write a discussion after you read this.
this discussion have to be at least 200 words. thank you so much!
In our readings for this week we are examining various ways that reasoning can go wrong. Of course, there a multitudes of ways in which this can happen, however, some are so common that they are given their own names. Certain errors qualify as “fallacies.” Generally speaking, a fallacy involves some form of argumentation that, if not examined closely, may pass for legitimate reasoning. What makes it a fallacy however, is the fact that in one way or another, the reason and/or underlying assumptions put forth do not adequately support the conclusion that is urged. As mentioned, there are many ways that this occurs, hence, the numerous names/labels for all the various fallacies (and there are many more that aren’t mentioned in our texts).
One important thing to keep in mind: Just because a given passage contains some line of reasoning that rougly appropriates the definition of a given fallacy does not entail that the passage in fact qualifies as a fallacy. Like many things, the context in which the argument is put forth is very important and can be a determining factor concerning whether or not the example qualifies as a fallacy. Also, the conlcusion of an argument that does contain a fallacy is not–on this account alone–false. It may be the case that the conclusion happens to be true and the fault lies in the argument used to support it. Making this mistake is known as committing the “fallacy fallacy” (If you had a look at the comic included in this week’s content, you may note that it is precisely this error that did in “Fallacy Man” in his clash with “Basement Boy”).
For these reasons, making determinations about fallacies is somewhat difficult, and open to debate. The central importance of studying fallacies and other common errors in reasoning then, is NOT simply to learn to be able to slap the “correct” fallacy label on a given passage or body of text. Rather, we will strive to gain familiarity with some common ways in which arguments are constructed in a somewhat illegitimate fashion, as well as be aware of methods our persuasion that are more based upon trickery then on reason. Ultimately, learning about common fallacies should enable us to signal the proverbial “red flag” when we are exposed to reasoning that only seems to give good reasons for accepting the conclusion.
The reader not trained in critical thinking may simply read a passage and never even pause to consider whether it contains proper reasoning; he or she stands the risk of being duped by fallacious reasoning. In contrast, the critical thinker who has some prior familiarity with fallacies may read the same passage and recognize some form of “reasoning” that she has been exposed to before. The word ‘reasoning’ here is in scare quotes because for the critical thinker, initially, the jury is out regarding whether or not the passage really does contain proper argumentation or rather, just passages that masquerade as such (e.g., fallacies). If something looks like a fallacy it may well be one, although it may just be limited to mere resemblance.
Thus, success in these matters will be a function of (1) looking at passages of argumentation in a more circumspect fashion, and (2) developing the skill to be able to identify whether or not a given argument is legitimate, and (3) if the passage is problematic, being able to articulate just where or how the statement or argument goes wrong.
In your response to this post, discuss some experience you have had with errors in reasoning and/or fallacies (either in your own reasoning or that of others). Your example can concern any error that is mentioned in any of our assigned reading for this week. Please explain the details of the situation, the error that it exemplifies, and perhaps add a few words concerning how it could have been avoided or rectified.