Fallacies from Chapter 5 - 5469
False charge of fallacy
False charge of fallacy
Erroneously accusing another of a fallacy or fallacious reasoning
1st person: gives argument
2nd person: charges 1st person with a fallacy
any named fallacy
How to Explain
State why 2nd person is incorrect in their charge
1st person: Either we eat out or we don't
2nd person: That's a false dilemma
1. A false charge of a fallacy is when one person erroneously accuses another person of a fallacy or of fallacious reasoning. There is always two parts to this fallacy. The first part involves a person offering an argument. The second part involves a person falsely accusing the first person of committing a fallacy, usually by naming the fallacy that the second person believes the first person committed.
2. A correct charge of a fallacy is when one correctly accuses another person of a fallacy or of fallacious reasoning.
3. To recognize a false charge of a fallacy or a correct charge of a fallacy, it is important to remember the names and definitions of all of the fallacies that we have studied.
4. Try to avoid quibbling, that is, avoid taking issue with inconsequential assumptions. Try not to be overly critical in finding fault with someone's argument.
1. 1st person: "Either we eat out or we don't."
2nd person: "That's a false dilemma."
Analysis: This is a false charge of a fallacy because there is no possible third choice. Thus, there is no false dilemma.
2. Amy: “You either believe in ghosts or you don't. Now which is it?”
George”: “That’s a false dilemma.”
Analysis: This is a correct charge of a fallacy because there is a possible third choice, namely that the person has not made up their mind one way or the other.
3. Donna: "I used to be pro-choice on abortion but after much soul searching and research on the subject, I changed my belief to pro-life."
Ralph: "You're being inconsistent".
Analysis: This is a false charge of a fallacy because Donna has given good reasons for changing her mind on abortion. Thus, she is not committing the fallacy of inconsistency. Remember that inconsistency is an unreasonable change of mind. We are allowed to change our mind about some issue based upon changing circumstances or new evidence.
4. Barbara: "Pat Buchanan apparently believes that we should put some limits on immigration into the U.S.
Carl: "You just committed the straw man fallacy".
Analysis: This is a false charge of fallacy because it is true that Pat Buchanan believes that we should put some limits on immigration into the U.S. Thus, it is not a straw man fallacy.
5. John: "Senator Kennedy thinks that we should spend less on defense. He probably thinks terrorists will never attack us again".
Rosa: " "You just committed the straw man fallacy".
Analysis: This is a correct charge of a fallacy because it is very doubtful that Senator Kennedy thinks that terrorists will never attack us again. Thus, John has committed the straw man fallacy.
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Last updated: 15:23 on 30 January 2013
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