Fallacy Summary and Applications

Essay by jdf1996University, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

download word file, 4 pages 3.7

To write a paper about fallacy first we need to understand what a fallacy is. Encarta World dictionary defines it in four ways:

1. Mistaken belief or idea: something that is believed to be truth but is erroneous.

2. Invalid argument: an argument or reasoning in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises.

3. Deceptiveness: the condition of being misleading or deceptive.

4. Logical error in argument: a mistake made in a line of reasoning that invalidates it.

With these definitions in mind this paper with define three logical fallacies within written material, explain significance to critical thinking and discuss general applications to decision making.

Fallacy of personal attack occurs when a person's argument or claim is rejected by attacking the person rather than the person's argument or claim.

The significance of this within critical thinking is that the person doing the attacking chooses to disprove the argument without taking into consideration the facts surrounding the topic at hand.

Using this tactic in decision making will address any biases that the participants would have. Here are some examples of this:

1. In a school debate, Bill claims that the President's economic plan is unrealistic. His opponent, a professor, retorts by saying "the freshman has his facts wrong."

2. "This theory about a potential cure for cancer has been introduced by a doctor who is a known lesbian feminist. I don't see why we should extend an invitation for her to speak at the World Conference on Cancer."

3. "Bill says that we should give tax breaks to companies. But he is untrustworthy, so it must be wrong to do that."

4. "That claim cannot be true. Dave believes it, and we know how morally repulsive he is."

5. "Bill claims that Jane would be a good treasurer. However...