grades of any sorority. (says a member) Delta Mu Delta is the most prestigious honor society. (says a member) Wal-Mart does not have the lowest prices, Kmart does. (Says a Kmart employee) Rationalizing : Rationalizing Pattern: replacing fact or valid explanations with a narrow, usually self serving, views of reality Examples: My son will like Cheerios because I liked Cheerios as a kid. I am going to buy my wife a gift certificate to Home Depot for her birthday, she wants me to fix the porch and now I can. For Christmas I am going to buy my husband tickets to the ballet, he loves to make me happy and these tickets will make me happy so they will make him happy. Carrie is 12 and loves Hannah Montana, so Tanya who is 12 must also like Hannah Montana. Argument from Popularity (#3) : Argument from Popularity (#3) Pattern: trying to convince the audience that the majority of society believes or does something without fact Examples: Everyone watches TV at night. All college students spend hours studying, everyone knows that. Hot dogs are healthy, anyone can see that. Argument from Common Practice : Argument from Common Practice Pattern: rationalization based on common practice or perceived common practice Examples: I shouldn’t get a ticket for not wearing my seat belt, lots of people don’t wear one. I don’t need to exercise to stay healthy, none of my friends do. Spanking children is just fine, my parents did it and so did all of my friends’ parents. I shouldn’t go to jail for 60 days for DUI, Paris Hilton and other stars got out after a few days or got community service. I can spend as much as I want and put it on my credit card, who cares about the bill, all of my friend’s parents have paid their bills and mine will do the same. Argument from Tradition : Argument from Tradition Pattern: explanation is offered for an idea, practice, etc based on “because that is the way it has always been done” Examples: We have to go to McGill’s tree service to get a Christmas tree because it is tradition. Grandpa must carve the Thanksgiving turkey just like he does every year. I am going to give 10% of my income to XYZ charity like I do every year. All of the clothes have to be ironed. When I was a little girl we spent hours ironing clothes, that is just the proper thing to do. Subjectivism : Subjectivism Basic assumption: everyone’s opinion is equal and viable Issues: Language is not as subjective as many would like it to be, some words have definite meanings Facts can be wrong so opinions can loose value Not everyone has the same authority on every topic Relativist Fallacy : Relativist Fallacy Pattern: “Relativism is the idea that one culture’s or society’s opinion is as good as the next, and that a society/culture’s thinking a claim is true makes it true in that society/culture.” Examples: A society in India believes that when a man has sex that his sperm takes part of his life force, thus peaking should only be for special occasions. Early Americans believed that the white man was superior to all other races. Contemporary American society believes that thin female bodies are attractive. Early American and European doctors believe colds were spread by germs, other societies believed they were spread by bad feelings. Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right Fallacy : Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right Fallacy Pattern: Using someone else’s wrong or poor decision making to support your own Examples: Zack got into a fight last week so I am going to get into a fight this week. Craig and Lynn’s baby cries all night and keeps me up so I am going to egg their house. My spouse cheated on me so I am going to cheat too. Trisha stayed up late last night and snuck out so it is okay for me to do the same. Red Herring or Smoke Screen (#8) : Red Herring or Smoke Screen (#8) Pattern: introducing information or ideas that are off-topic either to change the subject or avoid a subject Examples: Sen. So and So, you are accused of having an affair, what do you have to say for yourself? “Well Bob, the economy is in real trouble and we need to focus on working together in whatever way we can to find a solution.” Ben I noticed there was a piece of cake missing from the birthday cake in the fridge. “Have you looked at Tara’s room? It is a huge mess!” Chapter 6 : Chapter 6 Fallacies Ad Hominem Fallacy (#1) : Ad Hominem Fallacy (#1) Personal Attack Ad Hominem Pattern: attack the person instead of the idea Examples: Phoebe is wrong she is a democrat and they know nothing about foreign policy. Larry is a womanizer, he knows nothing about how to manage employees. Inconsistency Ad Hominem Pattern: a person said or did “x” and that conflicts with what the person is saying or doing now so it is not true Examples: Mary could not have stopped drinking, last year she was boozing it up at a club, obviously she likes to drink. Steven will never get out of debt, he has mismanaged money in the past and he will not figure it out now, despite what he claims. Circumstantial Ad Hominem Pattern: using a person or situation’s circumstances to declare a claim invalid Examples: My dad said drugs are bad, but he is a father, of course he is going to say they are bad. A police officer came to school and said that marijuana is a gateway drug, but what do cops know, they only see bad stuff involving drugs. Poisoning the Well : Poisoning the Well Pattern: providing negative information in advance about someone so the audience will not want to listen to that person or any of their claims Examples: Claudia is an idiot and she is always wrong about everything she says. Jenna is not a backstabber but she uses some unsavory social tactics. Clarence will not tell you the truth but he will tell you half truths. Genetic Fallacy (#1) : Genetic Fallacy (#1) Pattern: encouraging others to refute a claim based on where it came from Clue: think genetic meaning where the claim was “born” Examples: The government claims we are in a recession, but think about it. Russian psychologist Vygotsky believed that intelligence developed through language; his theory is crazy because he is Russian. The security plan will never work, it is sponsored by the Democrats. Scientology has no merit because it was created in 1954, long after the world was established. The Difference : The Difference How to tell the difference between Personal Attack Ad Hominem and Genetic Fallacy Personal attack will say something negative about the group, not the claim or the merits of the claim Genetic fallacy attacks the origin of the claim, whether it be a group, time, place, idea, etc while attacking the claim. The genetic fallacy does not attack the origin, it just insinuates things. Straw Man (#6) : Straw Man (#6) Pattern: speaker/writer distorts, exaggerates, or misinterprets someone’s ideas and actions in order to weaken that person so he/she is easier to “push down” like a straw man Examples: Geesh mom, every 2 seconds you are asking me to do something, when are you going to just let me be a kid? I am treated so unfairly, I get all the difficult projects and my co-workers get the 2 second projects a monkey could do. Should I start working less so I can get a break? So you are telling me that you are going to raise taxes on working class citizens and that is going to fix the economy? (Reply) Again, I am not going to raise taxes, I am going to lower taxes and eliminate wasteful spending. False Dilemma : False Dilemma Pattern: “occurs when you limit considerations to only two alternatives although other alternatives may be available” Examples: You can take tap or ballet class, that’s it, those are your only options. You can pass or fail this class, there’s no in-between. Either we can ban guns or let every gang banger on the street control us. We have ground beef so we can have tacos or spaghetti for dinner. You can either work the drive through at Wendy’s or mop floors for a living. We can either spend our budget surplus on a team builder or a team lunch. Perfectionist Fallacy : Perfectionist Fallacy Pattern: making unrealistic demands of perfectionism in order to accept or reject an idea Examples: If you don’t make all A’s you are not a college graduate. If the winding project will not more than double our annual profits every year we should not build it. If the puppy is not pure bred, potty trained, golden with two 2 cm circular dark brown spots in the middle of its belly, hypo-allergenic, and already trained it isn’t good enough for me. Line-Drawing Fallacy : Line-Drawing Fallacy Pattern: drawing a line or insinuating there is a precise line in a situation or idea when there need not be a precise line drawn. Usually the line drawing is done regarding a vague concept, phrase, or word. Examples: What feature makes Valerie a beautiful girl? If no one feature makes Valerie a beautiful girl, then she is not beautiful. At what point did the marriage fall apart? If you cannot point to an exact point when the relationship went downhill then it never did. Slippery Slope : Slippery Slope Pattern: if x occurs it will lead to y, but there is not sufficient evidence to support that this will happen Examples: If you give her an inch she will take a mile If we allow a few people on welfare next thing you know everyone will want it If we let one pregnant teen stay in our school, it will spread like a wild fire and all the girls will get pregnant. If we let one child have a later curfew we will have to give all of them a later curfew. Misplacing the Burden of Proof : Misplacing the Burden of Proof Pattern: placing the burden of proof on the audience instead of the speaker/writer – basically you ask the audience to prove your point Examples: How do you know it won’t work? How do you know it won’t happen? How do you know x isn’t true? Who’s to say I am not right? Begging the Question : Begging the Question Pattern: circular thinking; asking the audience to believe an argument when you are using part of the claim as evidence Examples: If that was not illegal it would not be prohibited by the law. You should drive on the right hand side of the road because that is the law and the law is the law. Abortion is the killing of a human being and is therefore murder. Murder is illegal so abortion should be illegal. Past-life memories of children prove that past lives exist because the children could have no other source for their memories besides having lived in the past. Appeal to Ignorance : Appeal to Ignorance Pattern: because x has not been proven false it must be true Examples: No one has proven that grass can’t generate energy so it can. No one has proven that fetuses do not choose their own gender so it must be so. People can evolve on will, because no one has proven they can’t. Hasty Generalization (#4) : Hasty Generalization (#4) Pattern: not distinguishing between coincidence and real causes or psychological causes and logical causes Examples: Henry was mauled by a dog last week, all dogs are vicious. When I was pregnant I was never nauseous, women who experience nausea during pregnancy have a psychological expectation of throwing up and that is why they do. Jayme’s parents do not discipline her so she acts up, all children who have lax parents act up. My local news said that Abe Smith was a suspect in a money laundering ring, he must be guilty. Post Hoc (#7) : Post Hoc (#7) Pattern: simple minded examples/explanations of cause and effect; X occurs before Y so X must be the cause of Y Tip: comes from the Latin phrase “Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc” – After this therefore because of this Examples: I wore this pair of underwear during the play-offs and we won, the underwear caused us to win. Jane gets a rather large wart on her finger. Based on a story her father told her, she cuts a potato in half, rubs it on the wart and then buries it under the light of a full moon. Over the next month her wart shrinks and eventually vanishes. Jane writes her father to tell him how right he was about the cure. Billy was out with his friends on Friday the 13th and they were in a car crash. Billy determines that since Friday the 13th is an unlucky day this is the cause of their car wreck. Week 5 Assignments : Week 5 Assignments Week 5 Assignments : Week 5 Assignments CheckPoint: Identifying Fallacies Use the worksheet ONLY answer the questions in the worksheet All of the answers to the questions are found in Chapter 6 ONLY Assignment: Categorizing Fallacies Use Appendix C Use Appendix 2: The Top Ten Fallacies of All Time Follow the directions in Appendix C

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