Why? The BIG Idea . . .

And then there's always witch-hunting . . .

EVERYTHING is an argument! We are daily bombarded with arguments in the media, in the classroom, by our friends and with those around us. It is important to be able to recognize logical fallacies in media messages as well as in conversation. This knowledge helps us avoid being manipulated by fallacious claims and learn how to avoid making those claims ourselves.

Directions for Fallacy Project:

  1. Find your fallacies on pages 402-407.
  2. Read about and research (with the links provided below or other sources) your fallacy.
  3. Then:
    1. (A.) define the fallacy,
    2. (B) provide two videos of the fallacy being used, and write a paragraph showing how this is a good example of your FALLACY. Consider commercials, presidential/local officials' debates or sound bites. sitcom episodes, satirical skits, etc. If you cannot find a visual or a video, create one yourself and upload it onto your page; finally,
    3. (C) upload all of your work to your wiki page.

For your explanation paragraphs:
  • First, identify and explain the argument being presented. It is sometimes helpful to paraphrase the argument. You might consider writing down each premise as a separate line.
  • Keep in mind that sometimes a larger argument might contain smaller sub-arguments.
  • Remember that arguments may be implied rather than stated explicitly.
  • Then ask yourselves, “What am I supposed to believe after I watch this ad?” and “Why do they ask me to believe it?”

Useful information on fallacies:

Dr. Wheeler's Logical Fallacy List

The Fallacy Files

UNC Fallacies

Barney and Otis: False Dilemma--Either/Or Fallacy

Evangelist David Baron: False Authority and Argument to the People

Family Guy: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc