Rhetoric and Fallacy: A Game For Debaters

Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 12:01 am
Since we all like to debate here on A2K, I thought that we could have some fun with logical fallacy.

How to Play
1) Pick a fallacy from below.
2) Go to wikipedia and read the details about that fallacy. [click on the source below for more details and examples of each]
3) Declare your fallacy, then intentionally create a statement that uses that fallacy.
4) Enjoy.


False Dilemma - "You've got two choices on how you vote on November 4th."

Formal Fallacies
Formal fallacies are arguments that are fallacious due to an error in their form or technical structure. All formal fallacies are specific types of non sequiturs.

* Appeal to probability: because something could happen, it is inevitable that it will happen. This is the premise on which Murphy's Law is based.
* Argument from fallacy: if an argument for some conclusion is fallacious, then the conclusion must necessarily be false.
* Bare assertion fallacy: premise in an argument is assumed to be true purely because it says that it is true.
* Base rate fallacy: using weak evidence to make a probability judgment without taking into account known empirical statistics about the probability.
* Conjunction fallacy: assumption that specific conditions are more probable than a single general one.
* Correlative based fallacies
o Denying the correlative: where attempts are made at introducing alternatives where there are none
o Suppressed correlative: where a correlative is redefined so that one alternative is made impossible
* Fallacy of necessity: a degree of unwarranted necessity is placed in the conclusion based on the necessity of one or more of its premises
* False dilemma (false dichotomy): where two alternative statements are held to be the only possible options, when in reality there are several
* If-by-whiskey: An answer that takes side of the questioner's suggestive question
* Ignoratio elenchi (irrelevant conclusion or irrelevant thesis)
* Homunculus fallacy: where a "middle-man" is used for explanation, this usually leads to regressive middle-man explanations without actually explaining the real nature of a function or a process
* Masked man fallacy: the substitution of identical designators in a true statement can lead to a false one
* Naturalistic fallacy: a fallacy that claims that if something is natural, then it is "good" or "right"
* Nirvana fallacy: when solutions to problems are said not to be right because they are not perfect
* Negative Proof fallacy: that, because a premise cannot be proven false, the premise must be true; or that, because a premise cannot be proven true, the premise must be false
* Package-deal fallacy: when two or more things have been linked together by tradition or culture are said to stay that way forever

Propositional Fallacies
Propositional fallacies:

* Affirming a disjunct: concluded that one logical disjunction must be false because the other disjunct is true.
* Affirming the consequent: the antecedent in an indicative conditional is claimed to be true because the consequent is true. Has the form if A, then B; B, therefore A
* Denying the antecedent: the consequent in an indicative conditional is claimed to be false because the antecedent is false; if A, then B; not A, therefore not B

Quantificational Fallacies
Quantificational fallacies:

* Existential fallacy: an argument has two universal premises and a particular conclusion, but the premises do not establish the truth of the conclusion
* Illicit conversion: the invalid conclusion that because a statement is true, the inverse must be as well
* Proof by example: where things are proven by giving an example

Syllogistic Fallacies
Syllogistic fallacies are logical fallacies that occur in syllogisms.

* Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise
* Fallacy of exclusive premises: a categorical syllogism that is invalid because both of its premises are negative
* Fallacy of four terms: a categorical syllogism has four terms
* Illicit major: a categorical syllogism that is invalid because its major term is undistributed in the major premise but distributed in the conclusion
* Illicit minor: a categorical syllogism that is invalid because its minor term is undistributed in the minor premise but distributed in the conclusion.
* Fallacy of the undistributed middle: the middle term in a categorical syllogism is not distributed
* Categorical syllogism: an argument with a positive conclusion, but one or two negative premises

Informal Fallacies
Informal fallacies are arguments that are fallacious for reasons other than structural ("formal") flaws.

* Argument from repetition (argumentum ad nauseam)
* Appeal to ridicule: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made by presenting the opponent's argument in a way that makes it appear ridiculous
* Argument from ignorance ("appeal to ignorance"): The fallacy of assuming that something is true/false because it has not been proven false/true. For example: "The student has failed to prove that he didn't cheat on the test, therefore he must have cheated on the test."
* Begging the question ("petitio principii"): where the conclusion of an argument is implicitly or explicitly assumed in one of the premises
* Burden of proof
* Circular cause and consequence
* Continuum fallacy (fallacy of the beard)
* Correlation does not imply causation (cum hoc ergo propter hoc)
* Equivocation
* Fallacies of distribution
o Division: where one reasons logically that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts
o Ecological fallacy
* Fallacy of many questions (complex question, fallacy of presupposition, loaded question, plurium interrogationum)
* Fallacy of the single cause
* Historian's fallacy
* False attribution
o Fallacy of quoting out of context
* False compromise/middle ground
* Gambler's fallacy: the incorrect belief that the likelihood of a random event can be affected by or predicted from other, independent events
* Incomplete comparison
* Inconsistent comparison
* Intentional fallacy
* Loki's Wager
* Moving the goalpost
* No true Scotsman
* Perfect solution fallacy: where an argument assumes that a perfect solution exists and/or that a solution should be rejected because some part of the problem would still exist after it was implemented
* Post hoc ergo propter hoc: also known as false cause, coincidental correlation or correlation not causation.
* Proof by verbosity (argumentum verbosium)
* Psychologist's fallacy
* Regression fallacy
* Reification (hypostatization)
* Retrospective determinism (it happened so it was bound to)
* Special pleading: where a proponent of a position attempts to cite something as an exemption to a generally accepted rule or principle without justifying the exemption
* Suppressed correlative: an argument which tries to redefine a correlative (two mutually exclusive options) so that one alternative encompasses the other, thus making one alternative impossible
* Wrong direction

Faulty Generalizations
Faulty generalizations:

* Accident (fallacy): when an exception to the generalization is ignored
* Cherry picking
* Composition: where one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some (or even every) part of the whole
* Dicto simpliciter
o Converse accident (a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter): when an exception to a generalization is wrongly called for
* False analogy
* Hasty generalization (fallacy of insufficient statistics, fallacy of insufficient sample, fallacy of the lonely fact, leaping to a conclusion, hasty induction, secundum quid)
* Loki's Wager: insistence that because a concept cannot be clearly defined, it cannot be discussed
* Misleading vividness
* Overwhelming exception
* Spotlight fallacy
* Thought-terminating cliché: a commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance.

Red Herrings
A red herring is an argument, given in response to another argument, which does not address the original issue. See also irrelevant conclusion

* Ad hominem: attacking the personal instead of the argument. A form of this is reductio ad Hitlerum.
* Argumentum ad baculum ("appeal to force", "appeal to the stick"): where an argument is made through coercion or threats of force towards an opposing party
* Argumentum ad populum ("appeal to belief", "appeal to the majority", "appeal to the people"): where a proposition is claimed to be true solely because many people believe it to be true
* Association fallacy & Guilt by association
* Appeal to authority: where an assertion is deemed true because of the position or authority of the person asserting it
* Appeal to consequences: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument concludes a premise is either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences for a particular party
* Appeal to emotion: where an argument is made due to the manipulation of emotions, rather than the use of valid reasoning
o Appeal to fear: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made by increasing fear and prejudice towards the opposing side
o Wishful thinking: a specific type of appeal to emotion where a decision is made according to what might be pleasing to imagine, rather than according to evidence or reason
o Appeal to spite: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made through exploiting people's bitterness or spite towards an opposing party
o Appeal to flattery: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made due to the use of flattery to gather support
* Appeal to motive: where a premise is dismissed, by calling into question the motives of its proposer
* Appeal to novelty: where a proposal is claimed to be superior or better solely because it is new or modern
* Appeal to poverty (argumentum ad lazarum)
* Appeal to wealth (argumentum ad crumenam)
* Argument from silence (argumentum ex silentio)
* Appeal to tradition: where a thesis is deemed correct on the basis that it has a long-standing tradition behind it
* Chronological snobbery: where a thesis is deemed incorrect because it was commonly held when something else, clearly false, was also commonly held
* Genetic fallacy
* Judgmental language
* Poisoning the well
* Sentimental fallacy: it would be more pleasant if; therefore it ought to be; therefore it is
* Straw man argument
* Style over substance fallacy
* Texas sharpshooter fallacy
* Two wrongs make a right
* Tu quoque

Conditional or Questionable Fallacies
* Definist fallacy
* Slippery slope

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies


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Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 12:57 pm
@Diest TKO,
This isn't the best example, but it's one that's always bugged me.

False Dilemma: "Do or do not. There is no try." --Yoda
Diest TKO
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 04:28 pm
Shapeless wrote:

This isn't the best example, but it's one that's always bugged me.

False Dilemma: "Do or do not. There is no try." --Yoda

LOL. Awesome.

0 Replies
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 12:58 pm
Here's a famous quote that an A2K member used to be fond of peddling:

False Dilemma: "Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." --Voltaire

Why not judge by both?
0 Replies
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 01:05 pm
@Diest TKO,
Of course you realize that by allowing A2Kers to use logical fallacies in this thread it will lead to logical fallacies appearing in all the threads here. It is a slippery slope you have proposed here TKO.
Diest TKO
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 01:11 pm
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