Thursday, 17 April 2014

Critical Thinking 8: Fallacies

Higher Philosophy Podcast
Critical Thinking: Fallacies

This is available as an MP3 or to download as a podcast through iTunes
for Desktop and Apple devices, as well as PodcastHD for Android Devices.

Fallacies are bad arguments. Remember that when assessing an argument we test first of all for validity, noting the premises logically lead to the conclusion and that if we have true premises we are guaranteed a true conclusion, as well as soundness where we look both at the structure of the argument, validity, as well as truth. Fallacies are arguments that use bad reasoning, wherein the arguer, who is trying to convince you of the conclusion, does so by either illogical or rhetorical ploys...or both. A fallacious argument is one in which there is an inappropriate connection between premises and conclusion. Fallacies come in two shapes:

Formal Fallacy
an argument commits a formal fallacy if it uses an invalid form or structure.
Informal Fallacy
an argument may have a valid structure but commit an informal fallacy due to  false, misleading, or ambiguous premises.

The majority of fallacies we come across on a daily basis are informal fallacies, however some may still be formal fallacies. We need to be able to identify and explain where a fallacy is being used and why we consider it to be bad reasoning

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