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Identifying Logical Fallacies

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A logical fallacy can be termed as a reasoning mistake. The mistakes must be logical. Logical fallacies can also be considered to be arguments required in most o the academic writing tasks. Fallacies weaken these arguments.

Logical Fallacies and their examples

  1. 1.      False analogy

Example: Employees and nails are one and the same thing. This argues that, as one needs to hit the nail on its head for it to work, it is the same that needs to be done to employees for them to work (Nair, 2010).

  1. 2.      False Dilemma

Example. “You can’t eat your cake and have it too”. It is so obvious that once you have eaten your cake, you can’t have it with you again. The fallacy argues of the impossibility of a person having something in two ways in case those ways happen to conflict one another. (Zimmer, 2006).

  1. 3.      Red Herring

Example:  I understand your car is not in its right conditional position. If you had taken the step of going earlier to the store, you could have avoided these problems (Slick, 2010). The aim of this fallacy is to divert the attention of the original issue by introducing an irrelevant topic with the aim of winning the argument.

  1. 4.      Circular Reasoning

Example: A woman who wants to conduct an abortion claims, “I have the right over my body, therefore keep your opinions to yourself” (Logical fallacies, 2009). Circular reasoning tries to beg the question.

  1. 5.      Hasty Generalization

     Example: “When I asked six of my friends about what they thought of the way am spending nowadays, they agreed with me that I had taken the right step” (Downes, 2001). To support the conclusion, the sample size is too small.

  1. 6.      Slippery slope

Example: It is advisable for one not to gamble. Gambling is like a disease that when one starts, it’s hard for them to stop. All the money will be spent in gambling and one will end up in crime in order to support themselves (Downes, 2001). The aim of this fallacy is to show that a sequence of unacceptable events will follow once an unacceptable step is taken.

  1. 7.      Bandwagon appeal

Example: Everyone is selfish that is, they are doing what they believe makes them happier. “What makes you feel guilty while seeking for happiness which is what everyone is doing?” (Browne, 1973). The fallacy shows that there is nothing wrong in doing something that others are doing.

  1. 8.      Stacking the deck

Example: For them to win, gamblers ‘stack the deck’ by arranging the cards in their favor. (Hatch, 1996). This fallacy shows of rejection, ignorance or omission of evidence supporting an opposing argument.

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