- Slides: 22
Fallacies of Relevance EXAMPLES AND PATTERNS
Ad Hominem: My opponent in this debate, who has not had the advantages that education and experience have bestowed on me, cannot be faulted for failing to see the sense of my proposal.
Ad Hominem Pattern of reasoning: X is a “bad” person Therefore, X’s argument should be rejected The speaker’s opponent lacks education and experience. Therefore the opponent’s objections to the speaker’s proposal are without merit.
Ad Hominem Example from Republican Primary debate: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=SVh. TAY 0 R_SE Senator Ted Cruise tells lies. Therefore, Cruise’s claim that Trump supports Federal funding of Planned Parenthood is false.
Ad Hominem Example from the Colbert Show: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=l. Idvpdl. XXlk Ed lacks regard for human life and only supports war in Iraq because he thinks it will benefit his friends in the oil business. Therefore, Ed’s claims about the threat to the safety of our country and our allies are false.
Ad Hominem �In each case, the author distracts attention from the issue addressed in the conclusion and focuses instead on their opponent. �In each case, the author’s premise is irrelevant to the conclusion. �Whether or not the premise is true makes no difference as to whether or not the conclusion is true.
Attacking the Motive: Dr. Jameson and his team report that the proposed timber operation won’t threaten salmon spawning sites. But you can safely reject their findings. After all, they got their funding from the logging industry.
Attacking the Motive: Pattern of Reasoning: X’s motive for promoting the claim is “bad” (immoral, self-interested, etc. ) Therefore, X’s argument should be rejected.
Attacking the Motive: Examples of Attacking the motive from Thank You For Smoking: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=z. CTy. RTbi. JKs Mr. Nayler gets his funding from the tobacco industry. Therefore, Nick’s claims about the health benefits of smoking should be dismissed. The Senator receives campaign contributions that influence his views on tobacco regulations. The senator’s critique of tobacco may be disregarded.
Ad Hominem and Attacking the Motive �Consider the following clip: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=H 7 UU 6 FQo. U_ g �Discuss any fallacies of relevance the interviewer may have committed.
Tu Quoque: Peter: "Based on the arguments I have presented, it is evident that it is morally wrong to use animals for food or clothing. " Bill: "But you are wearing a leather jacket and you have a roast beef sandwich in your hand! How can you say that using animals for food and clothing is wrong!“
Tu Quoque: Peter doesn’t practice what he preaches about the exploitation of animals. Thus, Peter is wrong to oppose the exploitation of animals. Pattern of Argument: X is guilty of a practical inconsistency. Therefore X’s argument should be rejected.
Two Wrongs The cable company cheats everyone they deal with. First off, they hold a monopoly on the market. So, even if someone wants to take their business elsewhere, they can’t. Secondly, they charge way more than they should and they never provide service when you need it. I say, why not steal cable, they steal from people every day. Pattern of Reasoning: X’s actions are just as bad or worse than my own actions. Therefore, it’s acceptable for me to commit actions that are wrong. Pattern of Reasoning (from conformism): Some immoral act is commonly practiced. Therefore, it’s acceptable for me to act in the same way.
Tu Quoque, Two Wrongs, and Whataboutism Consider this example from John Oliver: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=1 ZAPwfrt. AFY&t= 363 s Starts at 5: 40
Bandwagon Titanic grossed more than a hundred times the amount earned by Citizen Kane. Millions of people consider Titanic their favorite movie. Whereas only a few dozen film historians love Citizen Kane. Clearly Titanic is the superior film. Pattern of Reasoning (from popular opinion): Many people (with no special claim to expertise on the topic) believe X. Therefore, X must be true. Pattern of Reasoning (from self-interest/vanity/conformism) If I believe X, I will be accepted. Therefore, I should believe X.
Strawman So you oppose the bombing of Baghdad? But how can you support a monster like Saddam Hussein? Besides, your protests show a total disregard for our troops who require our undivided support in this delicate matter. We should stand by our troops.
Strawman The author misrepresents their opponent of supporting a dictator and disregarding the troops. These views are viewed as patently objectionable. The author rejects the more robust and defensible view of their opponent. Pattern of reasoning: Some distorted (exaggerated, misleading, or false) view attributed to an opponent is clearly unsupportable. Therefore, the actual view of the opponent may reasonably be rejected.
Strawman Example from Stephen Colbert: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=s. T_Vh. Drn 8 NY Example from Fox and Friends: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=zc. Thz. Bx. AKOo Start at 3: 30 for Strawman
Red Herring David Trimble has complained that it’s more expensive to live in New York than it is to live in Chicago. But New York is a great place to live. It has great restaurants, museums, and nightspots. I just don’t buy David’s argument at all. Pattern of Reasoning: The arguer has resolved some loosely related, but irrelevant issue. Thus, the arguer is justified in rejecting the opponent’s argument on the issue at hand.
Equivocation Nothing is better than the infinite grace of God. But a three-day-old Big Mac is better than Nothing. So, I guess it’s true that a three-day-old Big Mac is better than the infinite grace of God. Pattern: The argument contains a key term on which the inference depends but the term is employed ambiguously in the premises and conclusion. Semantic Ambiguity: When a term has two or more conventional meanings.
Begging the Question Sharon: Joan has telepathy. Grace: How do you know? Sharon: She can read my mind. Pattern: The premise in the argument either a. is synonymous with the conclusion; or b. presupposes the conclusion is true.
The Fallacy Pattern: The conclusion was reached through fallacious reasoning. Therefore one may consider the conclusion to be false.