Sunday, 3 March 2013

If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.

Common fallacies:

1. Argument from ignorance (a faulty implication that the opponent's inability to disprove a conclusion would be proof of its validity)

2. Straw man (misrepresentation of an opponent's position)
To "attack a straw man" is to misrepresent the opponents position and refute it and to suggest incorrectly that this would refute the original position.

3. Non sequitur (a faulty suggestion that the conclusion would follow from the premises)

4. Equivocation (misleading use of a term with more than one meaning)

5. False dilemma (a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option)

6. Red herring (speakers attempt to distract the audience by an irrelevant argument)
Such as one of the following:
  • Ad hominem (a faulty suggestion that an argument against the opponents person would be relevant in disproving their argument)
  • Argumentum ad populum (appeal to widespread belief)
  • Appeal to authority
  • Appeal to consequences
  • Appeal to emotion

7. Slippery slope (a faulty assertion that a small first step inevitable leads to a chain of events culminating in some significant effect that should not happen)

8. Cherry picking (act of pointing at individual cases that seem to confirm a position, while ignoring significant data to the contrary)

9. Irrelevant conclusion (presenting an argument that may or may not be logically valid, but fails nonetheless to address the issue in question)

10. Special pleading (attempt to cite something as an exemption to a rule without justification)

Beware of your thoughts, they become your words.
Beware of your words, they become your actions.
Beware of your actions, they become your habits.
Beware of your habits, they become your character.
Beware of your character, it becomes your destiny.
- Unknown

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