Critical Thinking an der Maastricht University | Karteikarten & Zusammenfassungen

Lernmaterialien für Critical Thinking an der Maastricht University

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Begging the Question (Petitio Principii)

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

The arguer creates the illusion that inadequate premises provide adequate support for a conclusion by leaving out possibly false key premises, restating a possibly false premise as the conclusion or reasoning in a circle.


Example (restating conclusion): Capital punishment is justified for crimes like murder and kidnapping because it is legitimate and appropriate that someone is put to death for having committed such inhuman acts.


Example (leaving out false premises): Our world has an amazing degree of organization. Therefore, it must have been created by an intelligent God (--> how do you know that this organization can only be due to an intelligent designer?)

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Division

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

When the conclusion of an argument depends on the erroneous transference of an attribute from a whole (or a class) onto its parts (or members)


Example: This airplane was made in Seattle. Therefore, every component part of this airplane was made in Seattle

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Appeal to Force (Argumentum ad Baculum)

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The arguer threatens physical or psychological harm if the listener does not accept the given conclusion.


Example: secretary to boss - I deserve a raise in salary next year. After all, you wouldn't want me to tell your wife about the affair you've been having with your client.

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Appeal to Ignorance (Argumentum ad Ignorantiam)

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The premises of an argument state that nothing has been proved one way or the other about sth. and the conclusion then makes a definite assertion about that thing


Example: People have been trying for centuries to disprove the claims of astrology and no one has ever managed to do it. That mains that these claims must be true.


Exceptions: courtroom procedure (innocent until proven guilty) and qualified researchers

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Equivocation

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When the conclusion of an argument depends on the fact that a word or phrase is used in two different senses in the argument


Example: Any law can be repealed by the legislative authority. But the law of gravity is a law. Therefore, the law of gravity can be repealed by the legislative authority

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Composition

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

When the conclusion of an argument depends on the erroneous transference of an attribute from the parts of something onto the whole


Example: Maria likes anchovies. She also likes chocolate ice cream. Therefore, it is certain that she would like a chocolate sundae topped with anchovies

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Bandwagon Argument

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Appeal to the People - Indirect Approach


Everybody believes in or does X. Therefore, you should also believe or do X


Example: Almost everyone believes in life after death. Therefore, you should also believe in life after death!

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Appeal to Vanity

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Appeal to the People - Indirect Approach


The love, admiration or approval of the crowd is linked with some famous figure who is loved, admired or approved of


Example: Daniel Craig wears Omega wristwatches. Thus, if you want to be like him, you will also buy an Omega watch! 

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Missing the Point (Ignoratio Elenchi)

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

The premises of an argument support one conclusion, but then a different, often vaguely related one, is drawn.


Example: Abuse of the welfare system is rampant nowadays. The only alternative is to abolish the system altogether! (correct conclusion: some systematic effort to eliminate cheaters should be made)

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Red Herring

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

The arguer diverts the attention of the listener by changing the subject to a different but subtly related one and then draws a conclusion about that second subject.


Example: Environmentalists are always harping about the dangers of nuclear power. But electricity is always dangerous, no matter where it comes from! Many people have been electrocuted by accident because of carelessness. If people were more cautious, these accidents could easily be avoided.

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Fallacy of Suppressed Evidence

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When an argument ignores some important piece of evidence that outweighs the present evidence and leads to a different conclusion


Example: Most dogs are friendly and pose no threat to people who pet them. Therefore, it would be safe to pet the little dog that is approaching us now (when the dog is excited and foaming at the mouth which indicates rabies)

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Appeal to Fear (Fear Mongering)


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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Appeal to the People - Direct Approach


The arguer builds up fear of sth. in the mind of the crowd and then uses this as a premise for some conclusion


Example: When the Theory of Evolution began to be taught in the schools, W. J. Bryan argued that it would increase numbers of wars, undermine morality and destroy civilization in order to stop schools from teaching it. 

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Q:

Begging the Question (Petitio Principii)

A:

The arguer creates the illusion that inadequate premises provide adequate support for a conclusion by leaving out possibly false key premises, restating a possibly false premise as the conclusion or reasoning in a circle.


Example (restating conclusion): Capital punishment is justified for crimes like murder and kidnapping because it is legitimate and appropriate that someone is put to death for having committed such inhuman acts.


Example (leaving out false premises): Our world has an amazing degree of organization. Therefore, it must have been created by an intelligent God (--> how do you know that this organization can only be due to an intelligent designer?)

Q:

Division

A:

When the conclusion of an argument depends on the erroneous transference of an attribute from a whole (or a class) onto its parts (or members)


Example: This airplane was made in Seattle. Therefore, every component part of this airplane was made in Seattle

Q:

Appeal to Force (Argumentum ad Baculum)

A:

The arguer threatens physical or psychological harm if the listener does not accept the given conclusion.


Example: secretary to boss - I deserve a raise in salary next year. After all, you wouldn't want me to tell your wife about the affair you've been having with your client.

Q:

Appeal to Ignorance (Argumentum ad Ignorantiam)

A:

The premises of an argument state that nothing has been proved one way or the other about sth. and the conclusion then makes a definite assertion about that thing


Example: People have been trying for centuries to disprove the claims of astrology and no one has ever managed to do it. That mains that these claims must be true.


Exceptions: courtroom procedure (innocent until proven guilty) and qualified researchers

Q:

Equivocation

A:

When the conclusion of an argument depends on the fact that a word or phrase is used in two different senses in the argument


Example: Any law can be repealed by the legislative authority. But the law of gravity is a law. Therefore, the law of gravity can be repealed by the legislative authority

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Q:

Composition

A:

When the conclusion of an argument depends on the erroneous transference of an attribute from the parts of something onto the whole


Example: Maria likes anchovies. She also likes chocolate ice cream. Therefore, it is certain that she would like a chocolate sundae topped with anchovies

Q:

Bandwagon Argument

A:

Appeal to the People - Indirect Approach


Everybody believes in or does X. Therefore, you should also believe or do X


Example: Almost everyone believes in life after death. Therefore, you should also believe in life after death!

Q:

Appeal to Vanity

A:

Appeal to the People - Indirect Approach


The love, admiration or approval of the crowd is linked with some famous figure who is loved, admired or approved of


Example: Daniel Craig wears Omega wristwatches. Thus, if you want to be like him, you will also buy an Omega watch! 

Q:

Missing the Point (Ignoratio Elenchi)

A:

The premises of an argument support one conclusion, but then a different, often vaguely related one, is drawn.


Example: Abuse of the welfare system is rampant nowadays. The only alternative is to abolish the system altogether! (correct conclusion: some systematic effort to eliminate cheaters should be made)

Q:

Red Herring

A:

The arguer diverts the attention of the listener by changing the subject to a different but subtly related one and then draws a conclusion about that second subject.


Example: Environmentalists are always harping about the dangers of nuclear power. But electricity is always dangerous, no matter where it comes from! Many people have been electrocuted by accident because of carelessness. If people were more cautious, these accidents could easily be avoided.

Q:

Fallacy of Suppressed Evidence

A:

When an argument ignores some important piece of evidence that outweighs the present evidence and leads to a different conclusion


Example: Most dogs are friendly and pose no threat to people who pet them. Therefore, it would be safe to pet the little dog that is approaching us now (when the dog is excited and foaming at the mouth which indicates rabies)

Q:

Appeal to Fear (Fear Mongering)


A:

Appeal to the People - Direct Approach


The arguer builds up fear of sth. in the mind of the crowd and then uses this as a premise for some conclusion


Example: When the Theory of Evolution began to be taught in the schools, W. J. Bryan argued that it would increase numbers of wars, undermine morality and destroy civilization in order to stop schools from teaching it. 

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