1. Read through the following definitions of Common Fallacies in Reasoning.
2. By Wednesday, use the following definitions to complete the “Identify the Fallacy” worksheet.
3. Bring a copy of your answers to class, and be ready to participate in the discussion!
COMMON FALLACIES IN REASONING
1. FAULTY CAUSE: (post hoc ergo propter hoc) mistakes correlation or association for causation, by assuming that because one thing follows another it was caused by the other.
Example: A black cat crossed Babb's path yesterday and, sure enough; she was involved in an automobile accident later that same afternoon.
2. SWEEPING GENERALIZATION: (dicto simpliciter) assumes that what is true of the whole will also be true of the part, or that what is true in most instances will be true in all instances.
Example: Muffin must be rich or have rich parents, because she belongs to ZXQ, and ZXQ is the richest sorority on campus.
3. HASTY GENERALIZATION: bases an inference on too small a sample, or on an unrepresentative sample. Often, a single example or instance is used as the basis for a broader generalization.
Example: All of those movie stars are really rude. I asked Kevin Costner for his autograph in a restaurant in Westwood the other evening, and he told me to get lost.
4. FAULTY ANALOGY: (can be literal or figurative) assumes that because two things, events, or situations are alike in some known respects, that they are alike in other unknown respects.
Example: What's the big deal about the early pioneers killing a few Indians in order to settle the West? After all, you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
5. APPEAL TO IGNORANCE: (argumentum ad ignorantium) attempts to use an opponent's inability to disprove a conclusion as proof of the validity of the conclusion, i.e. "You can't prove I'm wrong, so I must be right."
Example: WE can safely conclude that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy, because thus far no...