Fallacy Summary and Application MGT/350

Essay by reeatchUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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The focus of this paper is on logical errors known as fallacies. If an argument contains a fallacy, then the conclusion will not necessarily be proven. Some fallacies are just accidental, but they can also be used to trap a listener or reader into believing faulty conclusions (A. Stephen Richardson, unknown, para. 2). This paper will describe three logical fallacies and give an example of each.

Most logical fallacies can be grouped into three general categories. These are material fallacies, fallacies of relevance, and verbal fallacies (W. S. Sahakian, and M. L. Sahakian, 1966, p. 12). Anyone presenting an argument uses both premises and presuppositions. Premises are the starting points of an argument that can be proven, while presuppositions are the underlying assumptions that cannot be proved or disproved. Presuppositions are inevitable because of human finiteness and bias (D. E. Chittick, 1997, pp. 92-93). Since the presuppositions cannot be proved or disproved, they must be taken on faith.

It is important to identify these presuppositions in order to distinguish them from the premises (A. Stephen Richardson, unknown, para. 4).

Material fallacies deal principally with a premise and its evidence. When the premises of an argument, or its evidence, contain material fallacies, the conclusion is not sufficiently proven. "Material fallacies arise out of the fabric (or 'material') used to express an argument" (M. Vos Savant, 1996, p. 81). The following is a description and example of a material fallacy. Someone who uses the fallacy of insufficient evidence draws a conclusion from only a few unrepresentative examples. "That type of car is poorly made; a friend of mine has one, and it continually gives him trouble." An argument that uses the fallacy of suppressed evidence uses as evidence only the facts that support the conclusion, disregarding the rest of the pertinent...