1. Why are we subject to fallacious reasoning?
A fallacy is a general type of appeal (or category of argument) that resembles good reasoning, but that we should not find to be persuasive. According to Hamblin, the classical definition of a fallacy is, "an argument that appears to be valid, but is not." (Hamblin 12) (1)
For example, it is manifestly obvious that a valid argument can be fallacious. For example,
• All members of the American Rifle Association are ignorant yokels.
• No ignorant yokels are people whose opinions are worth considering.
• Therefore, no members of the American Rifle Association are people whose opinions are worth considering (1)
So, why are we subject to fallacious reasoning?
1. Fallacious reasoning due to uncertainty Good reasoning is reasoning that tends, in the long run, to produce true conclusions. In the end the measure of good reasoning is that it tends to move us closer to the truth. However, a fallacy is not just any type of reasoning that might lead to a false conclusion. Even perfectly legitimate patterns of reasoning might lead to a false conclusion (Inductive reasoning). There are many perfectly legitimate forms of reasoning that might lead to a false conclusion simply because uncertainty is a necessary feature of the logical landscape. Whenever we generalize from a sample (Inductive reasoning) we run the risk that our sample - ...
This solution explains why we are subject to fallacious reasoning.