Falacy Summary and Application

Essay by pinchetteUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, May 2006

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Downloaded 56 times


My first thought when I hear the word "fallacy" is the word "false." The two words do go together in that a fallacy is described as, "an error in reasoning." (WB F p.15) These errors can be very persuasive forms of logic and can lead people to believe in conclusions that are false. Fallacies come in two different forms: Fallacies of relevance and Fallacies of insufficient evidence. Fallacies of relevance are "fallacies that occur because the premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusion."(CT pg 140) Fallacies of insufficient evidence are "fallacies that occur because the premises, though logically relevant to the conclusion, fail to provide sufficient evidence to support the conclusion." (CT pg 140) In this paper I will be discussing three logical fallacies. The first fallacy is the Inappropriate Appeal to Authority, the second is the Straw Man Fallacy, and the third is the Fallacy of Hasty Generalization. You will be able to see how each of these fallacies are based on false perceptions whether by the speaker or the audience.

Inappropriate Appeal to Authority

Inappropriate Appeal to Authority is a fallacy that tries to convince you to believe in or follow a person of authority because of their position. This fallacy is used everywhere. You see it used in television commercials, political advertisements, magazine articles, and more. The authorities may be athletes, politicians, movie or TV stars, religious leaders, or even family relatives. An example could be:

Brother: Where should we go to eat?

Sister: I think that we should eat at Joe's. I saw the Mayor eat there and so it must be the best.

Just because the Mayor ate at a restaurant does not make him an authority of which one is best and does not mean that others are not. Neither the...