Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Academic Application

Fallacies have always intrigued me. So on this fine day, I have decided to piece together an article that discusses all the major fallacies. Helping me out is The Nizkor Project.

Ad Hominem

  • Used to reject an argument using the basis of an irrelevant fact
  • Usually involves something along the lines of "therefore your claim is false"
Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
  • Used to conclude an argument using the basis of inconsistencies
  • Usually involves the words "I guess"
Appeal to Authority
  • Used to add basis to an argument by claiming to be an expert
  • Usually involves something along the lines of "so it has to be true"
Appeal to Belief
  • Used to add basis to an argument by claiming that since many people in believe in something, it must be true
Appeal to Common Practice
  • Used to add basis to an argument by claiming that since many people do something, then that certain something is correct or acceptable
  • Very similar to "Appeal to Belief"
Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
  • Used often simply as a means of trying to rationalize a way of thinking
  • Often referred to as "wishful thinking"
Appeal to Emotion
  • Used often to manipulate a person's emotions in order to get them to accept a claim
  • Advertisers and marketing execs love this one
Appeal to Fear
  • Used as a threat in order to convert people to your line of thinking
  • This one is especially fallacious, because absolutely no line of evidence is presented
Appeal to Flattery
  • Used, very often, for personal gain and it goes a little something like this: You are great, now give me (insert something here)
  • This one is well known under myriad names. Namely "sucking one's dick"
Appeal to Novelty
  • Used to claim that something is better because it is new
Appeal to Pity
  • Used typically as a way to create sympathy and once there is a level of sympathy present, that will be used to achieve some kind of goal.
  • Typically concludes with a sentence beginning with "After all"
Appeal to Popularity
  • Used as a persuasive device to get people to believe that since something is popular, that certain something must be favorable
  • Very similar to "Appeal to Common Practice"
Appeal to Ridicule
  • Used as means of saying that since something is ridiculous, that certain something must not be true
Appeal to Spite
  • Used to bring back memories of something unfavorable and using that very something as a means of proving something false
  • Typically includes the words "Remember when (someone did something bad)?"
Appeal to Tradition
  • Used to verify a claim by insisting that since something has "always been that way" that certain something must be true

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