Logical Fallacies: More Common then you Think

not every commercial is telling the truth

Examples of Logical Fallacies

Heinrichs categorizes common fallacies as the “seven deadly sins” and then future categorizes them into smaller groups. These include, bad proofs which include the three sins of false comparison, bad example, and ignorance as proof.

The second group is wrong number of choices which includes the one sin of false choice.

The third group is disconect between proof and conclusion which includes tautology, where the proof and the conclusion are identical, the red herring, and the wrong ending.

To Commit Fallacy or not to Commit Fallacy

What I thought was most interesting about the chapters on fallacies is that sometimes it’s okay. Heinrich tells the reader, “So long as you stick to argument, making a genuine attempt to persuade instead of win, rhetoric lets you get away with many fallacies that formal logic forbids” (Heinrichs, 156). This really stuck out to me because I always assumed that fallacies are wrong no matter what your intentions are, I mean he calls them the “Seven Deadly Sins.” That doesn’t really sound appealing to use them in a good way.

As I continued to read, however, I found out that I encounter and even say logical fallacies almost every day and I’m fine with it. The example he gave was telling someone to eat all their food because there are children starving in (insert country here). This type of fallacy is the sin of the wrong ending. Eating all of one’s food with unlikely lead to the ending of world hunger, but it sure did make me feel bad when I was a kid, so maybe it is okay to use fallacies, just make sure your intentions are well.

Fallacies in My Own Life

Reading these chapters, I decided to try to find some logical fallacies in the own life. As I was doing my makeup over the weekend I wondered why I buy the products that I use. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Tarte, Kylie Cosmetics, MorpheXJamesCharles. Why buy such expensive makeup when the cheap stuff does the same job more or less? I realized I buy the makeup that I do because celebrity X uses it so I must get product Y. This is an example of an appeal to popularity. I buy the makeup because if its good enough for the celebrity then it must be good. In reality, however, some of these celebrities don’t even use the products they endorse. But Jennifer Aniston doesn’t look like she ages so it must be the Aveeno lotion she endorses. Therefore, I need that lotion.

Overall, these chapters really made me rethink fallacies. Fallacies can be seen in everyday life, but not all are bad. I think the lesson Heinrichs is trying to say is that using fallacies is okay as long as your intentions are to persuade not win, but it is also important to be able to apot fallacies so you can be aware of when someone is trying to win an argument instead of persuade you.

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