Attacking Faulty Reasoning A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2000-06-14
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
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ATTACKING FAULTY REASONING is the most comprehensive, readable, and theoretically sound book on the common fallacies. It is designed to help one construct and evaluate arguments. The overriding purpose of the text is to help the students recognize when they construct or encounter a good or successful argument of a particular action or belief. This one skill is reinforced on every page of the text, from the first three chapters that focus on the criteria for a good argument, through the four major chapters on the fallacies or ways that arguments can go wrong. The emphasis is on resolving issues rather than pointing out flaws in arguments.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Reasons for Using Good Argumentsp. 1
Goals of the Textp. 2
A Code of Intellectual Conductp. 4
A Code of Conduct for Effective Rational Discussionp. 5
The Fallibility Principlep. 5
The Truth-Seeking Principlep. 5
The Clarity Principlep. 5
The Burden of Proof Principlep. 5
The Principle of Charityp. 5
The Relevance Principlep. 6
The Acceptability Principlep. 6
The Sufficiency Principlep. 6
The Rebuttal Principlep. 6
The Resolution Principlep. 6
The Suspension of Judgment Principlep. 6
The Reconsideration Principlep. 6
The Fallibility Principlep. 7
The Truth-Seeking Principlep. 8
The Clarity Principlep. 9
Guide Questionsp. 10
What is an Argument?p. 11
An Argument Is a Claim Supported by Other Claimsp. 11
Distinguishing Argument from Opinionp. 12
The Burden of Proof Principlep. 13
The Standard Form of an Argumentp. 14
The Principle of Charityp. 16
Deductive Versus Inductive Strength of Argumentsp. 17
Moral Argumentsp. 19
Guide Questionsp. 22
What is a Good Argument?p. 23
A Good Argument Must Meet Four Criteriap. 23
The Relevance Principlep. 23
The Acceptability Principlep. 25
Criteria of Acceptabilityp. 26
Conditions of Unacceptabilityp. 27
The Sufficiency Principlep. 28
The Rebuttal Principlep. 29
Making Arguments Strongerp. 31
Applying the Criteria to Argumentsp. 31
Constructing Good Argumentsp. 37
The Resolution Principlep. 38
The Suspension of Judgment Principlep. 40
The Reconsideration Principlep. 40
Guide Questionsp. 40
What is a Fallacy?p. 42
A Fallacy Is a Violation of a Criterion of a Good Argumentp. 42
Named Versus Unnamed Fallaciesp. 43
Organization of the Fallaciesp. 44
Attacking the Fallacyp. 46
Rules of the Gamep. 49
Guide Questionsp. 50
Fallacies That Violate the Relevance Criterionp. 51
Fallacies of Irrelevancep. 51
Irrelevant or Questionable Authorityp. 51
Appeal to Common Opinionp. 54
Genetic Fallacyp. 55
Rationalizationp. 57
Drawing the Wrong Conclusionp. 59
Using the Wrong Reasonsp. 61
Exercisesp. 63
Irrelevant Emotional Appealsp. 65
Appeal to Pityp. 65
Appeal to Force or Threatp. 67
Appeal to Traditionp. 69
Appeal to Personal Circumstancesp. 71
Exploitation of Strong Feelingsp. 73
Use of Flatteryp. 75
Assigning Guilt by Associationp. 76
Exercisesp. 78
Additional Exercisesp. 79
Fallacies That Violate the Acceptability Criterionp. 82
Fallacies of Linguistic Confusionp. 82
Equivocationp. 83
Ambiguityp. 85
Improper Accentp. 87
Illicit Contrastp. 89
Argument by Innuendop. 91
Misuse of a Vague Expressionp. 93
Distinction Without a Differencep. 95
Exercisesp. 97
Begging-the-Question Fallaciesp. 98
Arguing in a Circlep. 98
Question-Begging Languagep. 100
Complex Questionp. 102
Leading Questionp. 104
Question-Begging Definitionp. 106
Exercisesp. 107
Unwarranted Assumption Fallaciesp. 109
Fallacy of the Continuump. 110
Fallacy of Compositionp. 112
Fallacy of Divisionp. 114
False Alternativesp. 115
Is-Ought Fallacyp. 117
Wishful Thinkingp. 118
Misuse of a Principlep. 120
Fallacy of the Meanp. 121
Faulty Analogyp. 123
Fallacy of Noveltyp. 125
Exercisesp. 127
Additional Exercisesp. 128
Fallacies That Violate the Sufficiency Criterionp. 131
Fallacies of Missing Evidencep. 131
Insufficient Samplep. 131
Unrepresentative Datap. 133
Arguing from Ignorancep. 135
Contrary-to-Fact Hypothesisp. 138
Fallacy of Popular Wisdomp. 140
Inference from a Name or Descriptionp. 142
Fallacy of Impossible Precisionp. 143
Special Pleadingp. 145
Omission of Key Evidencep. 147
Exercisesp. 148
Causal Fallaciesp. 150
Confusion of a Necessary with a Sufficient Conditionp. 150
Causal Oversimplificationp. 152
Post Hoc Fallacyp. 153
Confusion of Cause and Effectp. 155
Neglect of a Common Causep. 157
Domino Fallacyp. 158
Gambler's Fallacyp. 159
Exercisesp. 161
Additional Exercisesp. 163
Fallacies That Violate the Rebuttal Criterionp. 166
Fallacies of Counterevidencep. 167
Denying the Counterevidencep. 167
Ignoring the Counterevidencep. 169
Exercisesp. 171
Ad Hominem Fallaciesp. 172
Abusive Ad Hominemp. 172
Poisoning the Wellp. 174
Tu Quoque Fallacyp. 176
Exercisesp. 178
Fallacies of Diversionp. 179
Attacking a Straw Manp. 179
Trivial Objectionsp. 181
Red Herringp. 183
Diversionary Humor or Ridiculep. 185
Exercisesp. 186
Additional Exercisesp. 187
Glossary of Fallaciesp. 191
Answers to Selected Exercisesp. 197
Indexp. 205
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