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Welcome! This is the place to ask the community of experts and other fallacyophites (I made up that word) if someone has a committed a fallacy or not. This is a great way to settle a dispute! This is also the home of the "Mastering Logical Fallacies" student support.


Dr. Bo's Criteria for Logical Fallacies:

  1. It must be an error in reasoning not a factual error.
  2. It must be commonly applied to an argument either in the form of the argument or in the interpretation of the argument.
  3. It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult.

Therefore, we will define a logical fallacy as a concept within argumentation that commonly leads to an error in reasoning due to the deceptive nature of its presentation. Logical fallacies can comprise fallacious arguments that contain one or more non-factual errors in their form or deceptive arguments that often lead to fallacious reasoning in their evaluation.

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Daniella

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Daniella


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Mon, Feb 04, 2019 - 02:57 PM

1.Wow! Did you see that teenager run that stop sign? Teenage drivers are really pathetic.

what type of fallacy is this?



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4 Answers

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Rich McMahon
Ye Olde Logician

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Rich McMahon

Ye Olde Logician

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About Rich McMahon

Retired Chemist, Fortune 500 Co. Exec., and Wall St. i-Banker. Now a fledgling Playwright & lyricist. Currently living la Vida Meditativo on a mountain in CO.
Print Mon, Feb 04, 2019 - 04:48 PM
It may not be a fallacy at all, if (left unsaid by the 'accuser', but factored into his statement) awareness of documented statistical evidence exists sufficient to make this point factually, e.g., that teenage drivers have a substantially higher accident rate than other demographic/age groups.
In this event (& I have no idea whether this is the case) the presumed fallacy fails, in light of additional evidence known to the accuser.

I think the broader point is that at best, this a WEAK fallacy, either ad hominem or hasty generalization. Let's take the counter argument i.e., that the
accuser had no such statistical knowledge, implicating teenage drivers. He may simply be speaking from his EXPERIENCE as a driver, and may have had
a series of bad encounters with teenage drivers. In this case he is voicing his EXPERIENCE-BASED OPINION. Yes, you can argue presence of a fallacy, but the strength of any fallacy is directly proportional to the degree to which LOGIC becomes absent or violated. The mistake I've seen made most frequently on this Forum is to confuse an OPINION, even a demonstrably factually incorrect opinion, with the necessary presence of a Logical Fallacy. Not the case!

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Abdulazeez Alabbasi

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Abdulazeez Alabbasi


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Print Mon, Feb 04, 2019 - 02:59 PM
hasty generalization


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Michael Chase Walker
Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Master Contributor

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Michael Chase Walker

Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Master Contributor

About Michael Chase Walker

Michael Chase Walker is an actor, author, screenwriter, producer, and a former adjunct lecturer for the College of Santa Fe Moving Images Department, and Dreamworks Animation. His first motion picture was the animated classic, The Last Unicorn.
Michael was an in-house television writer for the hit television series: He-Man, She-Ra, Voltron, and V, the Series. In 1985, he was appointed Director of Children's programs for CBS Entertainment where he conceived, shaped and supervised the entire 1985 Saturday Morning line-up: Wildfire, Pee Wee's Playhouse, Galaxy High School, Teen Wolf, and over 10
Print Mon, Feb 04, 2019 - 03:54 PM
Ad Hominem (Guilt by Association)
argumentum ad hominem

(also known as: association fallacy, bad company fallacy, company that you keep fallacy, they’re not like us fallacy, transfer fallacy)

Description: When the source is viewed negatively because of its association with another person or group who is already viewed negatively.

Logical Form:

Person 1 states that Y is true.
Person 2 also states that Y is true, and person 2 is a moron.
Therefore, person 1 must be a moron too.

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William Harpine, Ph.D.

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William Harpine, Ph.D.


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Print Tue, Feb 05, 2019 - 07:17 AM
Over-generalization. Many teenage drivers are indeed inexperienced and aggressive, but it is unreasonable to draw the conclusion that this applies to all teenage drivers.


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Registered User Comments

Bo Bennett, PhD
moderator
Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 07:32:44 AM
@Rich McMahon: Well said. It is important to understand the a) meaning of the claim rather than just assume the meaning and b) historical data that may support the claim, and c) if it is a clear opinion. In the case of "Wow! Did you see that teenager run that stop sign? Teenage drivers are really pathetic!"

a) Does this person literally mean that all or even most teenage drivers are literally "pathetic"? Maybe, but let's give the person the benefit of the doubt.

b) Assuming "pathetic" is an exaggeration for "worse than other categories of drivers," the data certainly do support this claim.

c) Is the person making an actual argument that they are willing to defend, or just expressing an opinion or making an emotional statement? It appears to be that way. Again, I tend to give people the benefit of doubt.

What we (or at least I) care about most here is "Is this person being unreasonable?" In this case, I don't think so.

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