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ENG 102

Appendix Fallacies

Informal Fallacies

Argument whose stated premises fail to support its proposed conclusion Often stems from a flaw in reasoning that renders the conclusion unpersuasive

Fallacies of Pathos
Rest on flaws in the way an argument appeals to the audiences emotions and values

Argument to the people (stirring symbols) Appeal to ignorance Bandwagon Appeal to pity Red herring

Fallacies of Ethos
Rest on flaws in the way the argument appeals to the character of opponents or of sources and witnesses within an argument

Appeal to false authority Ad hominem Poisoning the well Straw man

Fallacies of Logos
Rests on flaws in the relationship among statements in an argument

Hasty generalization Part for the whole Post hoc Circular reasoning/begging the question False Dilemma Slippery Slope False analogy Son sequitur Loaded Label/Definition

Slippery Slope (Logos)

Based on the fear that once we put a foot on a slick mountainside, we are doomed to slide right out of sight Once we allow medical use of marijuana, well eventually legalize it for everyone, and then cocaine and heroin will gain social acceptance.

Red Herring (Pathos)

Throwing an audience off-track by raising an unrelated or irrelevant point Debating a gas tax increase is valuable, but I really think there should be an extra tax on SUVs.

Non Sequitur (Logos)

Means it does not follow Any claim that doesnt follow from its premises or is supported by irrelevant premises I should not receive a C in this course because I currently have a 3.8 GPA

Post hoc (Logos)

Means after this, therefore because of this Occurs when a sequential relationship is mistaken for a causal relationship Cramming for a test really helps because last week I crammed for my psychology test and I got an A on it. A might have been caused by something other than cramming, must consider all factors

Bandwagon (Pathos)

Appeals to popularity Popularity of something is irrelevant to its actual marriage Living together before marriage is the right thing to do because most couples are now doing it.

Ad hominem (Ethos)

Means to the person Argument directed at the character of an opponent rather than at the quality of the opponents reasoning

False Authority (Ethos)

Use famous people to testify on issues about which these persons have no special competence Joe Quarterback says Gooey Oil keeps his old tractor running sharp; therefore, Gooey Oil is a good oil.

Hasty Generalization (Logos)

Someone makes a broad generalization on the basis of too little evidence Evidence needed to support a generalization must meet the STAR criteria (sufficiency, typicality, accuracy, and relevance

Appeal to the People (Pathos)

Appeal to the fundamental beliefs, biases, and prejudices of the audience Sway opinion through a feeling of solidarity among those of the group Support Our Troops bumper sticker, often including American flag, creates an initial feeling of solidarity among almost all citizens of goodwill Car owner may have deeper intention of meaning support the war

Appeal to Ignorance (Pathos)

Persuades audience to accept as true a claim that hasnt been proved false or vice versa UFOs, ghosts, and the abominable snowmen do exist because science hasnt proved that they dont exist.

Appeal to Pity (Pathos)

Arguer appeals to audiences sympathetic feelings in order to support a claim that should be decided on more relevant or objective grounds

Poisoning the Well (Ethos)

Close to ad hominem Arguers discredit an opponent or an opposing view in advance (through bias) Before I yield the floor to the next speaker, I must remind you that those who oppose my plan do not have the best interests of working people in their hearts.

Straw Man (Ethos)

Occurs by oversimplifying an opponents argument to make it easier to refute or ridicule Rather than summarize opposing view fairly and completely, the arguer makes up the argument they wish the opponent had made because its easier to knock over

Part for the Whole (Logos)

Arguers pick out a part of the whole and then claim that what is true of the part is true for the whole Arguer picks only the best examples to make a case and conveniently forgets about examples that weaken the case

Circular Reasoning (Logos)

Provide a reason that simply restates the claim in different words That person is obese because he is too fat.

False Dilemma (Logos)

arguer oversimplifies a complex issue so that only two choices appear possible One of the choices is made to seem unacceptable Its my way or the highway.

False Analogy (Logos)

Has to be some similarities between objects being compared Has to appeal to audiences logic

Activity pg. 411

WHICH FALLACY IS BEING COMMITTED? Read each item. Identify and explain the fallacy of each statement.

For Friday

2. 3.



Read Ramage Chapter 11 and answer the following questions: What is a definition argument? Explain the criteria-match structure. How do you conduct the definition part of a definition argument? How do you conduct the criteria part of a definition argument? How do you conduct the match part of a definition argument?