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UA / Philosophy / PHL 104 / What is the part-whole fallacy / fallacy of composition

What is the part-whole fallacy / fallacy of composition

What is the part-whole fallacy / fallacy of composition

Description

School: University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa
Department: Philosophy
Course: Critical Thinking
Term: Spring 2019
Tags: phl, PHL104, exam, review, Fallacies, philosophy, criticalthinking, Arico, UniversityofAlabama, and Humanities
Cost: 50
Name: UPDATED PHL104 Exam Review (9 Pages)
Description: This study guide is meant to prepare you for the second exam. This study guide is based off of the lecture notes and other study guides that we have been provided. The exam will be covering Chapter 4 of Thought & Knowledge as well as information covered in lecture since the beginning of the semester. Be sure to read those chapters along with reviewing this study guide. The second exam will be held on April 18th, 2019. This test looks like it will be more application based so know how to define and apply all terms. This study guide has been updated to include new information that was covered in class on April 16th, 2019.
Uploaded: 04/15/2019
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PHL104 – Exam #2


What is the part-whole fallacy / fallacy of composition



This study guide is meant to prepare you for the second exam. This study guide is based off of the  lecture notes and other study guides that we have been provided. The midterm will be covering Chapter  4 of Thought & Knowledge as well as information covered in lecture since the beginning of the semester.  Be sure to read those chapters along with reviewing this study guide. The second exam will be held on  April 18th, 2019. This test looks like it will be more application based so know how to define & apply.

Fallacies of the Day

1. What is the Red Herring Fallacy?

• Red Herring Fallacy – When a speaker introduces a radical change in topic to misdirect  the audience away from the original or intended subject

o It’s a fallacy because it offers a response that isn’t actually a response to the  discussion or accusation at hand


What is the circular reasoning fallacy?



• It is often effective because it tends to utilize a distraction that is of genuine interest to  the audience, or because it is salacious enough to force the opponent to take up the  new discussion and abandoning the original topic/issue

o The more you can make the audience care about or take interest in the new  topic, the more likely they are to forget about the original

• Often times, a red herring works by using some other fallacies

o Ad Hominem attacks that ignore the main point and focus the debate on the  other opponent’s character  

o False Dilemmas that falsely describe the situation as a choice between just two  possibilities, then changing the discussion to why the other option is so bad

2. What is the Pooh Pooh Fallacy?


What is the list of criteria for making one abductive account better than the other?



• Pooh Pooh Fallacy – When someone dismisses a legitimate and serious  

objection/question without giving it any genuine consideration We also discuss several other topics like Hat would be the expected genotypic and phenotypic ratios of offspring in a cross between a pea plant homozygous for tall height with a heterozygous pea plant?

o Typically the speaker will ridicule the objection or the person raising the  

objection for reasons having little or nothing to do with the objection  

o Often, it manifests as someone labeling a real and actual problem as “silly” or  “ridiculous” or “non-sense”  

▪ Essentially, what makes it an instance of pooh-poohing is that no real  

reason is offered why the objection or question isn’t legitimate  

• As critical thinkers, it is our job to pay attention to the question being asked and judging  for ourselves what its merits might be, rather than relying on the speaker’s dismissal as  being appropriate  If you want to learn more check out Why is acid base titration important?

3. What is the Circular Reasoning Fallacy?  

• Circular Reasoning / Begging the Question – When people cheat and build the truth of  the conclusion into one of the premises, creating a logical circle  

o The conclusion is only true if the premise is true, and the premise is only true if  the conclusion is true

 3. What is the Circular Reasoning Fallacy?  

• Also called begging the question since at least one of the premises presumes that a  particular answer to the question at hand is true without arguing for it  

o Ex: The bible says god exists, the bible is the word of god, so the bible is  

infallible, therefore, god exists  

• Circular reasoning generates a logical circle and loop in reasoning  

o Ex: We know that smoking causes cancer, as science has shown that tobacco  smoke is a carcinogen  

4. What is the Part-Whole Fallacy / Fallacy of Composition

• Part-Whole Fallacy / Fallacy of Composition – We make the mistaken inference that  everything that’s true of a group must be true of every member of the group, or that  what’s true about members of a group must also be true of the group as a whole  

o This just is simply not true because just because one person has a particular  characteristic, that doesn’t mean the whole group has that characteristic  

▪ Ex: Zion Williamson might be the best player in college basketball, but  Don't forget about the age old question of What are the five p’s and c’s of marketing mix?
We also discuss several other topics like What may not be physically explainable?

that does not mean that Duke is the best team in college basketball

5. What is the Appeal to Emotion Fallacy?

• Appeal to Emotion – Persuasion through emotional manipulation to support a  conclusion, either by bypassing reason and logic altogether or by relying heavily on  emotions for acceptance of premises  

o Use fear-driven arguments to persuade or by provoking positive emotions Don't forget about the age old question of Why is it important to define the system and surroundings?

▪ Ex: ASPCA Commercials, Immigrant Caravan, Budweiser Commercials

6. What is the Cherry Picking Fallacy?

• Cherry Picking – Selectively presenting evidence or information that supports a  conclusion or position, while withholding evidence or information that challenges that  conclusion or position  Don't forget about the age old question of How did the sections of the country react to the compromise of 1850?

o When we cherry pick, we intentionally ignore data or facts that might be  

inconsistent with the point we are trying to make, opting to focus selectively on  the data or facts that seem to make us right  

▪ Taking quotes out of context or omitting words/phrases of a quote in  

order to change the meaning of the statement into something that fits  

our narrative  

▪ Presenting the damning evidence but not the exonerating evidence  

• Can be done in the opposite way as well

▪ Citing friendly sources while ignoring critics  

▪ Making partially-true statements or relying on technicalities  

▪ Favoring selected anecdotes over large-group statistics  

• While cherry picking is typically conscious, deliberate decision to perform a public action  o It’s presenting information to other people in order to persuade them to accept  your position  

o It’s done with intention and knowledge that is omitting key pieces of  

problematic information and only presenting the information that is favorable  

▪ Ex: William Barr and the Muller Report

Chapter 4

1. What are the Norms of Reasoning?  

• Reasoning tells us “what follows what”  

o When we reason, we use our knowledge about one or more related statements that  we can reasonably believe are true to determine if another statement, the  

conclusion, is true

▪ This process is known as inference  

2. What are the basic parts of an argument?  

• Premise – A set of supporting claims that help justify the conclusion  

• Conclusion – A belief derived and supported by other statements which we call premises 3. What is an Argument?  

• Argument – A set of claims or statements in which the one of them is meant to be  supported by the other  

o Conclusion is supported by the premises  

4. What is Inductive Reasoning?  

• Inductive Reasoning – Use of single examples or observations to create or build laws or  generalizations  

o Starts with particular instances, detects a pattern of commonality within the  collected instances, then postulates a generalization or principle that is illustrated  by those particular instances  

▪ Sometimes referred to “reasoning up

5. What is Abductive Reasoning?  

• Abductive Reasoning – A variation on inductive reasoning where one appeals to a particular  claim or theory because it “fits” the evidence better than any other account  

o While this method of reasoning can be very powerful and effective, sometimes it  can be too powerful and effective  

▪ Every conspiracy theory turns heavily on abductive reasoning, often also  

appealing to other cognitive biases  

• Ex: Flat Earth Theorists  

o Relies on the fallacy of arguing from ignorance rather than concrete evidence  6. What is the list of criteria for making one abductive account better than the other?  • Applying a list of criteria for what makes one account better than another  

o Simplicity (Ockham’s Razor) – Generally speaking, the simpler the explanation, the  more likely it is to be true, with all other things being equal  

o Breadth of Explanation – Explains the greatest number of phenomena in need of  explanation

▪ Does the explanation only work for a single particular case or does it work  

for most/all cases?  

o Depth of Explanation – Provides an actual explanation and not just the appearance  of one  

▪ Does the explanation provide the mechanisms and causes of what really  

happened or is it just a story?

 6. What is the list of criteria for making one abductive account better than the other? • Applying a list of criteria for what makes one account better than another  

o Depth of Explanation – Provides an actual explanation and not just the appearance  of one  

▪ Does the explanation answer all/most of the relevant questions or only raise  more?  

o Testability – The hypothesis should make predictions that can be tested, verified,  falsified, etc.  

▪ If there’s no good way to prove the hypothesis is mistaken, at least in  

principle if not in practice, then it’s not a good explanation  

7. What is Deductive Reasoning?  

• Typically starts with a relatively broad statement we know or believe to be true  o That statement usually includes generally accepted truths, scientific laws, logical  relations, etc.  

▪ Ex: “If something is a dog, then it is a mammal”  

• Notices that the relatively broad statement is applicable to a particular situation  o Ex: “Fido is a dog”  

• Connect the statements together to draw a conclusion that is necessarily true based on  earlier statements  

o Ex: “So Fido must be a mammal”  

• When an argument is constructed such that the premises guarantee the conclusion, we call  this a valid argument  

o Whenever the premises are true, the conclusion has to be true  

8. What are the three forms of arguments in relation to each other?  

• When we reason inductively, we collect observations and formulate hypotheses based on  them  

• When we reason abductively, we speculate about possible explanations and identify one as  the “best explanation”  

o The most efficient form of argumentation but can be very flawed  

• When we reason deductively, we use our knowledge of two or more premises to infer if a  conclusion is valid

o Usually the most powerful form of reasoning in an argument

9. What is an If/Then Argument or Conditional Argument?  

• If/Then Statements or Conditionals – Contingency relationships where some events are  dependent or contingent on the occurrence of others  

o Made up of an antecedent and a consequent  

▪ In a conditional statement, whenever the antecedent event occurs, so does  the consequent event  

10. What are antecedents and consequents?  

• Antecedent – The first part of a conditional argument

o The antecedent is the “If x” statement  

o In formal philosophical logic, we say “if p”  

• Consequent – The second part of a conditional argument

 10. What are antecedents and consequents?

• Consequent – The second part of a conditional argument  

o The consequent is the “then, y” statement

o In formal philosophical logic, we say “then q”  

11. What are the 4 types of reasoning with conditional statements?  

• There are two types of reasoning result in valid conclusions

o Affirming the Antecedent – The second premise states the antecedent is true  ▪ Also known as Modus Ponens in philosophical logic  

• If A, then B. A occurred, therefore B should happen  

• If p, then q. P, therefore q

o Denying the Consequent – The second premise states the “then” condition, the  consequent, did not occur and is not true

▪ Also known as Modus Tollens in philosophical logic  

• B does not occur, therefore A must not have happened

• If p, then q. Not q, therefore not p

• There are two types of reasoning that result in invalid conclusions

o Affirming the Consequent – When the second premise states that the consequent  has occurred  

▪ The invalid form of Modus Ponens  

• If A then B. B occurred, therefore A should happen  

• If p, then q. Q, therefore p

o Denying the Antecedent – When the second premise states that the antecedent is  false

▪ The invalid form of Modus Tollens  

• If A then B. A does not occur, therefore B must not have happened

• If p, then q. Not p, therefore not q

12. What are Chained Conditionals?  

• Chained Conditionals - Contingency relationships involving two “if/then” statements linked  together so that the consequent of one statement is also the antecedent of the other  statement

o Also known as a hypothetical syllogism

▪ If A, then B. If B, then C.  

13. What is Rationalizing?

• Rationalizing – Attending to information that favors a preferred conclusion o We selectively gather information or rate counterarguments as weak.

o We may not supply missing components because they work against our conclusion. 14. Why is it hard for us to differentiate between Rationalizing and Reasoning? • Our confirmation bias is strong and persistent

o Confirmation Bias: We tend to give greater credence to claims and evidence that  support or are consistent with our existing worldviews, and we tend to dismiss  claims and evidence that undermine or challenge our existing worldviews  

• We seem to be hard-wired to accept evidence that supports our worldview and to reject  evidence that undermines our worldview

15. What is an Opinion?  

• Opinion is the simple assertion of a personal preference or taste  

o Opinions reflect how an individual has assessed a position/thing  

o No reasons are given for the objective truth, at best, only reasons why the person  likes it  

▪ These have nothing to do with reasons for why others should also like it  

• Ex: I think repealing the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea

16. What is a Reasoned Judgement?

• Reasoned judgement is a preference supported by reasons and facts  

o Similar to an opinion in that it is subjective in its stance, but the subjective stance is  justified by claims and statements with which others have reason to agree  

▪ Ex: I think repealing the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea because it will  

cause 28 million Americans to lose insurance coverage, without any  

beneficial trade-off for everyone else  

17. What is a Fact?  

• Facts have a verifiable truth value  

o We can test, observe, measure, and confirm the content of the statement  

▪ Ex: On average, cashews contain 5g of protein per serving  

18. What is the difference between a Fact and an Alternative Fact?  

• Fact – Truths that can be verified  

o You can only have one set of verifiable truths

• Alternative Fact – Facts that go against a set of real facts and question the legitimacy of the  verifiable truths  

19. What is Propaganda?

• Propaganda – Mass suggestion or influence through the manipulation of symbols and the  psychology of the individual  

o Social institutions and commercial organizations continually attempt mass influence  through communication, especially images in the media

o There are many common traits of propaganda advertisements  

▪ Distortion, innuendo/suggestion, negative association, emotion, etc.

20. What are some ways people can guard themselves against being persuaded by propaganda? • When feeling swayed by an advertisement, ask yourself what it is that’s swaying you  o Was there just something about the way the person/product looked or was  presented?  

o Is the background music influencing your mood or emotions?  

o What facts and claims were actually made, what evidence was presented, and how  does that relate to your current opinion?  

Chapter 5

21. What are the different parts of an argument?  

• Premise - The reasons that support a conclusion

o They are the “why” part of an argument  

o May be facts or opinions  

o Sometimes premises come first in an argument, but they don’t always have to

22. What are the different parts of an argument?  

• Premise - The reasons that support a conclusion

o Sometimes premises come first in an argument, but they don’t always have to  ▪ If they don’t come first, they are sometimes hard to identify  

• Premise Indicators – Words often used in claims that are used as premises  o Ex: Because, secondly, for, since, if , it follows from, given that, as shown by,  whereas, etc.  

• Conclusion – The purpose or “what” part of the argument

o It is the belief or point of view that is supported or defended with the premises  ▪ Usually easier to identify than premises/reasons  

• Conclusion Indicators - Often used in claims serving in conclusions  

o Ex: Therefore, hence, so, thus, as a result, consequently, then, shows that,  accordingly, etc.  

23. What is the breakdown of an argument?  

• Subarguments – An argument contained within a larger argument  

o Where support is offered for a claim that also serves to support the main point of  the larger passage  

▪ A + B, therefore C. And C+D, therefore E  

• Qualifiers – A constraint or restriction on the conclusion, it states the conditions under  which the conclusion is supported  

o A word or phrase that diminishes the intensity of a claim or the limits of the range  over which the claim applies  

• Counter arguments – Statements that refute a particular conclusion  

o A preventative measure to cut off a potential line of response that someone might  offer against the argument  

• Main Point – Main Point – The ultimate claim being supported in an extended passage  24. What is a Chained Structure in an argument?  

• Chained / Linked Argument Structure - argument structure involves arguments in which the  conclusion of one subargument becomes the premise of a second argument o With a chained structure, the conclusion is only as strong as the weakest  subargument

▪ If one subargument does not strongly support a second subargument, the  conclusion is weakened.

25. What is a Convergent Structure in an argument

• Convergent Structure – When more than one argument supports a conclusion  o Two distinct lines of reasoning converge to support one conclusion

26. How are arguments evaluated?  

• Arguments are evaluated by how well they meet three criteria  

o Acceptability – Are the premises acceptable and consistent?

o Support – Do the premises support the conclusion?  

o Completeness – Is there something left out of the argument that would alter it  greatly?

27. What are the specific qualifications for each criterion?  

• Criterion 1: A premise is acceptable when it is true or when we can reasonably believe that  it is true  

o Guides to when something is reasonably true  

▪ Personal or common knowledge  

▪ Expert testimony  

▪ Confirmation from multiple and reliable sources  

o Other things that must be thought about when considering acceptability  ▪ Is the claim something that a reasonable audience should accept without  further argumentation or evidence?

▪ Is the statement something that a rational, unbiased audience might agree  with without raising too many eyebrows?

o An expert’s credibility can be assessed with the following questions  

▪ Is he/she a recognized authority in that particular field?  

▪ Is the expert an independent party in this issue? Do they have something to  gain as a result of conflict of interest, bias, or corruption?  

▪ What are the expert’s credentials?  

▪ Does the expert have specific first-hand knowledge on the issue?  

▪ What methods of analysis were used by the expert?  

• Criterion 2: How much support do the premises actually offer the conclusion?  o When premises are unrelated to the conclusion in an argument, they cannot  support the conclusion  

▪ This can be thought of like legs supporting a table top  

o Determining the relatedness between premises and a conclusion can be tricky at  times  

▪ Adequate Grounds – The premises not only have to be related to the  

conclusion, but they also have to be strong enough support the conclusion

• Criterion 3: When evaluating an argument, consider each component separately and think  about ways the statements could have been distorted and what has been omitted  o Although the consideration of missing components could theoretically go on  forever, the extent to which we scrutinize an argument depends on its importance.  28. What are the steps one should take to analyze an argument?  

• Step 1: Read the passage in question and determine if there is an argument to determine if  there is at least one conclusion and one premise  

o If there is not one conclusion and one premise, it is not an argument that you can  evaluate

• Step 2: Identify all stated and unstated parts of the argument in question  o Identify all premises, conclusions, qualifiers, assumptions, and counter-arguments • Step 3: Check premises for acceptability and consistency

o If all premises are unacceptable, stop now. Eliminate any unacceptable premises  and continue with any acceptable ones.  

o If there are any inconsistent premises, remove them if possible  

• Step 4: Diagram the whole argument to allow for ranking of premises  

o Consider strength of the support that each premise provides for the conclusion.

 28. What are the steps one should take to analyze an argument?  

• Step 4: Diagram the whole argument to allow for ranking of premises  

o Rate the strength of support as none, weak, medium, or strong.  

o Check the convergence of the premises; even weak support becomes strong if it  converges with other evidence.

• Step 5: Consider the strength of counterarguments, assumptions, and qualifiers as well as  any omitted premises.

o Do any premises undermine the support provided by the other premises

▪ Do they strengthen or weaken it?

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