Fallacy Summary and Application Paper

Essay by ejames1911 May 2007

download word file, 3 pages 2.2

A fallacy is a “general type of appeal (or category of argument) that resembles good reasoning, but that we should not find to be persuasive” (Bruce Thompson's, 2005). Fallacies have influenced the way that humans use critical thinking for many years. There are numerous different fallacies thought the academic world. Three fallacies that this paper will focus on are Questionable Cause, Appeal to Emotion, and Non-Sequitur. While each of these fallacies are sometimes used to make decisions, they are not logical in a critical thinking process.

Questionable CauseQuestionable Cause can be described as “when a causal connection is assumed without proof. All too often claims to a causal connection are based on a mere correlation” (Texas State, 2006). An example of this is “Six months after Hoover took office in 1929, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. He is therefore responsible for this tragic episode in our history” (Texas State, 2006).

This fallacy is one of importance in critical thinking. By having no solid evidence that an event was triggered by another event can be dangerous to businesses. This type of fallacy can lead a supervisor to believe in a temporary fix, which ultimately, will only make the problem worse.

Appeal to Emotion“This fallacy is committed when someone manipulates peoples' emotions in order to get them to accept a claim as being true” (The Nikor Project, 2006). An example of this would be a supervisor who asked an employee to finish a task. When the supervisor asks for the results the employee says that his dog died, then his car would not start, and his girlfriend left him last night, so I could not get the task done. A tip to keep in mind to avoid using the Appeal to Pity (Emotion) fallacy is...