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The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Recognizing and Avoiding Logical Fallacies

Culture, Debates, Education, Leadership, Life, Policy, Rant Rave, Vote

Day 20 – Still No real response from the Mayor – Inability to make decisions based on anything other than his own self-interest

 

I hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day and pauses to remember those in the military that are no longer with us!

 

In one of my writing classes in college years ago, my teacher gave us a print out/hand out of Logical Fallacies to watch for.  I have scanned them and converted them to word.  There was no mention of a source nor did she cite it (I guess teachers can forget to work cite in handouts, such an oversight.  Should we flog them or let them off.  What do you think Mike?).  I was able to track down the current source of it as the Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers, Seventh Edition and it has a few new things to which I didn’t include.

 

She said it was so important to watch these unfold in debates.  Since we are in the mitts of the Presidential debates, each week I will post one.  Watch for them and you will see them happen all around you.  You might even become more educated/informed and isn’t that a good thing.  To one person I think not.

 

Logic is correct reasoning.  Logic is the process by which statements are supported with adequate proof by being tested against the right amount and kind of evidence, the process by which knowledge is rendered reliable—in short the “Science of proof.”  Pure Logic is unbeatable. 

 

How can I recognize and avoid logical fallacies?

  Logical fallacies are flaws in reasoning that lead to illogical statements.  Though logical fallacies tend to occur when ideas are being argued, they can be found in all types of writing. Most logical fallacies masquerade as reasonable statements, but they’re in fact attempts to manipulate readers by appealing to their emotions instead of their intellects, their hearts rather then their heads. The names by which logical fallacies are known indicate the way that thinking has gone wrong.

 

Mayor and City people make sure to look at 6, 7, and 8 of “Daily Practices to improve logic”

 

Daily Practices to improve logic:

 
  1. Don’t accept anything as true, which you do not clearly know to be such; that is, avoid hasty judgments and prejudice will prevent jumping the gun.  It requires a disciplined mind.
  2. Divide each difficulty under examination into as many parts as possible, or into as many as necessary for the solution of the problem.  Most problems are combinations of problems and this failure to understand such will lead to jumping to conclusion.
  3. Begin with the things that are simplest and easiest to understand, and then ascend to knowledge of the more complex.
  4. Make enumerations so complete, and reviews so comprehensive, that you may be assured that nothing is omitted.
  5. Draw out in tables or lists of what you know, and that which is wrong.  If Boolean algebra is needed make, your truth tables of items.  Make flow charts of the problem(s).
  6. The answer is in the details. Study each part as itself and then as a whole.
  7. Ask yourself this: “Is it logical, illogical, or nonlogical?  Nonlogical does not mean illogical.  Nonlogical is a statement like “I like to travel,” or “I love you” (showing emotion or opinions) are ordinarily regarded as nonargumentative and do not require supporting evidence since it solely is in the head of the person making the statement.  Illogical is one, which violates the rules of sound reasoning (like added 2 plus 2 and getting 5).
  8. Do not use All, Always, Never, Forever, Not ever, as they lead to false conclusions by over simplifying and generalizing.
  9. The most simplest answer may or may not be the one.  If it truly is only one problem, then the simplest answer is most likely the correct one.  If it is a series of problems, or more than one interconnecting problem, then it is no longer just simple.
 

Here are the topics I will be posting on this subject.  I will post one or two of them together depending on size.

 

Hasty generalization

False analogy

Begging the question

Irrelevant argument

False cause

Self-contradiction

Red herring

Argument to the person

Guilt by association

Jumping on the bandwagon

False or irrelevant authority

Card-stacking

The either-or fallacy

Taking something out of context

Appeal to ignorance

Ambiguity and equivocation 

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