Fallacy Summary and Application

Essay by tgandorfUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2006

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Fallacies are statements of argument either for or against an issue, a belief which is either true or false, or an error in reasoning either true or false. Fallacies are typically used in the media in an effort to persuade the listener, readers, or viewers of the medium of media into believing the argument being presented. The argument, for example, might be to vote for a certain political candidate, buy a particular brand of sweater versus another one, or appeals to our emotional intelligence when dealing with social issues such as violent crimes. To introduce my paper I will focus on the fallacy arguments of adverse consequences, appeal to emotion and straw man.

The first fallacy argument is adverse consequences. Adverse consequence argument statements involve the argument in which X implies Y, Y is a true statement, and therefore X is a true statement. Such a fallacy argument from adverse consequences recently was in the news.

The Associated Press reported last week a man from Fort Wayne, Indiana went on a killing rampage against his wife and three children. His wife was nagging him because he was not helping with the household chores. The fallacy argument would be he should be found guilty of murder since murder is illegal. Otherwise, other husbands will view the ruling as encouragement to murder their wives for nagging them about helping around the house.

The second fallacy argument is appeal to emotion. Appeal to emotion argument statements involve the argument in which favorable or unfavorable emotions are associated with Position A therefore position A is true. The murderous story told above also falls in the lines of the fallacy argument for appeal to emotion. Those individuals interviewed in the article use emotional appeal rather than logical reasoning to persuade the reader. "Michael Guzman, who...