According to (Bassham 1), critical thinking is disciplined thinking governed by clear intellectual standards. The standards, as defined by (Bassham 1-2), are clarity, precision, accuracy, relevance, consistency, logical correctness, completeness, and fairness. In order to achieve a conclusion that encompasses all of the intellectual standards, the critical thinker must have the ability to identify and evaluate logical fallacies in arguments. This paper focuses on defining the concept of logical fallacies, and identifying three logical fallacies and analyzing their impact on the critical thinking process.
If we are to understand the concept of logical fallacies, we must first define what an argument is and the components that make up an argument. According to (Humanist Learning Center), an argument is a logically grounded statement of a proposition with one or more premises. The construction of an argument can be summarized in the following diagram, premises inferences conclusion. Premises can be thought of as acceptable reasoning or presuppositions that make up the foundation of the argument.
Logical fallacies -or fallacy for short (Bassham 2), can be defined as an argument or arguments that offer reasoning that does not support its conclusion. The reasoning can either be mistaken or reasoning that does not sufficiently support the conclusion. Logical fallacies can generally be classified into two general groups, 1) fallacies of relevance also known as formal fallacies, and 2) fallacies of insufficient evidence also known as informal fallacies.
Fallacies of relevance can be described as arguments that contain premises that are logically irrelevant to the conclusion. Fallacies of this type are typically not noticed because the premises made in this type of fallacy are based on emotions.
Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence can be described as arguments in which the premises, though they may be relevant to the conclusion, do not provide sufficient evidence to support...