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Recognizing Logical Fallacies 2

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Recognizing Logical Fallacies 2

What Did You Say?

Many ads, speeches, and social media posts exhibit "fuzzy thinking." Learning about logical fallacies can help you avoid them in your own thinking as well as recognize them in others':

  • Bandwagoning supports a position by saying that most people agree with it. This fallacy avoids the real question: “Is this position good or not?”

Many top-level executives have left this company, so those who remain are obviously in the wrong.

  • Broad generalizations take in everything and everyone at once, allowing no exceptions and ignoring complexity.

Millennials care more about their digital lives than about their actual lives.

  • Circular reasoning assumes the very point it is trying to prove.

Racism is bad because it is racist. (Racism is bad because it unjustly disadvantages people based on their race.)

  • Genetic fallacies assume that the origin of something dictates its modern reality.

Hitler built the first modern interstate highway system, which explains why freeways are so dangerous and aggressive.

  • Half-truths present only part of the story. They are true and dishonest at the same time.

The new work-for-welfare bill is good because it requires recipients to work for the aid they receive. (What about those who receive welfare because they are unable to work?)

  • Slanted language uses strongly positive or negative words to distract from valid arguments.

People in their right mind would never agree to anything so ridiculous.

  • Testimonials use quotations from famous people who often have no real expertise or experience in an area.

“As a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy, I’ve treated many colds, and—believe me—no cold medicine works as quickly or as effectively as Temptrol.”

Your Turn Search for recent examples of these logical fallacies. Look in ads, speeches, interviews, and social media posts.

From 191 in Write for College

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