Four Main Questions
Throughout the course, students are encouraged to ask 4 main questions when they are encountering an argument that they suspect may be fallacious in some way:
- What is the issue at hand? Often a person will abandon the presenting issue when he suspects his argument is in trouble. Let’s be clear on the issue and argue about that.
- Is the argument I am hearing relevant to the issue at hand? If not, scan for a possible fallacy of relevance.
- Is the argument I am hearing assuming something illegitimate? If so, scan for a possible fallacy of presumption.
- Is the argument I am hearing unclear? If so, scan for a possible fallacy of clarity.
As you can see, these questions are aligned with the three master categories of fallacies that we present in AA:
- Fallacies of relevance
- Fallacies of presumption
- Fallacies of clarity