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Critical Thinking - Top Ten Fallacies of All Time

Autor:   •  March 23, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  295 Words (2 Pages)  •  407 Views

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University of Phoenix Material                

Top Ten Fallacies of All Time


This content has been taken with permission from the inside front cover of
Critical Thinking.

  1. Ad Hominem Argument: Disputing a position or argument by criticizing its source.  Universally esteemed by talk radio hosts as the highest form of reasoning.

  1. Straw man: Disputing a position by exaggerating it, misrepresenting it, or otherwise distorting it.  Putting negative spin on an opponent’s ideas.
  1. “Argument” from Outrage: This should be self-explanatory.  Many political talk shows are often reduced to shouting matches where guests compete for the loudest volume and sharpest insults.
  1. Scare Tactic: Utilizing fear, not evidence, in one’s argument.  You can probably think of several recent examples.
  1. Hasty Generalization: Also known as over-generalizing.  For example, it’s a hasty generalization that all baseball players use steroids simply because a few have developed bulging neck muscles and nasty tempers.  
  1. Group Think: When loyalty to group values affects one’s own judgment in ways that range from the amusing to the dangerous.  Why do refs call too many fouls on our team?
  1. Red Herring: This attention-span fallacy works best on people who are unable to stay focused long enough to notice that the question answered was not the question asked.
  1. Wishful Thinking: A refusal to acknowledge the truth.  You might call it the Ostrich Fallacy.
  1. “Argument” from Popularity: Believing that if “everybody” believes it, it must be true.
  1. Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc: Just because two things happened around the same time doesn’t mean one caused the other.

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