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Well there are many different examples of fallacies. Basically anything false is a fallacy. what subject are you looking for?
The most common fallacies I come cross are known as "logical fallacies". If you can learn to identify them and not use them, it will do wonders to streamline the way you think about concepts as well as give you the ability to understand whether your opponent's arguments are bogus or not. Here's an excellent place to start learning about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies
Description of Fallacies In order to understand what a fallacy is, one must understand what an argument is. Very briefly, an argument consists of one or more premises and one conclusion. A premise is a statement (a sentence that is either true or false) that is offered in support of the claim being made, which is the conclusion (which is also a sentence that is either true or false). There are two main types of arguments: deductive and inductive. A deductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) complete support for the conclusion. An inductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) some degree of support (but less than complete support) for the conclusion. If the premises actually provide the required degree of support for the conclusion, then the argument is a good one. A good deductive argument is known as a valid argument and is such that if all its premises are true, then its conclusion must be true. If all the argument is valid and actually has all true premises, then it is known as a sound argument. If it is invalid or has one or more false premises, it will be unsound. A good inductive argument is known as a strong (or "cogent") inductive argument. It is such that if the premises are true, the conclusion is likely to be true. A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support. A deductive fallacy is a deductive argument that is invalid (it is such that it could have all true premises and still have a false conclusion). An inductive fallacy is less formal than a deductive fallacy. They are simply "arguments" which appear to be inductive arguments, but the premises do not provided enough support for the conclusion. In such cases, even if the premises were true, the conclusion would not be more likely to be true. Description of Appeal to Spite The Appeal to Spite Fallacy is a fallacy in which spite is substituted for evidence when an "argument" is made against a claim. This line of "reasoning" has the following form: 1. Claim X is presented with the intent of generating spite. 2. Therefore claim C is false (or true) This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because a feeling of spite does not count as evidence for or against a claim. This is quite clear in the following case: "Bill claims that the earth revolves around the sun. But remember that dirty trick he pulled on you last week. Now, doesn't my claim that the sun revolves around the earth make sense to you?" Of course, there are cases in which a claim that evokes a feeling of spite or malice can serve as legitimate evidence. However, it should be noted that the actual feelings of malice or spite are not evidence. The following is an example of such a situation: Jill: "I think I'll vote for Jane to be treasurer of NOW." Vicki: "Remember the time that your purse vanished at a meeting last year?" Jill: "Yes." Vicki: “Well, I just found out that she stole your purse and stole some other stuff from people." Jill: "I'm not voting for her!" In this case, Jill has a good reason not to vote for Jane. Since a treasurer should be honest, a known thief would be a bad choice. As long as Jill concludes that she should vote against Jane because she is a thief and not just out of spite, her reasoning would not be fallacious. Examples of Appeal to Spite 1. Bill: "I think that Jane did a great job this year. I'm going to nominate her for the award." Dave: "Have you forgotten last year? Remember that she didn't nominate you last year." Bill: "You're right. I'm not going to nominate her." 2. Jill: "I think Jane's idea is a really good one and will really save a lot of money for the department." Bill: "Maybe. Remember how she showed that your paper had a fatal flaw when you read it at the convention last year..." Jill: “I had just about forgotten about that! I think I'll go with your idea instead." ________________________________________ [ Previous | Index | Next ] Home • Site Map • What's New? • Search Nizkor © The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012 This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only. As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.
Isn't fallacy a paradox or contradiction?