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Fallacies Analysis

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Appeal to unknowable statistics This is a fallacious argument based on providing doubtful statistical data that will nor probably be checked or verified, or even does not coincide with the assertion. In commercials, we can see the example, e.g. statements that 9 of 10 makeup artists recommend this BB-cream or lipstick. Ad Hominem This type of fallacy implies attacking the opponent rather than his/her arguments, which is often presented in the form of personal remarks about appearance, lifestyle, occupation, tastes and other unrelated domains of one’s life. This is a fallacy, for such appeals are irrelevant in the discussion.

The example is the following: a wife asks her husband to drop speed appealing to the argument that the road is slippery and there usually many accidents in such weather. The husband, in his turn, attacks her stating that she doesn’t even have a driver’s license and thus cannot be right Guilt by association Guilt by association is a fallacy used to compromise the opponent who cannot be reproach for anything through attacking people s/he is connected with or through associating the opponent with controversial people.

For example, trying to compromise the city mayor attacking his relative who was seen driving under the influence is creating guilt by association. Two wrongs make a right The fallacy to defend and justify one’s right actions with help of referring to someone other acting in the similar way is the fallacy called ‘two wrongs make a right’. People tend to use this fallacy commonly for defending their wrongdoings, while referring to two or more people doing the same makes this action a common practice. There are many examples of this fallacy in our daily life, e.g.

crossing the road in an inappropriate place and justifying this action with the fact that other people do it, too. Equivocation This type of fallacy is based on manipulation of the words’ multiple meanings to make a suitable conclusion, yet the conclusion will be irrelevant, if the word meaning used for it is distorted. For example, if the citizens of the country have the right to free speech, then it would be absolutely right to speak one’s mind freely in public places. Here, the word ‘right’ is equivocated.

Appeal to ignorance This appeal is used to defeat the opponent’s arguments relying on impossibility to prove his/her position. In other words, one could wrongly equalize impossibility of proving existence of something to the proof of its inexistence.

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