Ethical, Logical, and Emotional Fallacies

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					Ethical, Logical, and Emotional Fallacies from The New St. Martin's Handbook and Current Issues and Enduring Questions Ethical Fallacies: unjustified attacks on an opponent's credibility. Ultimately hurts your own credibility.    ad hominem: "to the man," argument directly attacks someone's character rather than focusing on the issue at hand, suggesting that because something is "wrong" with this person, whatever he or she says must be wrong. guilt by association: attacks someone's credibility by linking that person with a person or activity the audience considers bad, suspicious, or untrustworthy. E.G.: lumping Gore with Clinton's bad personal choices. genetic fallacy: arguing against some claim by pointing out that its origin (genesis) is tainted or that it was invented by someone deserving contempt. o The VW bug is bad because Hitler was one of its proponents. o Fish's argument that the SAT is invalid because it was written by a racist.

Logical Fallacies: errors in formal reasoning        begging the question: circular arguments that treat a question as if it has already been answered. The conclusion of the argument is hidden in the premise. post hoc, ergo propter hoc: "after this, therefore caused by this." Assumes what came before caused what came after. non sequitir: "it does not follow." Tying things together that are unrelated and arguing that they are related. either/or fallacy (false dichotomy): giving only two solutions when others exist. hasty generalization: conclusion based on too little evidence or based on bad or misunderstood evidence. oversimplification: oversimplifying the relation between causes and effects appeal to authority: authority figures in and of themselves do not constitute evidence for the truth of their views. o Abe Lincoln used the death penalty; therefore it must be ok because the great emancipator would never do anything bad. Akin to begging the question. This is especially bad when the person in question isn't an authority on the given topic (e.g. Michael Jordan on Shakespeare). slippery slope: The assumption that allowing the first step necessarily leads to the second until . . . Opposite of post hoc fallacy. appeal to ignorance: "Because we don't know if innocent people have been killed with the death penalty but the possibility exists, we should get rid of it." Not knowing something is not evidence.

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Emotional Fallacies: Unfair or overblown emotional appeals attempt to overcome readers' good judgment.      bandwagon appeal: "a great movement is under way, so you better jump on now." flattery: "do this because you are thoughtful, intelligent, perceptive, beautiful" in-crowd appeal: a special blend of bandwagon and flattery that invites the readers to identify themselves with the cool group. veiled threats: frighten reader by hinting that if he doesn't listen, there will be hell to pay. false analogies: comparisons between two situations that are not alike

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