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    Fallacies: Determining Fallacy committed

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    Dear Student,

    Fallacies come in many forms. For example, Peer reviewers over at The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) listed 184 unique fallacies - partially. But not to worry, the passages below can be analyzed and interpreted according the manner by which the arguments are presented. First however, let's recall what fallacies mean -

    "A fallacy is a part of an argument that is logically flawed, rendering the argument invalid. There are various types of fallacies dependent upon the form the argument takes. Fallacies take the informal or formal form in logical arguments. Formal fallacies usually take on a deductive form & are invalid; any other flawed invalid argument is termed as informal fallacies. The source of the fallacy usually dictate what it is about; there are fallacies of relevance, fallacies of causal reasoning, fallacies of ambiguity & fallacies of equivocation. Aristotle observed that politicians and orators in his days used fallacies in their speeches & debates. To this day that still rings true."
    Jones, X., 2009

    How then do you determine if an argument is fallacious? An invalid argument or IA is the result of the precedent P and antecedent A not being able to support the argument. It could be that the P is negative or A is negative or both are. So, IA = -P+A or IA=P+-A or IA=-P+-A. The thing is there are many ways in which these can be expressed in text or speech (hence the number of unique fallacies) and always, it can be daunting to identify. I have identified some probable fallacies in the passages below:

    Passage A:

    a. This two-day weekend seminar will open you to the wonders of the contemporary experience of modern High-Tech Serendipity Meditation, (p) as your seminar leader and ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution explains fallacies and by example (an analysis of selected statements and problems) provides a description of how certain fallacies are 'worded', 'constructed' and 'committed'. Included are the following - Fallacy of accident, exaggeration, False analogy, equivocation, Jumping to Conclusions, Neglecting a Common Cause, etc. The solution also provides References and other resources to help students expand on the advice given. A word version is attached for easy printing.