Once you learn the names of the major logical fallacies, you will probably start noticing them all over the place, including in advertisements, movies, TV shows, and everyday conversations. This can be both fascinating and frustrating, but it can certainly help you to avoid certain pitfalls in reasoning that are unfortunately very common. This exercise gives you a chance to practice identifying fallacies as they occur in daily life.
Prepare: To prepare to address this prompt, carefully read through Chapter 7 of our book, paying special attention to learning the names of common fallacies, biases, and rhetorical tricks. Take a look as well at the required resources from this week.
Reflect: Search through common media sources looking for examples of fallacies. Some common places to find fallacies include advertisements, opinion pieces in news media, and arguments about politics, religion, and other controversial issues. You may also notice fallacies in your daily life.
Write: Present three distinct informal logical fallacies you have discovered in these types of sources or in your life. Make sure to identify the specific fallacy committed by each example. Explain how the fallacies were used and the context in which they occurred. Then, explain how the person should have presented the argument to have avoided committing this logical error.
Guided Response: Read the fallacies presented by your classmates and analyze the reasoning that they have presented. Respond in a way that furthers the discussion. For example, you might comment on any of the following types of questions: Have ever seen or fallen for similar fallacies in your own life? Are any of the cases presented also instances of some other type of fallacy? Is there a sense in which the reasoning might not be fallacious in some cases? What can people do to avoid falling for such fallacies in the future?