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Essential Logic: The Logical Fallacies

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

Lesson 3: Tu Quoque (Preview Content)

In this session, Dr. Christopher Perrin leads the discussion about the tu quoque fallacy. This fallacy is another common fallacy in which someone charges her opponent with having a flaw that is related to the argument at hand—as when someone objects to a smoker making an argument against smoking as bad for one’s health. “But you smoke yourself!” one might object. Tu quoque in Latin simply means “you also.”

Outline

(00:37) Dr. Perrin introduces the Latin phrase tu quoque, which means “you also.”

(01:01) Definition from the Art of Argument (AA) textbook: “Arguments that assume that a rival’s recommendation should be discounted because the rival does not always follow it himself.”

(01:25) Because people are not perfect, Dr. Perrin notes that it is easy to attack others with the tu quoque fallacy.

(02:10) Dr. Perrin brings up the example of an older man (who has smoked for years) telling a younger man (who is currently smoking), that smoking is not a healthy habit. Is this an example of a tu quoque?

(03:35) A student points out that the smoker’s background and experience may be relevant to whether or not we take his opinions seriously, and Dr. Perrin reminds the students to stay focused on the issue at hand in any argument.

(04:00) Dr. Perrin asks, “Can a hypocrite have a good argument?”

(05:32) Dr. Perrin asks how flawed people can teach fallacies, and how imperfect people can teach others about virtue.

(06:58) Dr. Perrin reminds the group that despite people’s imperfections and hypocrisy, we must stay focused on the issue at hand in discussions.

(07:23) Dr. Perrin suggests that the distinguishing mark of a tu quoque fallacy is that a person’s flaw is presented as being directly relevant to the argument. In other words, a person’s flaw discredits their argument.

(08:01) A student mentions the example of a teacher who told the class about the dangers of procrastination, based on the teacher’s own experience as a procrastinator. They discuss whether this is an example of a tu quoque fallacy.

(09:00) Dr. Perrin references the fake advertisement in the AA textbook (p. 43) for an airline—“We crash less.” The group discusses why this is fallacious.

(11:20) Dr. Perrin asks how the “Sugar Dump” fake ad in the AA is fallacious (p. 44).

(12:57) Joelle presents a situation about a dad who currently works as PR manager but studied engineering in college. He tries to dissuade his son from studying poetry in college because it is not a lucrative career. Can the son respond with, “But you don’t work in the field that you majored in!”?

(15:22) Dr. Perrin reminds the class of the importance of saying, “That may be true, but it’s not relevant to this argument.”