Evaluating Logical Fallacies

Essay by swshraderjrUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2006

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Logical fallacies are an unpleasant fact. Many logical fallacies are taught to us in our youth, and others are presented in advertisements, politics, and the media. This paper will evaluate three logical fallacies and their relation to critical thinking. Finally, organizational examples will be used to illustrate each of the three fallacies.

Before a fallacy can be described, it is important an argument be described. An argument is best described as "one or more premises and one conclusion" (Labossiere, 1995, 2). A premise is a statement made, either false or true, to support the argument. The two types of arguments are deductive and inductive arguments. A inductive argument is where the premises appear to provide support for the conclusion and deductive argument is "known as a valid argument and is such that if all its premises are true, then its conclusion must be true" (Labossiere, 3).

Ad Hominem

The first logical fallacy we will look at is the fallacy of Ad Hominem or the fallacy of personal attack as it is generally known.

The Ad Hominem happens when we "reject a persons claim or argument by attacking the person rather than the claim or argument" (Bassham, Irwin, Nardone, & Wallace, 2002, 143). Ad Hominem is Latin and translated in English its literal meaning is "against the man" or "against the person". Politicians routinely participate in this type of fallacy. It is not uncommon to see a debate between two candidates happen and instead of countering an argument, the politician will instead personally attack the other politician. I have experienced the Ad Hominem during various times of my life. The most prominent act that I have experienced involved the abortion debate that rages in this country. Very early into my marriage my wife and I were expecting our first child and...