Philosophy and ‘Logical Fallacies’

“A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning and logic” (Baxter, Charlotte, Mikki)

One of our focuses in philosophy during term 4 has been different forms of reasoning. Students recently learned about ‘logical fallacies’, when we argue a point using invalid or poor arguments.

Students had great fun unpacking logical fallacies made by politicians, and it was fantastic to see the connections they made to both their debating and during advertising analysis in reading workshops also.

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“An example of a logical fallacy can be  – when someone was taking up the entire couch in a attempt to be funny. When I said “stop trying to to be funny” they said “stop trying to be funny.” The logical fallacy here was ‘tu quoque’ which is avoiding criticism by turning it back on the accuser. Or in other words answering criticism with criticism” (Gil)

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“A good example is Donald trump, as most of the logical fallacies he committed are also things he didn’t do. Some good examples of logical fallacies are the “begging the question” logical fallacy in which a question has itself inside of it. Example: “why are you so smart?” “I’ve always been smart.” and the ‘ad hominem’ fallacy in which a attack on a person’s personality is used to prove their point wrong. Example: “why would we believe someone who used to smoke, smells weird and prefers cats to dogs?” (Rupert)

“Adults use the ‘appeal to emotion’ fallacy when a kid doesn’t want their food, they might say ‘think of the starving people who don’t have any food, your lucky that you have food’.
Adults may also use ‘burden of proof’. They may say ‘I used to walk a mile to get to school’. No one can prove the adult wrong – therefore its seen as ‘true’ (Remy, Fred and Polly.)

“Logical fallacies are almost always a ‘red flag’, but can be used to prove a point”.
(Rosa, Veronica, Rupert)

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In this example we used ‘Straw man’ which is turning one thing someone said into something else to benefit you. For example Seb was doing a task for reading were he had to answer five questions about a text that he was given. One of the questions was to describe the persons character. There was a sentence saying “if i’m not making enough money that would be awful. Then I wouldn’t be able to pay the people who work here!” But Seb only used the first part of it, which made the person sound bad, therefore turning what he said into something else. (Seb and Bintu)

IMG_3173“It’s important to realise about logical fallacies because they are around you every day. And it helps you develop logical arguments that make sense.it is important to know about logical fallacies also because they will appear everywhere throughout students life in politics and especially in ads. For example, the Uber Eats ads have the logical fallacy ‘appeal to authority’ because there are authorities in it. [Fletcher and Roma]

For more on logical fallacies, visit out links page.

 

 

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