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Fallacies of Presumption, Ambiguity, and Grammatical Analogy

Overview • Fallacies of presumption • Fallacies of ambiguity • Fallacies of grammatical analogy .

So the arguer creates the illusion that the premise supports the conclusion when it does not. They taste good because they can afford to bottle them with the best flavors added in. which is why it’s left out. – The shaky premise usually can’t be verified as true or not. – Smirnoff makes the best drinks because they’re so tasty. .Different fallacies of presumption • Begging the question (Petitio principii) – Occurs when the arguer creates the illusion that inadequate premises provide adequate support for the conclusion by leaving out a possibly false (shaky) premise by restating it as the conclusion or by reasoning in a circle. since it undermines the argument. Smirnoff has to be the best drink makers around!  It’s not clear where the reasoning process begins since it just goes in circles. Just look at how greasy they are!  The premise left out here could be framed as “Greasy cheeseburgers are bad for you. • Example: – McDonald’s cheeseburgers are bad for you. The question of “why” is never answered. Because it’s such a wealthy drink distributor.

. and the response of the listener confirms that condition. it’s best to break the question down into its two individual questions and answer each one separately. To defeat a complex question. • Example: – So are you still cheating on your tests?  Whether a yes or no answer is given. it still leads to the listener confirming something that is probably not true.  Two questions are really being asked.More fallacies of presumption • Complex question – Occurs when two or more questions are asked in the form of a single question and a single answer is given to both. since it is easy to be roped into admitting something that may not be true. – Every complex question presumes that a certain condition is already true. have you stopped?” – This can be a hard fallacy to defeat. “Have you ever cheated on tests?” and “If you cheated in the past. The question is intentionally framed this way.

When one of them is true. Usually these are poor choices since there is a third one that provides a better answer to the question.  Judging someone’s manhood can be done in other ways besides eating beef jerky. then no fallacy is committed.  It’s clear that there are other options beyond being hated and giving up money. as though they were the only possible options. therefore it’s clear you’re not a real man. • Fallacy occurs when the alternatives provided to the listener are false or are • probably false. – Either you eat beef jerky or you’re not a real man. . so it’s clear this is a poor set of choices.More fallacies of presumption • False dichotomy – This one occurs when an arguer offers the listener two alternative answers to a question. Examples: – Either you give me $20 or I’ll hate you forever. You told me you don’t eat beef jerky.

.More fallacies of presumption • Suppressed evidence – Occurs when an argument leaves out an important fact that is relevant to the premises and how well they support the conclusion. but what if we consider that the car has an oil leak and hasn’t been serviced in fifteen years? It may look new but that doesn’t mean it will run like new. I mean. Examples: – Your car is as good as new.  What if we learn that the listener is going to have a baby soon? Or is getting ready to buy a new car? This would have a big impact on her finances. look at that paint job!  This may sound like a good argument. • The evidence left out typically would support a different conclusion than the • one given. so it’s clear that it was left out for a reason. so you won’t have any trouble living off that much for another year or so. and ties in greatly with how well the premises work together with the conclusion. Evidence like this is important to the conclusion. – You’ve lived on $1000 for the past year.

and not as something that doesn’t weigh much.  The listener took the word light to mean something that acts as a source of light. I’m a bad salesman. therefore I should also be put in jail. – You told me the crate over there was light. so a fallacy is committed here. but it’s used in two different senses within the argument. • Examples: – Bad people should be put in jail. but I can’t see anything inside it. He doesn’t have any bruises. – Pete said he got stoned last night but I think he’s lying.Fallacies of ambiguity • Equivocation – Occurs when a conclusion depends on the fact that a word is used. .  The word “bad” is used differently in the premise than it is in the conclusion.

It must be the case that coffee has become a popular topic for discussion. or if coffee will be drank while they talk. that the speaker is depressed or that his skin is turning blue. – You told me that I’m looking pretty blue.More fallacies of ambiguity • Amphiboly – The arguer misinterprets an ambiguous statement and draws a conclusion based on that faulty interpretation. It follows that I look like a blueberry.  It’s not clear whether the talk will be about coffee. .  There’s two possibilities. • Examples: – There will be a talk tomorrow over coffee in the cafeteria.

the finished dish will also taste bad.Fallacies of grammatical analogy • Composition – Occurs when properties of a thing’s parts are improperly transferred over to the whole. Therefore. • Division – The opposite of composition. Occurs when properties of a class of things are improperly transferred to its individual parts. – That painting on the wall appears brown. Therefore. – Each atom in this chalkboard is invisible. It follows that the chalkboard is invisible. the tea leaves in it must taste sweet. • Example: – Each ingredient in this recipe tastes bad. • Example: – This pitcher of tea tastes sweet. all the paint on it must be brown. . Therefore.

while converse accident and accident only make general claims. • But composition and division deal with classes of things. (Composition) • Christians tend to go to church. You’re a Christian. – Examples: • My Pontiac has broken down twice in the past month. Pontiacs must all be • junk! (Converse accident) My Pontiac gets good gas mileage. (Division) . (Accident) You’re studying at a rich college. All Pontiacs must get good gas mileage. you must be rich. so you must go to • church.On composition and division • Composition/division can be confused with the converse accident/accident fallacies. Therefore.