• Bluebell Wood Elf
    2
    What are Logical Fallacies and how do we identify them?
    Logical Fallacies are errors in reasoning. If the arguments are invalid they lead to false conclusions.

    Errors in reasoning can occur both consciously and unconsciously. A person maybe heavily indoctrinated regarding a particular subject and so base all their arguments on essentially false premises due to limited experience and internal biases. However, what happens if their beliefs/presumed knowledge is shown to make no logical sense when looked into further?

    Well, people with high TSQ acknowledge their errors and are open to being educated. A belligerent attitude irrationally defending the previous errors would be classed as an example of low TSQ.

    When making an argument the basis of your argument should of course be truth and fact, this will be the strength of your case. For this, logic is needed to be present 'without' bias.

    It can be very easy to fall into the unconscious trap of logical fallacies if one is not aware of the various possible errors. Unless our logic is sound and free from error our statements rest on shifting sands and will not be of use.

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    The Two Types of Fallacies: Formal Fallacies and Informal Fallacies.
    Fallacies are hard to classify due to to their variety in structure and meaning. In the widest sense acceptable, fallacies can be divided into two types: formal fallacies and informal fallacies.

    Formal (deductive) fallacies happen when the outcome does not follow the premise. Roughly speaking this means that the conclusion ends up having nothing to do with the initial discussion, argument or claim. These are often referred to as 'non-sequiturs', people believing their reasoning is logical but it is often wrong or on another path.

    Deductive reasoning has to have the hypothesis correct, for instance it is assumed that statement A and B (below) are true before arriving at conclusion C.

    An example of a deductive argument would be: A) All flowers bloom B) Roses are flowers C) Therefore Roses bloom.

    Here are some examples of formal fallacies:
    • Bad Reasons Fallacy - This is when the conclusion is assumed to be bad because the argument is bad. For instance, assuming that someone is bad because they live in an undesirable neighbourhood and staying away from them because of it.
    • Masked Man Fallacy - known as Intentional Fallacy. This involves a substitution of those involved. If the two things that are interchanged are the same. Basically, just because each premise is true does not mean the conclusion is true. For example A) My dog is a bulldog B) A bulldog was seen C) My dog was the dog seen.
    • Appeal to Probability - A statement that takes something for granted because it is possible. For instance 'It is going to rain as it is cloudy'.
    • Fallacy of Quantitative Logic - Associated with the connected word and grammatical structure, such as 'All' or 'some'. For instance: Some writers are wise and All writers are wise. The meaning can be argued as examples can be found to the contrary.


    Informal (or inductive) fallacies are many. They are more common than formal fallacies and their numbers are close to endless. While formal fallacies are looked at through an study of the statement or claim, informal fallacies are seen through supporting evidence.

    The statement or point is not backed up with good enough reasons for being so.
    A good inductive argument is similar to this: A) The car has not exploded for all its existence. Therefore: (2) The car will not explode tomorrow.

    Informal Fallacies have many subcategories:
    Presumption - Presumption of truth without evidence.
    Examples of this include:
    • Complex Question Fallacy - Questionable assumptions.
    • Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - "after this, therefore because of this"
    • Hasty Generalisation Fallacy - Generalising
    • Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - "with this, therefore because of this"
    • Sweeping Generalisation Fallacy - Too large of an application of a situation. Jogging is good so we all should jog....
    • Slippery Slope Fallacy -Consequences, "If we let him in we have to let her in"
    • Tu Quoque Fallacy-Turning the criticism on the other.
    • Circular Argument - Taking proof from within the argument
    • False Dilemma - Presenting only two options when actually there are more.

    Relevance - Trying to persuade persuade people with irrelevant information, appealing to emotions rather than logic. Examples include:
    • Appeal to Authority - Attaching ones argument to a person
    • Attacking the Person - Personal insults
    • Appeal to Popular Opinion - What most people believe
    • Bandwagon Fallacy - Arguments based on current trends
    • Genetic Fallacy - Acceptance or rejection of things based on their source, not their merit.
    • Gambler's Fallacy - Believes that short-term deviations will correct.
    • Weak Analogy - Analogies between things that are not really alike.
    • Red Herring Fallacy - Distract from the argument at hand.

    Ambiguity - lack of clarity or by a misunderstanding of the words. Examples include:
    • Equivocation Fallacies - Words used multiple times with different meanings.
    • Accent Fallacies - A word or word parts being unclear
    • Straw Man Fallacies - Misrepresentations to make an argument look less powerful.
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    So to conclude the article I would say that as a person studying TSQ, logical fallacies should be high on the list of things to understand. for if we are to make a case or argument then it is important to take the time to know that our arguments are free from error and do not fall into the above problem areas.

    Sound logic will lead to the truth.

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
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