Flashcards in Informal fallacies Deck (19)
- Using popular belief in a proposition as evidence that the proposition is true.
E.g. Everyone says Steve from Blue's clues died while doing the show, why wouldn't you believe that?
Appeal to majority (bandwagon arguments)
- Attacks a trait of the arguer to undermine the arguer's point, instead of attacking the argument itself.
- Not to be confused with an insult
- There can be truth relevant traits of an arguer
E.g. "The governor is an idiot, so she obviously has a terrible tax plan."
- Uses the claims of an overseer on facts that aren't relevant to the argument to add credibility to the argument
- can be legitimate
- Can still give true outcome, just doesn't give good reason to think it's true
- E.g. "Philosophy is useless! all the famous astrophysicists say so!"
Appeal to authority
- Presents a limited set of alternatives as though they are the only ones, when there may be others
- E.g. "either we keep cannabis illegal or everyone dies on the road"
False Dichotomy (false dilemma)
- Uses lack of evidence for the opposing proposition as evidence that the presented proposition is true.
- E.g. "Covid-19 is a hoax."
"But there is no evidence for that"
"Well, you can't show me that it isn't"
Appeal to ignorance/evidence
- Wilfully misrepresenting an opponent's argument so that it looks superficially similar but it is much easier to attack
- E.g. "I favour small government because it promotes economic development."
"Oh I see you mean that you favour small government because it helps you and your greasy friends get rich."
- Sliding from one relatively likely event, to progressively less and less likely events in ways that make the casual chain seem inevitable.
- E.g. "If we refrain from regulating the economy the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer until we ultimately revert to some extreme Hobbesian state of nature."
- Claiming that certain events are caused by previous events with no casual link.
- E.g. "Shortly after the all blacks thrashed Whales for third place in the Rugby World Cup, covid hit the world. The cause was clearly the rugby."
Post Hoc (False cause)
- Assessing the truth of a claim by its origin or history, as opposed to its relevance or truth.
- E.g. "Clearly morality is merely an evolved trait that allowed us to work together more successfully, therefore there aren't any moral facts in the world."
- My parents told me God exists, therefore God exists.
- Uses the fact that people have historically believed a proposition to be true as evidence that the proposition is true.
- E.g. "We always did that so it must be right."
Argument from Tradition
- Uses a proposition as a premise in an argument that is intended to defend that very proposition
- Can be informal or formal
- E.g. "How do you know that you can trust National? Well, in National commercials they said that NZ would be in good hands with National."
Begging the question
- Draws a general conclusion on the basis of insufficient evidence (stereotypes)
- E.g. Oh you're a conservative, you must hate the idea of a carbon tax."
- Not all are quick
- Uses the same word or phrase to mean two different things
- E.g. How do you feel about ice cream?
So you feel good about the environmental horrific issues the dairy industry is causing
- Changing what is at issue in an argument in a way that distracts from the issue at hand
E.g. "Cheating on test is wrong. But what is morality anyway?"
- Asks a question informed by implicit assumptions
Hello Bill, are you still an alcoholic?"
- Uses the attributes of individuals as evidence that the group has that attribute
- E.g. "Oxygen isn't wet. Hydrogen isn’t wet. An H2O molecule isn't wet so water clearly isn't wet."
- example: "Te Amai can’t lift a car, thus his basketball team can't lift a car."
Fallacy of Composition
- Raising the standard of evidence after adequate evidence has already been presented
- Essentially changing your argument constantly
- E.g. "A causes B.
No it doesn't (evidence)
Well, C causes B then.
Moving the goalposts
- Setting up criteria for a certain argument, then redefining the criteria to exclude certain outcomes
- E.g. No person does this
I'm a person and I do
Well no actual person does this
No true Scotsman (appeal to purity)