Fallacies from Chapter 3 - 5469
Note: The questions that are starred in the book have answers to them on page 355-366.
3. Inconsistency. Obama revised his campaign plan to dovetail with the actual bill that was passed.
4. Begged question. To say that he hasn't been consistent because he has been erratic is to say pretty much the same thing as he hasn't been consistent because he hasn't been consistent.
5. Questionable Premise. Well, no, the Jewish culture isn't the original culture, unless one's source is the Old Testament.
6. False dilemma. The implication here is that the constitution would be amended. But other alternatives might include working within the state system to overturn the court orders by 'activist judges' or simply leaving the state in question for a state that hasn't redefined marriage.
7. Straw man. The purist conservationist view is radically misrepresented here.
9. Begged question. Why must we keep people working? Because when they're out of work, they're unemployed (i.e., not working).
10. Evading the issue: The Duchess of York simply doesn't answer Larry King's question but responds with an evasion.
11. Suppressed evidence. The fact that Nevada has the highest divorce rate in the country has less to do with legalized prostitution than it does with the quick and easy divorce process that draws people to that state from all over the country.
12. Inconsistency. A room held merely on a space available basis has not been reserved according to the common meaning of that term.
13. False dilemma. She would have preferred that he had been judged not guilty.
15. Questionable Premise and Suppressed Evidence. According to the National Hanson's Disease Program (Hanson's disease is the official name of leprosy), there have been 7,000 diagnosed cases in the last thirty years, not the last three, and reported cases have dropped steadily since 1983. This info was cited in David Leonhardt's article, "Truth, Fiction, and Lou Dobbs," but we don't even need to know this to doubt Dobbs's fatuous claim that if it's reported on his show, it must be fact.
16. Begged question. According to the model, the artist painted her often because she was his model (i.e., because his models are what he paints).
18. Straw man: A gross distortion of the liberal position.
19. Suppressed evidence. A lot more people play football in the United States than enter the bull ring in Spain or anywhere else.
21. Either/Or (False dilemma): The range of people putting food in their mouths is a good deal broader than the two extremes suggested.
22. Inconsistency. The writer of the letter says he believes in free speech, but he demonstrates that he doesn't (and thus is inconsistent, when he says that he does except when he doesn't like what is being said). Another way to look at this is that the writer demonstrates that he doesn't really believe in free speech, so his claim that he does is questionable.
23. Begged question. Basically Klein is saying he's successful because his clothes are successful.
24. Suppressed Evidence. Until recently, many of the jobs that immigrants are now doing - like construction work and meat packing - were done by U.S. citizens, but wages for these jobs have sunk so low that they no longer attract Americans.
26. Questionable Premise. No, Muslims haven't been threatening New York City for twenty years. The World Trade Center was destroyed on 9/11 and a serious attempt was made to bomb it during the Clinton administration. Bad as that was, it doesn't constitute twenty years of threats on the city.
27. Straw man. Robertson radically distorts the feminist movement.
28. Either/or, but tricky. Clearly there is a third possibility involving those who want oil and natural resources developed in an irresponsible way by, for instance, not disposing of waste products responsibly. An argument could be made, though, that this item may not be fallacious if the intent is to say there are only two honorable sides in the debate-either to drill responsibly or to stand against drilling.
29. Suppressed Evidence and Questionable Premise. It is highly doubtful that baseball players will stop using performance-enhancing drugs for the simple reason that most players know that not all drugs can be detected in the urine tests routinely used to identify athletes on steroids, and some are bound to try to get away with using them. Every new type of steroid requires a tailor-made test. Rephrased, this fallacy could also be a hasty conclusion - because the report sent a shock wave through baseball, it doesn't necessarily follow that steroid usage will stop.
30. An obvious inconsistency.
31. Evading the issue. Haider fails to address the question why he praised Hitler's employment policies by responding that his commend was only one sentence out of a big debate.
32. Suppressed evidence. For every successful writer who started out this way there are untold thousands who did so and were not successful. (This is also an example of a 'truism' being trotted out to defend a conclusion.)
34. Appeal to authority.
35. Straw man. It is a gross distortion of feminist philosophy to say that liberationists believe the cruelest injustice women suffer is that they have babies and men do not.
CATE: Computer-Assisted Teaching Environment
Distance Education office at Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA USA
Last updated: 15:36 on 30 January 2013
Copyright © Steve Rubin
Contact Steve Rubin