What is wrong with the following sentences? • I love Disneyland because I’m always happy there. • Everyone on the team wears Nike shoes; it’s the only way to go! • I love music, therefore I love the Jonas Brothers.
Objective • To understand what makes a logical fallacy, how to catch someone when they are using one (perhaps to pull a fast-one on you), and how to avoid using them in your own writing and dialogue.
Logical Fallacy • A logical fallacy is a statement that contains faulty reasoning. Don’t give your reader a reason to doubt your information. Persuasive writing especially requires sound logic to support opinions.
Circular Reasoning • Supporting a statement by simply repeating it in different words. • Teens should avoid fad diets, because it is important for adolescents to stay away from weight-loss plans.
Either / Or Fallacy • A statement that suggests that there are only 2 choices available in a situation that really offers more than 2 options. • Either students should be allowed to go off campus for lunch to Burger King, or they should choose from the cafeteria’s food.
Oversimplification • An explanation of a complex situation or problem as if it were much simpler than it is. • Making the team depends on whether the coach likes you. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnpqG3h6pY8
Overgeneralization • A broad generalization. • No one cares about the story. • A little kid might say: “All birds can fly.”
Stereotyping • A dangerous type of overgeneralization. • All girls can’t play sports. • All boys lie and cheat. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ktgBpdy99c
Attacking the person or name-calling (poisoning the well) • An attempt to discredit an idea by attacking the person or group associated with it. • My opponent is not smart enough to be mayor. • She is basic. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug75diEyiA0&list=PL2Rf1R6EcGZTov9OQUWpwaA7xczA7cXRF
Evading the Issue • Refuting an objection with arguments and evidence that do not address its central point. • Yes, I broke my promise to not raise taxes, but taxes have paid for your new highways. • Yes, I broke my promise to not raise taxes, but taxes have paid for your new highways. • I know I am late, but you look beautiful. • What you do with your parents when you are in trouble!
Non sequitur (post hoc) • A statement that uses irrelevant proof to support a claim. • I know I’ll pass math. Mr. Gray is my math teacher and my football coach. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRJUvFG8gbE
False Cause • The mistake of assuming that because one event occurred after another event in time, the first event caused the second to occur. • I failed English because of football. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTbZoKEOkUg
False Analogy • A comparison that doesn’t hold up because of a critical difference between the two subjects. • She walks to school and back every day, so surely she can walk in a 10K race. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60NSO9pJyVI
Hasty Generalization • A conclusion drawn from too little evidence or from evidence that is biased. • That corner must be dangerous. There were two car accidents there last week.
Bandwagon Appeal • Uses the argument that a person should believe or do something because “everyone else” does. • The Cardinals are a winning team and everyone likes them so you should to. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGLHlvb8skQ&list=PL4CC0F6415CD51AC4
Testimonial • Relies on endorsements from well-known people or celebrities. • Proactive-Jessica Simpson • Gatorade-Michael Jordan • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq_EZjhHaDY
Snob Appeal • Taps into people’s desire to be special or be part of an elite group. • Treat yourself to a tropical paradise because you deserve the best. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JABV8Sez45s
Transfer • Connects a product, candidate, or cause with a positive emotion or idea. • Freedom…you can feel it the instant you put your hands on the new Jeep Wrangler. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0
Appeal to Loyalty • Relies on people’s affiliation with a particular group • This car is made in America by Americans. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Wa_6g9WNgU
Appeals to pity, fear, or vanity • Use strong feelings rather than facts to persuade. • Without more police, we will be at the mercy of thieves. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92kPKbXHqss
Glittering Generality • Makes a generalization that includes a word or phrase with positive connotations (feelings) to promote a product or idea. • A vote for Tom Jones is a vote for democracy! • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2Cz5dZOtAc