Fallacy Project

In small groups come up with an appropriate project for this class that helps you and us learn about fallacies.

  • Define the project.
  • Give the requirements.
  • Explain the steps.

Intro to Fallacies

Your textbook has a good list of fallacies beginning on page 363. This is a good place to start researching for your fallacy project. More details will be provided on Monday.

Great introductory video to fallacies.

One important point to keep in mind is that we are always using logic to justify what we believe. The problem comes when we begin with assumptions instead of questioning our position.

Fallacies are connected to the different appeals: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos.

Remember,

  • Ethos is appeals to credibility or character
  • Logos is appeals to logic and reason
  • Pathos is appeals to feelings or emotions.

Appealing to ethos or pathos is not in itself a fallacy, only appealing to them or using them unethically is. Here is an example of a fallacy used to persuade.

Why do we say this is a fallacy?

Key Terms

  • Argument: A conclusion together with the premises that support it.
  • Premise: A reason offered as support for another claim.
  • Conclusion: A claim that is supported by a premise.
  • Valid: An argument whose premises genuinely support its conclusion.
  • Unsound: An argument that has at least one false premise.
  • Fallacy: An argument that relies upon faulty reasoning.
  • Booby-trap: An argument that, while not a fallacy itself, might lead an inattentive reader to commit a fallacy.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Fallacies

This is a great resource for further reading on fallacies and how they are not so simple. The article lists 223 of the most common fallacies.

I do not expect you to know them all or to never use any. Fallacies are controversial. We appreciate logic and honesty in Western rhetorical thinking and that is at odds with many fallacies.

Fallacies are not necessarily wrong, they work very well and are very good at persuading people. Fallacies are considered unethical and so we try to avoid them. They are thought of as flaws in thought, tricks, and sneaky uses of persuasion to convince others.

Connecting Issues to Monsters

Think of a contemporary issue we have been struggling with as a society. Keep in mind the monster theory we have been working with to understand culture. In small groups, draw a monster that connects with or represents a current social issue. Add a caption or some text to give the drawing some context.

Start Gathering Monster Data

Take a look at the evaluation prompt again if you have any questions on the next assignment.

Evaluation: Monster

  1. Decide on the monster or category of monster you will be writing about.
  2. Pick the three media texts for your monster.
  3. Watch, read, listen to the monster text and begin taking notes.
  4. Locate a scholarly source to support your monster and analysis.