How do we identify Logical Fallacies?
By: Tabitha Harris
American InterContinental Online University
July 16, 2013
This purpose of this paper is to identify and explain what literature experts call Logical Fallacies. This document will include reasonable vocabulary, logical definitions, and sound examples of how to and how not to include these fallacies into your writings. There will be some suggestions made to assist with recognizing and examining some of the logical fallacies located within the writings of others, as well as in your own. By the end of this paper, your thoughts will be enlightened, and your knowledge of logical fallacies stronger, whether you’re a reader, ...view middle of the document...
Example: "The car needs fuel”, I know this because the gas indicator shows that it’s empty which means “the car needs fuel”. (CEC, 2010)
* Ad hominem:
This argument is usually applied when discussing political matters. It is when irrelevant information has been purposely, implemented, to attack an opponent. The information is not logically related to the issue or topic at hand.
Example: "Barak Obama should not be president because he is African American and he is from Hawaii. His ethnicity or natural region has nothing to do with his role as president”.
* Red herring:
An argument used to confuse, disengage or distract an opponent. It contains irrelevant information like that of Ad hominem.
Example: “I was arguing with my son one day because he did not pick up behind himself when he decided to point out that someone was knocking at my door”. He was trying to distract me so that I would forget about correcting him. (Gómez-Torrente, 2011)
Pseudo-questions cannot be answered because they lack intellectual validity. These types of questions seem to be valid but are not.
Example: "What happens when we die? This question has no answer because no one can verify what happens when we die. This question appears to be based on a logical deduction or a reasonable premise, but it cannot be answered.
* False cause:
False cause is a summary or account based on the notion that one scene or condition occurs because of a previous incident or occurrence. (CEC, 2010)
Example: “My friend smokes and she recently found out she has lung cancer. My conclusion is that her lung cancer has come from her previous years of smoking” however, this may not be the case; it could just be a coincidence.
* Sweeping generalizations: