Fallacies 1.

Old man Brown claims that he saw a flying saucer in his farm, but he never got beyond the fourth grade in school and can hardly read or write. He is completely ignorant of what scientists have written on the subject, so his report cannot possibly be true.
Ad hominem--Brown's education is irrelevant to his ability to observe.

2. My client is an integral part of this community. If he is sent to prison not only will this city suffer but also he will be most missed by his family. You surely cannot find it in your hearts to reach any other verdict than "not guilty."
Ad misericordiam--The pity being invoked for the client is not relevant to his guilt or innocence.

3. You ought to try to study harder in school this year, Samuel, because it will spare your parents the embarrassment of a letter from the instructor telling them you're slipping.
Ad baculum--The reasons for Samuel to study should be independent of the threat to inform his parents.

4. You will back up my story and tell the committee I am reasoning logically; because if you don't I will do everything in my power to see that you are fired.
Ad baculum--The threat of being fired, presumably, is not logically relevant to the purported story.

5. I believe in the Bible because it is the written word of God through his prophets. Obviously, God would not lie to his prophets. After all, the Bible says so.
Petitio principii--The premiss and final conclusion are equivalent statements.

6. Congress shouldn't bother to consult major universities about educational appropriations. As members of educational establishment, they will naturally want as much money for education as they think they can get.
Ad hominem--Reasons should be evaluated on their own merits not the character of the persons issuing them.

7. In recent studies researchers have show that women have more accurate intuition than men do. The reason cited is that men's intuition is more often mistaken.
Petitio principii--The premiss and conclusion are equivalent propositions.

8. I can see that you are in the market for a new car. We're having a sale on Pintos this month. Do you want to pay cash or do you want the installment plan?
Complex question: Buying a Pinto is being presupposed.

9. John has really worked hard on his term project, and he will really be depressed if he does not make an A. For these reasons, you just have to give him an A on his project.
Ad misericordiam--John's feelings are not logically relevant to the quality of his project.

10. What is right is what is morally obligatory. What is morally obligatory is what you should do. Of course, you should do something because it is the right thing to do.

Ad hominem--Character attacks and name calling are irrelevant to the cogency of the arguments. 19. but my mother is ill and I'm being audited by the IRS. Why haven't you been studying. as you should? You would feel a lot better if you would take you school work more seriously. I can see that the efficiency with which the Tornado Home Vacuum System works and the marvelous way in which it saves on toil and drudgery in the home impresses you. 17. there is a lack of sufficient evidence for the conclusion. Therefore. Petitio principii--the conclusion is being presupposed in the premiss. If we wish to determine which of a person's motives determine his actions. we need only examine which of the alternative courses of action he chooses to perform. False cause--No causal mechanism is shown for the relation between events. here. and politicians have all relied on it. please excuse my going over the speed limit. Ad misericordiam--The pity being invoked is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the man was speeding. 16.Petitio principii--A premiss and conclusion in this argument chain are logically the same. How can we save our country from the bureaucratic dictatorship. Those who say that extra-sensory perception is not reliable are mistaken. Therefore. The arguments you give are simply tacky. 14. 11. I don't care what your arguments are. . a person's motives are determined by the actions he chooses to perform. 15. Recessions always seem to be created by Democratic administrations. A prosecutor states to the jury: "You cannot let this man go free because our society is not safe with him at large. Complex question: The presupposition of this question might not be generally granted. 13. the corruption. and I don't know how I can meet all my bills. Officer. The police. shall I charge it to your account or do you want to pay cash? Complex question: Buying the Vacuum System is being presupposed. Complex question--The locutor is assuming without proof that you have not been studying. Lander University is not as friendly as I was led to believe. 12. As I walked to the library from the Learning Center not one person spoke to me. 20. Converse accident--A generalization is reached from one incident. Who knows who his next victim will be?" Complex question--The prosecutor is not warranted in presupposing without proof that the defendant is guilty. and the creeping socialism of the present administration? Only one way vote Independent. It should be no surprise to you that if a Democrat is elected in the next presidential election that we will have one of the worst recessions in years. 18. you are using Mickey Mouse tactics. Hollywood stars.

one of the world's outstanding bridge players. 21. Everyone says that a logic course is easier than a math course. Ad populum--Even if one were to assume the truth of the premiss. no conclusion can be drawn. therefore. one cannot assume that one caused the other without further evidence. The late Ely Culbertson. False cause--Simply because two events occur. Ad baculum--The arguments are being side-stepped by the threat to withdraw money. Accident--The reasoning goes from a general principle to an atypical application of the rule not meant to be subsumed under the rule. Since the Bible says. No mathematician has ever been able to demonstrate the truth of the famous Goldberg conjecture for the four-dimensional total space of an almost Hermitian submersion. as well. He must be right because I don't think the opinion of a man of his caliber should be taken lightly. Therefore. there can be no doubt that American business interests instigated the war. Ad baculum--The threat of force here is irrelevant to the truth of the story. the fallacy of ad verecundiam occurs since these persons are not authorities in the field being mentioned.Ad populum--Simply because many persons believe something does not make the belief true. The General Assembly of the United Nations keeps voting for radical issues. 22. Therefore. once declared that the United Nations as presently constituted has serious defects. popular opinion is not what determines the quality of novels. so it must be." 27. I'll do everything in my power to see that you are fired. 30. 29. 23. . surely your advice that I should not drink coffee is not sound advice since you yourself often drink coffee. That is an indisputable fact. will be forced to reduce its financial contribution to the U. getting high grades will undoubtedly cause you to be a better student. During the Gulf war many Americans made immense profits. 26. the U. Ad populum--Common belief could be mistaken. so it must be false. But Doctor. Everyone believes that men write the best novels. S. unless there is a demonstrated change soon. 28. 24. there is little doubt that they do so. N. Ad verecundiam--The authority is being quoted outside of his field of expertise. Unless you back up my story and tell the committee I am reasoning logically. Even so." it would be wrong to exterminate the termites in City Hall. 25. The best students make the best grades. The better answer would be "No Fallacy. "Thou shall not kill. Ad ignorantiam--From the fact that there is no proof. it is arguable that popular opinion is the proper way to determine the degree of difficulty of a course. Therefore. On might argue here. The awarding of high grades quite possibly would make one a worse student. Ad hominem (tu quoque)--The attack on the Doctor's habits are irrelevant to the recommendation to the patient. False cause--Notice why this fallacy is not petitio principii.

39.31. longhaired hippie like that might tell you. Ad populum--The popularity of a practice or a belief is insufficient to establish its truth. 32. but he has never done so. False cause--No causal mechanism is being proposed for the connection of these events. The present U. I once knew a philosophy student who went crazy and another one who was not that well balanced. Therefore. almost every other developed nation in the world has an energy policy. it will be an admission that they have something to hide. Ad hominem--The attack on the character is not relevant to the truth or falsity of the charges. You can tell by the kind of car I'm driving and by my clothes that I am a good citizen and would not lie. administration has not yet developed an energy policy. I think. Richard Nixon: "Mr. Einstein never did wear socks. one of the main Linux producers. Ad ignorantiam--No conclusion can be drawn from the lack of evidence. You can't believe anything that a dirty. and if they don't. Sparkman and Mr. as I have and make a complete financial statement as to their financial history. Officer. for in a couple of weeks General Lamgetter will retire from the Army and become CEO and be given large stock options in Red Hat. and he has had numerous opportunities to refute them. The real reason you favor the draft is that you're too old to be drafted. . 37. The welfare program is totally unnecessary. 33. and look at how he is dressed. 38. But Mom I don't see why I have to wear socks. the United States should have a unified energy policy.S. no conclusion can be drawn. 34. You can see what the study of philosophy did to them. Therefore. Lamgetter believes that it is absolutely essential to our future security that we immediately upgrading our computing systems to Linux from Microsoft NT. Ad ignorantiam--From the fact that there is no proof. I know a guy who runs a very lucrative illegal gambling operation and drives his new Cadillac down every week to collect his welfare check. Why. A great many charges of graft and corruption have been brought against Senator Anderson over the past several years. 36. But his arguments are hardly deserving of careful consideration. Nonetheless. the evidence indicates he is not to be trusted. It was his fault. General Jed M. Look at the rattletrap he is driving. Ad hominem--The personal attack is taken rather than looking for the reasons supporting the positions. he probably has pot in it. except us. Ad hominem--General Lamgetter's circumstances should not be logically relevant to the truth or falsity of his assertions. Search his car. Stevenson should come before the American people. 35. Ad verecundiam--Einstein's field of expertise does not extend to the wearing of socks. Converse accident--One case is insufficient to establish a generalization.

Division--The speaker has not lived for centuries. 41. let me remind you once again that women have been discriminated against for centuries. a man is innocent until proved guilty. on Friday night. Although you have said you will give me no more of your time. oxygen will extinguish fire. 46. As the convener of the ninth annual Women's Freedom Movement. A description of a candidate who is woefully inept: "I most enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever." Amphiboly--Is the candidate qualified or not? . Division--The average life-span does not apply distributively to the individuals cited. Mafia is innocent. Amphiboly--The loose combination of words leads to two different interpretations for the phrase "more of your time. Equivocation--The word "right" is being used in two different senses. I'll not ask for any more of your time. Ratskeller must be innocent of the charge of bribery. I ought always to say what I think. refuse to submit to this discrimination and second-rate treatment any longer. Division--The quality of the whole does not necessarily extend to the parts. I'll just ask for the amount of time you have already given once more. Composition--The parts do not necessarily have to have the same characteristics as the whole. Priests take a vow of poverty. So Mr. I ought always to do what is right. 45.D. Converse accident--The samples collected are atypical of the population of the city mentioned. I have a right to say what I think. Equivocation--Two different senses are being used: legal and actual innocence. since Mr. 42. Water extinguishes fire. Therefore. I. the leaders in those countries grow old before they have time to learn the rudiments of good government. since he has not yet been proved guilty. Division--The parts of a whole do not necessarily have the same qualities. it would be wrong to convict him. 43. and they have suffered as second-rate people for centuries. As a result of a poll of 28 adults interviewed on Main Street in Greenwood. Stanford produces the best graduates in the United States. we can conclude that all people in Greenwood prefer going downtown to watching TV.C. Therefore. 48. Therefore. any every Ph. 47. the Church should not own property. Therefore.40. Oxygen is part of water. S. in the country." 49. 44.D. for one. Since the average life-span of an individual in developing countries is thirty years. According to the law. from Stanford is better than any other Ph. Therefore. The Church is a corporate body composed of priests.

.50. so conclude that a bad grade would be better than a high score. Equivocation--Two different senses of "nothing" are being used in the argument. but a poor grade would be better than nothing. Nothing would be better than a high score on this test.

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