1. Logical Fallacies (Misuse of logos)

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1 1. Logical Fallacies (Misuse of logos) Logical Fallacies occur when the writer relies on mistaken or misleading uses of logos. Since argument deals with probability rather than certainty, an argument may be perceived as very convincing, somewhat convincing, or not convincing at all-- depending on the use of proofs. Here are some commonly used fallacies that you should be able to locate in other s arguments. The Post Hoc Fallacy- The fallacy of faulty cause; confusing cause and effect o An advertisement claims that people will be more attractive and popular if they drink a certain brand of cola o Ex: (Budweiser) Hasty Generalization- jumping to conclusion by basing a conclusion without providing enough supporting evidence (i.e. stereotypes). Examples: o Since some students in urban schools belong to gangs, most students in those schools belong to gangs. o Since I got into a car accident with an Asian woman, all Asian women must be bad drivers. o Since most basketball players are Black males, all Black males must be good in basketball. Either-or-Argument- reducing an argument to a choice between two opposing choices by ignoring other possible scenarios. An oversimplified argument that views everything as either-or/ black-orwhite, ignoring the complexity of the issue at hand. Such fallacy does not acknowledge alternative or middle ground solutions. Examples:

2 o A woman can either be a mother or have a career. o A man can either go to graduate school or become a business man. o This country can either have a strong defense program or a strong social welfare program. Stacking the Evidence or Stacked Evidence- offering evidence for only one side of the issue. Not addressing counterarguments. o For example, to prove that television is an inspiring and uplifting medium, the only evidence given is that PBS nature shows are educational, Friends promotes personal bonds, and news programs and documentaries keep audiences informed. The sex and violence in TV shows are never mentioned. Begging the Question- using an argument as evidence for itself. No support is provided by the arguer who begs the question, and the claim is simply restated, over and over again, in one form or another. o Capital punishment deters crime because it keeps criminals from committing murder---simply restates the same idea in other words. o Why is this true? It s true because I know it s true o Everyone knows that the war in Iraq is justified because President Bush said so. You can remember the name of this fallacy by recalling that the arguer, when asked for support, begs off and simply restates the claim in the same or different words. The Red Herring- distracting the audience rather than focusing on the argument. o Whether or not the police were racist in the O.J. Simpson trial was a red herring because even though their alleged racism might have provided a motive for planting evidence, their racism was unrelated to whether Simpson was innocent or guilty for murder. o We should not vote for Hillary Clinton because her husband served as President.

3 2. Emotional Fallacies (Misuse of Pathos) When irrelevant, unrelated, and distracting emotional materials are introduced into the argument to try to convince the audience. Bandwagon Appeal- Everyone is doing something, so you should too type of appeal. Often used in political or national campaigns Slippery Slope- Scare tactic that suggests that if we allow one thing to happen, we will immediately be sliding down the slippery slope to disaster. Often used in environmental or abortion issues Ex. (figure 2.8) Bad breath leads to solitude and loneliness False Needs- Creating a false sense of need to make the argument seem more convincing or to sell a product or an idea. (CK ad from the 90 s) 3. Misuse of Ethos Trusting symbols of ethos rather than looking into the character of the product itself. Authority over Evidence- Overemphasizing authority or ethos rather than focusing on merits of the evidence itself. (i.e. Celebrity endorsements) (Pepsi) Ad Hominem- Argument that attempts to persuade by attacking an opponent s ethos or character (Attacking Clinton)

4 4. Kairos- The contingencies of time, place, and location; the cultural, social, and political context in which the exchange of rhetoric takes place (Post 911 Budweiser) Be sure to recognize the kairos (cultural, historical, political context) of the text that you are analyzing. 5. Analyzing Ads as Arguments Narration: Using their ad to tell a story (often appeals to our pathos) Compare-Contrast: To encourage the consumer to buy their product over others Example or Illustration: The usability or relativity of their product on a person s life (pathos, ethos) Cause and Effect: To demonstrate the benefits of using their product (Ex. Figure 2.2) Definition: To clarify their product s purpose or function (logos, ethos, pathos) Analogy: Using an analogy to make a difficult selling point or productlike fragrance- more accessible to their audience Process: To demonstrate the way a product can be used Description: To show specifications of the product (often used with other argumentative strategies) Classification and Division: To help the reader conceptualize how the product fits into a larger scheme.

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