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Essential Logic: The Logical Fallacies

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  1. Introduction
    Essential Logic: The Logical Fallacies---Course Introduction
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  2. Lessons
    Lesson 1: Ad Hominem Abusive (Preview Content)
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  3. Lesson 2: Ad Hominem Circumstantial (Preview Content)
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  4. Lesson 3: Tu Quoque (Preview Content)
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  5. Lesson 4: Genetic Fallacy
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  6. Lesson 5: Appeal to Fear (Argumentum Ad Baculum)
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  7. Lesson 6: Appeal to Pity (Argumentum Ad Misericordiam)
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  8. Lesson 7: Mob Appeal (Argumentum Ad Populum)
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  9. Lesson 8: Snob Appeal
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  10. Lesson 9: Appeal to Illegitimate Authority (Argumentum Ad Verecundiam)
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  11. Lesson 10: Chronological Snobbery
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  12. Lesson 11: Appeal to Ignorance
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  13. Lesson 12: Irrelevant Goals and Functions
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  14. Lesson 13: Irrelevant Thesis
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  15. Lesson 14: Straw Man Fallacy
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  16. Lesson 15: Begging the Question (Petitio Principii)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  17. Lesson 16: Bifurcation (False Dilemma)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  18. Lesson 17: Fallacy of Moderation
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  19. Lesson 18: Is-Ought Fallacy
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  20. Lesson 19: Fallacy of Composition
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  21. Lesson 20: Fallacy of Division
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  22. Lesson 21: Sweeping Generalization (Accident)
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  23. Lesson 22: Hasty Generalization (Converse Accident)
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  24. Lesson 23: False Analogy
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  25. Lesson 24: False Cause
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  26. Lesson 25: Fake Precision
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  27. Lesson 26: Equivocation
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  28. Lesson 27: Accent
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  29. Lesson 28: Distinction without a Difference
    3 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  30. Lesson 29: The Frenetic Fallacy (Extra)
    1 Topic
  31. Discussions
    Discussion: Meet the Students
  32. Discussion: Four Students, Full of Fallacies
  33. End of Course Test
    End of Course Test: The Logical Fallacies
    1 Quiz
Lesson 2 of 33
In Progress

Lesson 1: Ad Hominem Abusive (Preview Content)

In this session, the first fallacy of relevance is introduced—the ad hominem abusive fallacy. In Latin ad hominem means “to the man,” so this is an argument that addresses the man or the one making an argument, and abuses him rather than engaging his argument. As such it is a classical “trash-talking” dodge.

Outline of Session

(00:31) Ad fontem means “to the source” in Latin. Ad fontem arguments attack the “source” of an argument—in this case, the person making the argument.

(01:17) Many ad hominem fallacies are insults.

(02:07) Some ad hominem attacks can be more subtle.

(02:31) A student gives an example of an insult on the playground—“You’re a scaredy cat!” Joelle asks, “What’s the real issue here?”

(03:36) A student provides an example of ad hominem attacks in a courtroom setting, where a prosecutor may cast doubt on a witnesses’ testimony by attacking their character.

(06:00) A student suggests that “Only a creature-hater would use pesticides” as an example of an ad hominem. The group analyzes this argument.

(08:18) Dr. Perrin asks how this might apply to environmental issues that involve emotional ad hominem arguments.

(09:22) Dr. Perrin asks if the students can think of any political issues that usually involve ad hominem arguments.

(09:31) A student suggests the issue of tax cuts. The group then discusses this idea and provides examples of ad hominem attacks.

(13:52) A student gives examples of how car companies attack each other’s products in their advertising.

(15:55) Joelle asks the student to think more about this example and how it might be a different kind of ad fontem (“to the source”) fallacy.

(16:51) Another student and Joelle discuss this and decide the car argument is actually a good example of a genetic fallacy (which will be taught later).

(17:37) Joelle points out that all of the ad fontem arguments are closely related, feel very personal, and can be hard to distinguish from each other.

(18:47) The group discusses how authority figures and those in power are often attacked with ad hominem fallacies.

(20:10) The group discusses what type of ad hominem arguments may have been used, or used again, against Hollywood actors who ran for political office and other political figures.