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PHL 3000: Critical Thinking 10/5-10/7

by: Haley Cochran

PHL 3000: Critical Thinking 10/5-10/7 PHL 3000

Marketplace > Wright State University > Philosophy > PHL 3000 > PHL 3000 Critical Thinking 10 5 10 7
Haley Cochran
GPA 3.89

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About this Document

Notes covering both class lectures from October 6-7, covering #fallacies.
Critical Thinking
Dr. Scott Wilson
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Haley Cochran on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHL 3000 at Wright State University taught by Dr. Scott Wilson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Critical Thinking in Philosophy at Wright State University.


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Date Created: 10/10/16
Critical Thinking October 5th, 2016 Fallacy: A mistake in reasoning that is so common we have given it a name. Two types of Fallacies: ● Formal Fallacies ○ Mistakes that depend on the form of the argument, not the content of the argument. ● Informal Fallacies ○ Mistakes that depend on the content, and not on the form of argument. Formal Fallacies 1. If Cultural Relativism is true, then everyone should be tolerant of the other cultures. 2. Everyone should be tolerant of the other cultures. 3. Therefore, Cultural Relativism is true. If A then B B_______ ←-- This is Affirming the Consequence A Informal Fallacies ➔ Fallacious ◆ All of the best players are on the Lakers ◆ Therefore, the Lakers are the best team. ➔ Not Fallacious ◆ Every part of this blanket is red. ◆ Therefore this blanket is red. Fallacies of Relevance Informal fallacies in which the premises are not relevant to the conclusion. 1. Appeal to force: a. Someone argues that unless you accept their conclusion, they will harm you. i. If you don’t raise my grade, I’ll sue you. 1. Threat is irrelevant to the conclusion 2. The only relevant consideration is your performance. 2. Appeal to pity: a. Someone supports a conclusion by eliciting sympathy on the part of the listener. i. Fallacious: 1. If you fail me, I’ll lose my scholarship. ii. Not Fallacious: 1. Veal calves live life full of pain and suffering. 2. We gain very little from this. 3. Therefore, we should stop. a. The premise is relevant i. Be careful: It is not always a fallacy to argue in a way that elicits sympathy. 3. Appeal to people: a. Someone claims that a conclusion should be accepted because some segment of the population thinks it is true, and that group has no expertise on the subject. i. Appeal to our vanity, ego, need to fit in. 1. Fallicous: a. Everyone says GMOs are bad. b. Therefore, GMOs are bad. i. Places Such as Africa and Asia needs GMOs c. Rolex watches are only for the most discerning people. d. You should buy a Rolex watch. 2. Not Fallicous: a. Physicists claim that there are 13 dimensions b. Therefore, I conclude there are 13 dimensions. 4. Argument against the person: a. Someone rejects a view or argument because they attack the person who made the argument. i. Bob thinks you should be a vegetarian, but he wears leather. ii. Nietzsche argues that traditional morality hinders great people. But, he died of syphilis and is a rotten man. 1. Reasoning is irrelevant. b. Not a fallacy: i. Bob lies to people all the time. Therefore, Bob is a liar. 1. This is a conclusion based on the person’s behavior. 5. Accident: a. Occurs when a general rule is applied to a specific situation that the rule was never meant to cover. i. The ambulance driver should be given a ticket. He’s speeding. ii. Since I promised to help you yesterday, I guess we gotta go rob that bank. Critical Thinking October 7th Fallacies of Weak Induction ➢ Arguments in which it is claimed that if the premises are true, then the conclusion is likely to be true. ➢ In these fallacies, the premises are relevant to the conclusion. ➢ However, the connection between premises and conclusion is very weak. Appeal to Unqualified Authority ➢ Occurs anytime someone supports a conclusion by relying on the testimony of someone who, although an authority on some matter, is not an authority on the topic under consideration. ○ My doctor is going to buy stock xyz, so I will too. ○ Pamela Anderson hates furs, you should too. ○ *Question: Who are the qualified authorities? ■ Cannot be answered in a general way Appeal to Ignorance ➢ Occurs anytime someone concludes that, since a certain statement has not been proven true (false), that it must be relevant considerations. ○ Bob tried to prove that ghosts don’t exist. ■ Since he failed, ghosts are real. Hasty Generalization ➢ Occurs anytime someone concludes something on the basis of a non-representative examples. ○ Be sure to ask if you are relying on a closed group thinking. ○ Seek alternative sources. False Cause ➢ Occurs whenever someone argues that X causes Y, yet it is probably not true that X causes Y. ○ Every time I wash my car it rains, I must control the weather. ○ The coin has come up heads 10 times in a row; tails is due. ○ Our generation lives longer than any that came before it. Nutritional sciences is a wonder. ■ Claiming a small part of the cause is the whole cause. Slippery Slope ➢ Occurs any time someone claims that a conclusion follows from a faulty chain of cause and effect. Weak Analogy ➢ Analogical Reasoning: ○ X has properties A,B,C Y has properties A,B,C,D Therefore, X probably has D as well. ○ Since running and swimming places similar stress on the body, and since stretching is good for runners, stretching is probably good for swimmers. ○ No one would buy shoes without trying them on first, why would you get married without having sex first. ■ Very weak argument.


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