Thursday, January 16, 2014

Some Basic Thinking Fallacies

I'm teaching an intro philosophy class this semester for undergrads on Thursday nights. The first night we covered some logical fallacies. I thought after last week's class that there are some really basic ones I would especially like an educated person to know:

1. Jumping to Conclusions
Wait till you have the facts well in hand before you draw conclusions.

2. Ad Hominem Fallacy
Attacking the person making an argument doesn't disprove the argument.

3. Straw Man Argument
When you don't attack their real argument but a flimsy version of their real argument

4. Circular Reasoning/Begging the Question
When you assume what you are arguing for as part of your argument

5. False Alternative
Sometimes there are more options than a simple either-or.

6. Wishful Thinking
Something isn't true just because you want it to be true.

I'm having them do some tweeting for the full participation points. If you want to follow or interact with #180cphilosophy on Twitter roughly from 6:30-8:30ish, you're welcome.


Susan Moore said...

I've never taken a philosophy class (though took 'intro to logic', which I loved). Wish I would have known you were teaching one, I would have taken it, then.
But so far so good...the material in your blog post has been covered in communication/psychology classes I've taken to enhance my psychiatric nursing!

Zack Langford said...

It's good to be reminded of these. I know I have been guilty of breaking these, even after knowing they exist and striving to avoid them! Good stuff.