rhetoric, rationalization, and bad argument strategies informal fallacies and non-arguments

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  • Slide 1
  • Rhetoric, Rationalization, and Bad Argument Strategies Informal Fallacies and Non-arguments
  • Slide 2
  • Argument from Outrage When anger functions as a premise May use selective presentation to attempt to create, increase, or confirm feelings of anger
  • Slide 3
  • Argument from Outrage When anger functions as a premise May use selective presentation to attempt to create, increase, or confirm feelings of anger May attempt to justify letting anger over one thing influence judgment about another, unrelated thing
  • Slide 4
  • Argument from Outrage When anger functions as a premise May use selective presentation to attempt to create, increase, or confirm feelings of anger May attempt to justify letting anger over one thing influence judgment about another, unrelated thing May simplistically attempt to focus anger on an easy target (scapegoating) Dennis Miller on war with Iraq: After 9/11, we had to do something!
  • Slide 5
  • Scare Tactics/Argument by Force When fear functions as a premise May use selective presentation to attempt to create, increase, or confirm feelings of fear
  • Slide 6
  • Scare Tactics/Argument by Force When fear functions as a premise May use selective presentation to attempt to create, increase, or confirm feelings of fear May attempt to justify letting fear of one thing influence judgment about another, unrelated thing
  • Slide 7
  • Scare Tactics/Argument by Force When fear functions as a premise May use selective presentation to attempt to create, increase, or confirm feelings of fear May attempt to justify letting fear of one thing influence judgment about another, unrelated thing Depends on inappropriate beliefs about what is feared To consider: Stockholm (Hostage) Syndrome -- acceptance of captors beliefs by hostages
  • Slide 8
  • Argument from Pity When sympathy functions as a premise Occurs often as self-deception
  • Slide 9
  • Argument from Pity When sympathy functions as a premise Occurs often as self-deception May make calculated demands on feelings of sympathy and compassion
  • Slide 10
  • Argument from Pity When sympathy functions as a premise Occurs often as self-deception May make calculated demands on feelings of sympathy and compassion May result in assumption of inadequately justified obligations
  • Slide 11
  • Argument from Pity When sympathy functions as a premise Occurs often as self-deception May make calculated demands on feelings of sympathy and compassion May result in assumption of inadequately justified obligations Can be mitigated by competent moral reasoning
  • Slide 12
  • Argument from Envy When jealousy motivates premises Selection of premises may be influenced by irrelevant feelings Unstated (assumed) premises are likely Likely to occur as interior rationalization Apple Polishing When flattery motivates premises
  • Slide 13
  • Wishful Thinking When hope or desire motivates premises Fallacy includes as a premise the belief that thinking or wishing will change probability
  • Slide 14
  • Wishful Thinking When hope or desire motivates premises Fallacy includes as a premise the belief that thinking or wishing will change probability Key wishful thinking premise may be an explicit metaphysical belief
  • Slide 15
  • Wishful Thinking When hope or desire motivates premises Fallacy includes as a premise the belief that thinking or wishing will change probability Key wishful thinking premise may be an explicit metaphysical belief May occur as interior rationalization, explanation of faith, or cheerleading
  • Slide 16
  • Peer Pressure/Group Think When need for approval or belonging motivates premises Claims accepted (function as true) because the group wants them accepted
  • Slide 17
  • Peer Pressure/Group Think When need for approval or belonging motivates premises Claims accepted (function as true) because the group wants them accepted Known fact: people may change beliefs or interpretations if they find themselves in the minority, even in a group of strangers
  • Slide 18
  • Peer Pressure/Group Think When need for approval or belonging motivates premises Claims accepted (function as true) because the group wants them accepted Known fact: people may change beliefs or interpretations if they find themselves in the minority, even in a group of strangers As nationalism, may be actively used to discourage critical thinking
  • Slide 19
  • Rationalizing When inauthentic premises are substituted for true motives to justify a conclusion Misdirects attention from potentially relevant facts or ideas
  • Slide 20
  • Rationalizing When inauthentic premises are substituted for true motives to justify a conclusion Misdirects attention from potentially relevant facts or ideas May constitute or result from self- deception
  • Slide 21
  • Rationalizing When inauthentic premises are substituted for true motives to justify a conclusion Misdirects attention from potentially relevant facts or ideas May constitute or result from self- deception Substituted premises may also support unintended conclusions
  • Slide 22
  • Argument from Popularity/ Tradition/Common Practice When a widely-held belief that something is true or right is deemed sufficient support Evidence supporting the belief or behavior is not accessible for evaluation
  • Slide 23
  • Argument from Popularity/ Tradition/Common Practice When a widely-held belief that something is true or right is deemed sufficient support Evidence supporting the belief or behavior is not accessible for evaluation Tends to gather strength with repetition
  • Slide 24
  • Argument from Popularity/ Tradition/Common Practice When a widely-held belief that something is true or right is deemed sufficient support Evidence supporting the belief or behavior is not accessible for evaluation Tends to gather strength with repetition When group decisions have performative power--as in most votes--what the group thinks actually can make a proposition true or make behavior right or wrong
  • Slide 25
  • Relativism/Subjectivism When truth is reduced to perspective Matters of fact and matters of opinion must be treated differently
  • Slide 26
  • Relativism/Subjectivism When truth is reduced to perspective Matters of fact and matters of opinion must be treated differently Legitimate differences in perception must be acknowledged
  • Slide 27
  • Relativism/Subjectivism When truth is reduced to perspective Matters of fact and matters of opinion must be treated differently Legitimate differences in perception must be acknowledged Cultural variables and prerogatives must be identified
  • Slide 28
  • Relativism/Subjectivism When truth is reduced to perspective Matters of fact and matters of opinion must be treated differently Legitimate differences in perception must be acknowledged Cultural variables and prerogatives must be identified Moral and ethical values are obvious cases in which preferences are decisive
  • Slide 29
  • Two Wrongs Fallacy When wrong is taken for right Begins with A harming B, or even being suspected of thinking harming B is OK
  • Slide 30
  • Two Wrongs Fallacy When wrong is taken for right Begins with A harming B, or even being suspected of thinking harming B is OK B decides to engage in wrongful behavior just because A did or might
  • Slide 31
  • Two Wrongs Fallacy When wrong is taken for right Begins with A harming B, or even being suspected of thinking harming B is OK B decides to engage in wrongful behavior just because A did or might Bs decision is simply reactive, and not the outcome of reasoned inference
  • Slide 32
  • Red Herring/Smokescreen When irrelevancies obscure relevant ones Both tend to introduce material that the audience will find attractive
  • Slide 33
  • Red Herring/Smokescreen When irrelevancies obscure relevant ones Both tend to introduce material that the audience will find attractive The red herring introduces distractions, especially ones that share significant features with the issue
  • Slide 34
  • Red Herring/Smokescreen When irrelevancies obscure relevant ones Both tend to introduce material that the audience will find attractive The red herring introduces distractions, especially ones that share significant features with the issue The smokescreen introduces new topics and complications that obscure the issue