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Arguments from Analogy (similarity) P1 A is similar to B in possessing properties 1, 2, 3…. P2 A also possesses property N C So, B possesses property N Terminology: A is the analogue. B is the primary...

Arguments from Analogy (similarity)
P1 A is similar to B in possessing properties 1, 2, 3….
P2 A also possesses property N
C So, B possesses property N
Terminology:
A is the analogue.
B is the primary subject.
1, 2, 3 etc are the shared properties.
N is the target property.
Example:
P1 A Midsummer Night’s Dream is similar to The Tempest in that both plays were written by William Shakespeare, both are comedies, they are similar in length and they are both written in Elizabethan English.
P2 A Midsummer Night’s Dream was read by me in the space of an evening.
C So, The Tempest could be read by me in the space of an evening.
Evaluating Arguments from Analogy:
1. How many properties do A and B share, and (more importantly) how relevant are those properties to the conclusion?
(Note: A property is relevant to the conclusion if it increases the likelihood of B having property N.)
2. How many properties do A and B have which are not shared, and (more importantly) how relevant are these dissimilarities to the conclusion?
(Note: A dissimilarity is relevant to the conclusion if it decreases the likelihood of B having property N.)
3. Are there things other than A which are similar to B in relevant respects, and if so, do these things have property N.
Another Example:
P1 Earth is similar to Twin Earth in that both are planets of the same size, revolving around stars of the same size and type at the same distance from those stars.
P2 Earth has intelligent life.
C So, Twin Earth has intelligent life.
Further Information:
Earth and Twin Earth are both approximately 4 billion years old.
There is no water on twin earth.

Some Common Fallacies

Appeal to Inappropriate Authority: arguing that a claim is true because it is
made by an expert, when the claim is about matters which are outside the
expert’s field of expertise.
e.g. It is ridiculous to believe in God. Professor Richard Dawkins, the famous
evolutionary biologist, says religion is only superstition.

Ad Hominem (against the person): this occurs when instead of considering a
person’s claim or argument on it’s merits, one simply attacks the person
proposing the argument as bad, stupid etc,, and takes this as justification for
ejecting their claim or argument.
e.g. Of course academics argue in favour of proposed expansion of university
education: the more aspiring graduates there are, the more job opportunities
there are for people like them.

Tu quoque (you too): this is a special form of ad hominem which involves
ejecting a person’s claim or argument because they are hypocritical and don’t
act in accordance with their own claims.
e.g Peter: ‘Based on the arguments I have presented, it is evident that it is
morally wrong to use animals for food or clothing.’
Bill: ‘But you are wearing a leather jacket and you have a roast beef sandwich in
your hand! How can you say that using animals for food and clothing is wrong.

Appeal to Popularity/Majority: arguing that a claim must be true simply
ecause many/most people believe it is true.
e.g. Most people in the world today still believe God exists. It has to be true.

Peer Pressure: believing a claim is true simply because one’s peers believe it.
e.g. All my friends think the Beatles suck. So, I guess they must suck.

Appeal to Tradition: arguing that because a belief or practice has existed for a
long time it must be true or good.
e.g. Bullfighting has always been part of Spanish culture. So, it must morally
acceptable.

Appeal to Ignorance: this consists in arguing that because a claim has not been
demonstrated to be false it must be true, or alternatively, that because a claim
has not been demonstrated to be true it must be false.
e.g. Of course there is a God. No one has ever shown that there isn’t.

Appeal to Pity: occurs when someone urges acceptance of a claim on grounds of
pity, when those grounds are i
elevant to the truth of the claim.
e.g. Jones certainly deserves the job. He’s got two children and his wife is very ill
ight now.

Appeal to Fear: believing that something is true because one has been
threatened with harm if one doesn’t believe it. E.g. I’m sure you agree that our
party should be supported. You might lose your job if you don’t

Wishful Thinking: believing that something is true simply because one strongly
desires that it be true.
e.g. I know I’m going to win the lottery because I desperately need the money.

Fallacy of hasty generalization: making a claim about a group/class on the
asis of a sample which is too small to be representative of the group as a whole.
e.g. Three Martians were observed in this area and they were all green.
Therefore, all Martians are green.

Fallacy of biased generalization: drawing a conclusion about all members of a
class on the basis of a sample which is not representative because it was not
selected randomly (i.e. not all members of the class had a roughly equal chance
of being selected to be included in the sample).
e.g. 99% of all people coming out of Football Park after a football match said that
they liked football. So, 99% of all Australians like football.

Post hoc Fallacy: arguing that simply because event B occu
ed after event A, it
must have been caused by event A.
e.g. Since I started wearing my magic crystal necklace I haven’t been sick once.
So, my magic crystal necklace prevents me from getting ill.

Fallacy of jumping from co
elation to cause: arguing that because A and B
are always or often found together B must have been caused by A.
e.g. All animals which have kidneys also have a heart. So, having a kidney is the
causes an animal to have a heart

The Slippery Slope Fallacy: asserting that some event must inevitably follow
from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question.
e.g. "We have to stop the tuition increase! The next thing you know, they'll be
charging \$40,000 a semester!"

Selected Answers to Practice Questions on Fallacies
Name any fallacy (e.g. appeal to the majority, ad hominem, post hoc fallacy etc) in each
of the following passages, state the conclusion, and
iefly explain why the premises fail
to provide adequate support for the conclusion.
1. Since I came into office two years ago, the rate of violent crime has decreased
significantly. So, it is clear that the longer prison sentences our government introduced are
working.
Fallacy: Post hoc fallacy
Conclusion: It is clear that the longer prison sentences our government introduced are
working.
Explanation: The mere fact that one event i.e. the rate of violent crime decreasing occu
ed
after another event (i.e. longer prison sentences) does not provide adequate support for the
claim that the latter caused the former, because lots of other things occu
ed before the
decrease in the rate of violent crime, and one of these, e.g. perhaps restrictions on late night
alcohol consumption, may have caused the decrease.
2. I have just
oken up with my boyfriend – it just goes to show that I’ll never make a
elationship work.
Fallacy: the fallacy of hasty generalisation.
Conclusion: I’ll never make a relationship work.
Explanation: The premise is based on a sample which is not representative because it is too
small (i.e. only one relationship) and so it cannot provide adequate support for a universal
conclusion.
3. We realise our proposal concerning the li
ary is flawed. But the merits of the proposal
outweigh its flaws. After all, we worked awfully hard on it and for so many hours! I hate to
think that we wasted all that time. Also, if you reject it, I might be denied my next promotion.
Fallacy: Appeal to Pity
Conclusion: The merits of our proposal concerning the li
ary outweigh its flaws.
Explanation: The premises, e.g. I might be denied my next promotion etc, may arouse pity
and so cause us to accept the conclusion, but they are i
elevant to the conclusion. Whether
the conclusion is true or not depends instead on whether it will actually make the li
ary
etter.
4. Poet Allen Ginsberg has argued in favour of abolishing censorship of pornographic
literature. But Ginsberg’s arguments are nothing but trash. Ginsberg, you know is a
marijuana-smoking homosexual and a thoroughgoing advocate of the drug culture.
Conclusion: Ginsberg’s arguments (in favour of abolishing censorship of pornographic
literature) are nothing but trash.
Explanation: The premises, e.g Ginsberg is a marijuana-smoking homosexual, are just a
personal attack on Ginsberg, and are i
elevant to the soundness of his argument which
depends only on the quality of the argument itself, and not on any (alleged) personal defects
of the arguer.
5. Abortion is wrong because Dr Skarn, the physicist who won the Nobel Prize for physics
for his work on cold fusion, says it is wrong.
Fallacy: Appeal to Inappropriate Authority.
Conclusion: Abortion is wrong.
Explanation: The premise, Dr Skarn says abortion is wrong, does not provide adequate
support for the conclusion because he is making a claim in an area (i.e. ethics) which is
outside his area of expertise (physics).
6. God must exist. After all, I just saw a poll that says 85% of all Americans believe in God.
Fallacy: Appeal to the Majority.
Conclusion: God must exist.
Explanation: The premise, 85% of Americans believe in God, does not provide adequate
support for the conclusion because majorities can be, and often are, mistaken in their view.

Name:                            Student#
Clear Thinking and Logic – JFSP 2020
Test 6 – Class 2
Time Allowed: 30 minutes
Name the
Answered Same Day May 28, 2021

Solution

Arunavo answered on May 28 2021
Name:                            Student#
Clear Thinking and Logic – JFSP 2020
Test 6– Class 2
Time Allowed: 30 minutes
Name the fallacy (e.g. ad hominem, wishful thinking, post hoc fallacyetc) in each of the following passages. Also state the conclusion of the argument, and then explain why the passage fails to provide adequate justification for that conclusion. Finally, for question 1. only, state the conclusion indicator.
1. I went to see my accountant last week so that he could do my tax return for me. He told me that the government should lift the cu
ent lockdown and allow covid-19 to spread through the community so that we can develop herd immunity. It follows that, the government should immediately lift all lockdown restrictions.
Name of Fallacy: Appeal to Inappropriate Authority
Conclusion: Being an accountant it is in appropriate to provide judgement on medical field.
Conclusion Indicator: The conclusion shows that lack of general knowledge shown by the accountant
Explanation: An accountant is expert with respect to the economic terms and is only good enough to provide decisions on the government’s decision on any financial sector or economic sector. An accountant cannot able to provide explanation regarding the herd immunity that can be gathered after the Covid-19 disease spread in the community as the accountant have no in-depth knowledge regarding the medical science.
2. I asked three people at random the other day whether they had downloaded the Covid-safe app as requested by the government. Two of them answered that they had, on the basis of which, I concluded that two thirds of all Australians have downloaded the Covid-safe app.
Name of Fallacy: Fallacy of hasty generalization
Conclusion; Two among three Australians action cannot represent the data for the entire population.
Explanation: In this scenario, only two among the three people responded that they have installed the Covid-safe app and that cannot be a basis for the entire population of Australia. Hence, just analysing only three people cannot be considered as a general...
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