By Dr. Michael Cooper LaBossiere

This e-book provides descriptions and examples of forty two universal casual fallacies: advert Hominem advert Hominem Tu Quoque attract the implications of a trust entice Authority attract trust entice universal perform entice Emotion attract worry attract Flattery entice Novelty attract Pity entice reputation entice Ridicule entice Spite attract culture Begging the query Biased Generalization Burden of facts Circumstantial advert Hominem Fallacy of Composition complicated reason and impression Fallacy of department fake challenge Gambler’s Fallacy Genetic Fallacy Guilt through organization Hasty Generalization Ignoring a typical reason heart flooring deceptive Vividness Peer strain own assault Poisoning the good submit Hoc Questionable reason purple Herring Relativist Fallacy Slippery Slope certain Pleading highlight Straw guy Wrongs Make a correct

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2) Therefore, X is true. This fallacy is committed when someone manipulates peoples’ emotions in order to get them to accept a claim as being true. More formally, this sort of “reasoning” involves the substitution of various means of producing strong emotions in place of evidence for a claim. If the favorable emotions associated with X influence the person to accept X as true because they “feel good about X,” then he has fallen prey to the fallacy. This sort of “reasoning” is very common in politics and it serves as the basis for a large portion of modern advertising.

Economics is a good example of such a disputed field. Anyone who is familiar with economics knows that there are many plausible theories that are incompatible with one another. Because of this, one expert economist could sincerely claim that the deficit is the key factor while another equally qualified individual could assert the exact opposite. Another area where dispute is very common (and well known) is in the area of psychology and psychiatry. As has been demonstrated in various trials, it is possible to find one expert that will assert that an individual is insane and not competent to stand trial and to find another equally qualified expert who will testify, under oath, that the same individual is both sane and competent to stand trial.

In a sense, the claim is being accepted because it is reasonable to believe that the expert has tested the claim and found it to be reliable. So, if the expert has found it to be reliable, then it is reasonable to accept it as being true. Thus, the listener is accepting a claim based on the testimony of the expert. It should be noted that even a good Appeal to Authority is not an exceptionally strong argument. After all, in such cases a claim is being accepted as true simply because a person is asserting that it is true.

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42 Fallacies by Dr. Michael Cooper LaBossiere


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