Rhetorical Fallacies Reading & Questions

We have just finished studying the three appeals: Ethos, Logos, Pathos. It is now time to move on to rhetorical fallacies, or more simply put, weaknesses in argument.

Fallacy Def

Considering the three appeals underlie argument, fallacies occur when the appeals are unbalanced or when they are over or underused in development of an argument. Most often fallacies undermine the logical basis of an argument. Therefore, learning the most common fallacies and being able to identify them in sample arguments will allow you to strengthen your own arguments by being aware of where you may have weaknesses in your argument and guarding against gaps in logic by being conscious of them.

ad hominem

Ad Hominem or Mudslinging.

Use the sources linked below to answer questions 1-5 in your notebook to learn about fallacies. You will be asked to apply this knowledge to example arguments which contain fallacies, and to satires, which use fallacies to make a larger point about human weakness and folly. You will also have a matching quiz on the list of 20 (4th bullet below) on Thursday September 4rd.

  1. What are rhetorical fallacies? (use all resources below)
  2. What does Woolfolk-Cross mean by the word Bamboozled? And, how can one avoid it? (use bullet #2)
  3. What is Woolfolk-Cross’s purpose for writing? What does she want her audience to do as a result of reading? (use bullet #2)
  4.  By learning fallacies, what advantage do you have on your opposition? (use bullet #3)
  5. Read about & add the following fallacies and examples to your list of 20: Ad Antiquitatem, Ad Nauseum, Ad Numerum, Appeal to Nature. (Use bullet #3 & 4)

*Bullet #5 is purely for entertainment–enjoy!

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