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fallacies iss 305


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"The belief in God is universal. After all, everyone believes in God."
begging the question
Have you stopped beating your wife
*loaded question
Why should merely cracking down on terrorism help to stop it, when that method hasn't worked in any other country? Why are we so hated in the Muslim world? What did our government do there to bring this horror home to all those innocent Americans? And why
*loaded question
P is true, therefore Q is.
Affirming the antecedent (valid-deductive)
not Q, therefore not P. (If you smoke, you'll get cancer. John didn't get cancer. Therefore, John didn't smoke).
Denying the consequent. (valid-deductive)
If P, then Q. Q, therefore Q. (If you ever smoke, you'll get cancer. John got cancer, therefore he smoked.)
affirming the consequent (invalid-deductive
A argues B is true. A is bad/ugly/stupid/mean. Therefore B is false
Ad Hominem
A says B is true. A is good. Therefore B is right
converse of ad hominem
if we can find a reason someone made the claim other than its truth we can dismiss it as false. A says B is true. A has another reason B may be true. B is false
Genetic fallacy
A says B is true. A has no other reason to say B is true. B is true
converse of genetic fallacy
If P hasn't been proved true, it must be false. (absence of evidence is taken as evidence)
appeal to ignorance
if p hasn't been proven false, it must be true
converse of appeal to ignorance
a says p is true and p is true because a has authoritative status.
appeal to questionable authority
a says p is true and p isn't because a has no authoritative status
converse of appeal to questionalble authority
everyone believes it so it must be true
this has been going on for a long time so it's true
past practice (tradidtion)
by putting your opponent in a position where nothing they say can be valid, you prove your own position
poisoning the well
either a or b is true, a isn't true, therefore b is true. (you're either with us or against us)
false dichotomy
prove one's position is correct by finding fault in opposing direction. (a says one thing, b says another, a points out b's flaw, a is right)
two wrongs make a right/ look who's talking
if something is safe/true, i feel good. (i feel good about my decision so i'm right)
if i feel it, it must be true
evidence isn't independent of conclusion. a is true because a is true (you need to go to bed because i said so)
begging the question (circular reasoning)
using a single word/phrase with different meanings as if it only has one meaning (dennis adams teaches you behavioral techniques to heal yourself
a is true, therefore b is true (but a is irrelevant to b) (gov. clinton says he'd be the education president but arkansas ranks 47th in states education scores)
irrelevant thesis
misrepresenting the position of someone to make it easy to refute
straw man
question with embedded assumption where agreement with the question indicates agreement with the assumption too (have you stopped beating your wife?)
loaded question
we've always known thats so it's not ture
old news
no ones made the point before so it's true
converse of old news
if a is true of some part(s) the a is true of the whole (every player is great so the team is great)
a is true of whole so a is true of any part(s) (bill lives in a big building so his apartment is big)
division ecological
what's natural is inherently good or right (men are usually taller than women so in couples the male should be taller)
if you don't accept a is true something bad will happen to you so its true or vice versa (if i don't believe i'll go to hell, so i believe)
appear to fear force
things that resemble one another in certain respects must also resemble one another in other respects
faulty analogy
on the basis of evidence on a few particular cases one draws a more general conclusion
hasty generalization
if a is associated with b then a causes b (aids were found in gay men, it was god's wrath on them)
false cause
naming something doesn't explain it
effect doesn't prove an intent to produce that effect
consequence intentionality
tendency to look for evidence that would confirm what one believes to be true
confirmation bias
treating an abstract concept as if it were physical
reification error
pay too little attention to situation and too much to internal
fundamental attribution error
overestimate predicatbility after already warned
"Before turning the floor over to my opponent, I ask you to remember that those who oppose my plans do not have the best wishes of the university at heart."
poisoning the well
The universe has existed for fifteen billion years. The universe is made out of molecules. Therefore, each of the molecules in the universe has existed for fifteen billion years
*division/ecological fallacy
Should we not assume that just as the eye, hand, the foot, and in general each part of the body clearly has its own proper function, so man too has some function over and above the function of his parts
Composition Fallacy
I'm not a doctor, but I play one on the hit series "Bimbos and Studmuffins in the OR." You can take it from me that when you need a fast acting, effective and safe pain killer there is nothing better than MorphiDope 2000. That is my considered medical opi
appeal to authority
"If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law."
begging the question
If it's raining then the streets are wet. The streets are wet. Therefore, it's raining
affirming the consequent
Bill and Jill are arguing about cleaning out their closets: Jill: "We should clean out the closets. They are getting a bit messy." Bill: "Why, we just went through those closets last year. Do we have to clean them out everyday?" Jill: "I never said
straw man
The operation cost just under $500, and no one was killed, or even hurt. In that same time the Pentagon spent tens of millions of dollars and dropped tens of thousands of pounds of explosives on Viet Nam, killing or wounding thousands of human beings, cau
two wrongs make a right
introduces irrelevant personal premisses about his opponent. Such red herrings may successfully distract the opponent or the audience from the topic of the debate
Ad hominem
The Fallacy of Personal Attack
Ad hominem
Should we not assume that just as the eye, hand, the foot, and in general each part of the body clearly has its own proper function, so man too has some function over and above the function of his parts?
Composition fallacy
You are told, prior to meeting him, that your friend's boyfriend is a decadent wastrel. When you meet him, everything you hear him say is tainted.
poisoning the well
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naturalistic fallacy
N is natural. Therefore, N is right or good. U is unnatural. Therefore, U is wrong or bad
naturalistic fallacy
Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong." Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest." Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?" Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said, you're a priest, so you have to say that
ad hominem
*There is no evidence against p. Therefore, p. *There is no evidence for p. Therefore, not-p
appeal to ignorance
After leaving a store, Jill notices that she has underpaid by $10. She decides not to return the money to the store because if she had overpaid, they would not have returned the money.
two wrongs make a right
Bill has borrowed Jane's expensive pen, but found he didn't return it. He tell's himself that it is okay to keep it, since she would have taken his.
two wrongs make a right
Idea I is popular. Therefore, I is correct
the most general fallacy of irrelevancy involving the origins or history of an idea. It is fallacious to either endorse or condemn an idea based on its past—rather than on its present—merits or demerits, unless its past in some way affects its present
genetic fallacy
what fallacy is committed whenever an idea is evaluated based upon irrelevant history
genetic fallacy
A is like B. B has property P. Therefore, A has property P. (Where the analogy between A and B is weak.)
faulty analogy
"Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine program. I disagree entirely. I can't understand why he wants to leave us defenseless like that."
straw man
a physician conducting a medical examination is inquiring into the cause of a particular patient's illness. Specific events are caused by other specific events, so the conclusion we aim at in this kind of causal reasoning has the form: Event C caused ev
false cause
The current Chancellor of Germany was in the Hitler Youth at age 3. With that sort of background, his so called 'reform' plan must be a facist program."
genetic fallacy
"Sure, the media claims that Senator Bedfellow was taking kickbacks. But we all know about the media's credibility, don't we."
genetic fallacy
"Americans use much more electricity than Africans do. So Bill, who lives in primitive cabin in Maine, uses more electricity than Nelson, who lives in a modern house in South Africa. "
division fallacy
"Minorities get paid less than 'whites' in America. Therefore, the black CEO of a multi-billion dollar company gets paid less than the white janitor who cleans his office."
division fallacy
Bill says that he likes the idea that people should work for their welfare when they can. His friends laugh at him, accuse him of fascist leanings, and threaten to ostracize him from their group. He decides to recant and abandon his position to avoid reje
"Come on, you like beef, potatoes, and green beens, so you will like this beef, potato, and green been casserole." This is fallacious for the same reason that the following is fallacious: "You like eggs, icecream, pizza, cake, fish, jello, chicken, taco s
A tiger eats more food than a human being. Therefore, tigers, as a group, eat more food than do all the humans on the earth
If the earth orbits the sun, then the nearer stars will show an apparent annual shift in position relative to more distant stars (stellar parallax). Observations show conclusively that this parallax shift does occur. This proves that the earth orbits the
affirming the consequent
"The Surgeon General has just reported that the rate of cancer among smokers is much higher than among non-smokers. I think that suggests that smoking could be harmful to people’s health." This illustrates the ________ fallacy
A. Ad hominem B. Straw man C. Ecological D. Past practice *E. None of the above
"I'm sure that gay marriages are a bad idea because homosexuality is far less common in animal species than heterosexuality." This illustrates the _______ fallacy. A. false dichotomy
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you have heard Dr. Bogus testify about research that shows that people generally have a harder time recognizing a face of a person of another race than a face of a person of their own race. This clearly shows that you
When we commit the "Naturalistic fallacy", discussed by Levy, we are likely to be confusing
empirical statements with value statements
"The death of Sara's mother has caused Sara to lose some of her intelligence." Levy, the author of one of your textbooks, might argue that the speaker has committed the error of "reification", by which he means
treating an abstract concept like intelligence as if it were a concrete object
When you are at the grocery store you automatically grab a carton of milk from the back of the dairy case. You do this because experience has taught you that the store places milk that is about to expire at the front of the case. You have used a(n) _____
Sara saw the pictures of American guards abusing prisoners at the Abu Grahib prison and immediately concluded "those guards are just a few bad apples, who are sadistic". By ignoring the fact that the guard's behavior may have been due to external, situati
the fundamental attribution error
The Spartans decide to go for a risky two-point conversion play but fail to score. Couch-potato Bob yells at the TV, "I knew that play would never work." Bob is exhibiting
the hindsight bias
Marcie is an on-call nurse at a local hospital every Tuesday night. Her daughter's soccer games are also on Tuesdays and, as a result, Marcie frequently misses them to attend work. Her daughter says "You always go to work instead of my games. You must
consequence-intentionality fallacy
“Unseen spirits surround us at every moment.” This is an example of a(n):
Metaphysical Statement
"There are eighteen bars and two libraries in East Lansing." This is an example of a(n)
Empirical statement
In most of the research done on alcohol, “one drink” is defined as being 1 once of liquor, 4 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer. The researchers do this to create a(n) _________.
Operational definition
Which of the following is true of a value statement?
Value statements contain words that are evaluative as well as descriptive
Dr. Kovorkian’s activities in physician-assisted suicide are harmful.” This statement is an example of:
A Value Statement
The argument "The beer we brew goes through three different aging processes. This is why we're the best tasting brand on the market." has :
An empirically based premise, and a value based conclusion.
Which of the following statements is the best example of a value statement? A) a glass is vessel for drinking B) this glass will hold 2 cups of water C) broken glass is dangerous D) the streets of heaven are paved in glass E) I hate glass patio
broken glass is dangerous
"The average human eye can see a source of light that is as faint as an ordinary candle from a distance of 27 kilometers." This statement is:
Both verifiable and falsifiable.
Julie has decided that she wants to be an author of detective novels. Towards this end, she has taken many writing classes. In every class she hears the teacher say, “Writers write”. This statement is an example of a(n) _________.
In comparing pseudo-science to science :
science disregards experiences that are unique personal experiences while pseudo-science does not
According to the Stanovich text, to qualify as a scientific theory, it must
Make predictions that can be falsified
The criterion of Publicness for the scientific method REQUIRES that ___________?
The result has been or can be replicated by others
The verifiability principle of science is concerned with:
What experiences we should have if an empirical statement is true
Dates-R-Us believes liking and loving can be best explained by the saying "birds of a feather flock together" but Video- O-Mate believes that the "opposites attract" motto is the best explanation for interpersonal attraction." This demonstrates that:
Common sense is often contradictory in nature
Which of the following is an essential feature of science? A. Laboratory observation B. Statistical analysis C. Statistical observations D. Replicable results E. Analytical observations
Replicable results
When scientists speak of theories being "disproven" they mean
The probability of it being true is near but greater than 0%
In comparing pseudo-science to science :
Science disregards experiences that are unique personal experiences while pseudo-science does not
Which of the following is true of observations
Only certain, carefully made observations are directly relevant to certain empirical questions
Currently, most scientists do not believe in "cold fusion" (that is, that one can produce energy by the process of fusion which is responsible for the Sun's energy) because
Because the cold fusion phenomenon has not been consistently replicated
The APA expelled Dr. James Grigson, also known as Dr. Death, from their organization because:
he made claims with absolute certainty about the future dangerousness of capital offenders
Sarah, a psychology student, reads an interesting article in a reputable scientific journal. Sarah decides to test the claims made by copying the procedure in the journal. Sarah is definitely doing a(n) _____________ study.
Peggy’s physics professor tells the class that the speed of light has been proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, to be 186,282 miles/sec. Peggy questions this as a scientific statement because
scientific conclusions are probabilistic not absolute
Failure to eliminate experimenter expectancy effects (that is, the experimenter seeing not what's there but what he expects to see) violates the need for __________ in science
careful/systematic observation
In class we noted several ways of evaluating empirical statements. Which of the following was NOT one of them? A. by scientific observation B. by relying on the dictionary C. by relying on chance D. by relying on authority E. by relying on dogma
by relying on the dictionary
Matt is convinced that his new Art class will be boring. He comes to class looking bored. His Art teacher is new and when she see's Matt's bored face, she becomes discouraged and mumbles unintelligibly through her prepared lecture. After class, Matt says
self-fulfilling prophcey
Which of the following is an infallible guide to the truth (according to the Schick & Vaughn text)? A. perception B. introspection C. memory D. reason E. none of the above
none of the above
The horse, Clever Hans, was able to answer difficult questions correctly because
he could pick up subtle cues from his handlers (who knew the correct answers)
Shick & Vaughn argue that to have knowledge (to KNOW something) requires certainty. How much certainty
it must be true beyond reasonable doubt
Shick & Vaughn suggest that _________ is a valid source of knowledge
Peggy has handed out questionnaires to people eating lunch in the International Center. She is trying to determine if rapists eat differently than non-rapists. The first question on the form asks males, "Have you every raped or sexually coerced a woman?
*valid *socially desirable responses
Which of the following might help Peggy (in the last question) obtain a better measurement
Guarantee anonymity
You have just read about a new test to determine someone's chances of developing Alzheimer's disease. It involves having them try to identify a specific smell--if they can't identify the smell, they're supposed to have higher chances of developing the di
predictive validity
Which of the following is the LEAST best way of establishing measurement validity?
face vadility
Fred wrote a math test that consisted of verbal problems. He finds that their scores on the math test correlate highly with another test of verbal ability (namely, the Verbal portion of the GRE exam). His test shows
low discriminant validity
Mrs. Simpson, a third grade teacher, is asked by her principal to rate all of the children in her class on good behavior. Her ratings correlate highly with the ratings made by her aide, Mrs. Hall. This high correlation helps establish the _______ of the "
interjudge reliability
In class we described a study which used a natural father's number of years of schooling as a measure of the father's intelligence. Abigail says that this is a poor measure because many other things besides intelligence affect how long someone stays in sc
face validity
"Measurement" is an improvement on "observation" because measurement
summarizes observations in the form of numbers
Geoff is terribly prejudiced against tall people. However, while filling out a survey on height attitudes, Geoff changes his answers to make himself appear less prejudiced towards tall people. Geoff's actions demonstrate the:
social desirability response bias
Noise is to bias as
reliability is to validity
In class and in your reading assignments, you have read about several things that make scientists prefer one explanation or theory over another. These include predictive power, internal consistency, and consistency with other well established theories and
are simplest
By way of helping you figure out whether or not you are dealing with a genuine argument, words and phrases like “because,” “since,” “it follows that,” and “assuming that” are called _________ words
When it comes to being influenced by information, it appears that
negative information has more impact than positive information
According to Stanovich, who or what largely defines psychology for the layperson
*Freud *Pop psychologists
A commercial states that Super-Lube 4000 can reduce engine wear to such a degree that after putting just two drops of Super Lube into your car's crank case you will never have to change your oil again. They then report on an experiment in which a car has
Kat claims the following: "If something can swim, then it must be a shark. I can swim. Therefore, I must be a shark." Kat's argument is a(n) _______ argument
Valid deductive
The statement, "Putting a book under your pillow before you go to sleep will make you smarter" is a(n) _________.
"I have never had a pair of boots that have kept out water. There is no such thing as a boot that keeps out water." This statement is an example of ________
Inductive Reasoning
The syllogism "If p is true, then q is true. Q is true. Therefore P is true." is
an invalid deductive argument
We tend to rely more on heuristic modes of thinking and deciding when
we are distracted
My Aunt Sally's legs have been aching lately. That means that the circus is coming to town.⬝ This example best illustrates the _____________ fallacy
Irrelevant Thesis
K-Mart is great because it is the best discount store in world.⬝ This example best illustrates the _____________ fallacy
Begging the Question
"I just knew in my gut that the doctor had to be wrong when he told me that I had cancer." This illustrates the _________ fallacy
i feel it so it must be true
"Bob, how can you say that Stan Musial is the greatest Cardinal of all time? You're not even a Cardinal fan." This illustrates the _______ fallacy
Poisoning the well
"I lied to my girlfriend about going out with another girl while she was home during winter break. So what! Bill Clinton lied to Congress." This example best illustrates the _____________ fallacy
Two wrongs make a right
"There is no need for us to change the grading structure at MSU. It has worked just fine for many years." This example best illustrates the _____________ fallacy.
past practice
"You don't have any evidence that Sasquatch isn't real. So he's got to be out there somewhere." This statement best illustrates the __________ fallacy
appeal to ignorance
"You are either a Democrat or a Republican. My sources tell me that you aren't registered with the Democratic Party, so then you must be a Republican." This example illustrates the ___________ fallacy
False Dichotomy
"America is the 'land of the free.' So that's why I shouldn't have to pay for the hotel room I stayed in last night." This example best illustrates the _____________ fallacy.
"Won’t you give the United Way just a little of the money you saved by cheating on your last tax return?” This illustrates the ____________ fallacy
Loaded question
"How can Barack Obama’s policies protect our country from terrorism if he has friends like William Ayres who have engaged in terrorism?” This illustrates the ___________ fallacy
Ad hominem
"I'm confident that Barack Obama is the better candidate. Martin Sheen, who played the President on the TV show West Wing endorses him." This example best illustrates the ___________ fallacy.
appeal to questionable authority

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