Fallacious Reasoning Essays

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Example: In this example, the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested, much less evaluate those strategies on their merits.

Instead, the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group.

Example: In this example, the two choices are presented as the only options, yet the author ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleaner technology, car-sharing systems for necessities and emergencies, or better community planning to discourage daily driving.

Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than his or her opinions or arguments.

Straw Man: This move oversimplifies an opponent's viewpoint and then attacks that hollow argument.

In this example, the author attributes the worst possible motive to an opponent's position.Ad populum/Bandwagon Appeal: This is an appeal that presents what most people, or a group of people think, in order to persuade one to think the same way.Getting on the bandwagon is one such instance of an ad populum appeal.Example: In this example, the author equates being a "true American," a concept that people want to be associated with, particularly in a time of war, with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connection between the two.Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them.Avoid these common fallacies in your own arguments and watch for them in the arguments of others.Slippery Slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically equating A and Z.Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence.In other words, you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts.Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A.' Example: In this example, the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused the second.But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before, a flu bug that had been working on the body for days, or a chemical spill across campus.

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