Fallacies – Argument From Fallacy (the Fallacy Fallacy)

Assumption that if an argument for some conclusion is fallacious, the conclusion must also be false.


Example:

Bad argument: All blonde-haired people are sweet. Some sweet people are naive. Sally is blonde. Therefore, Sally must be sweet and naive.

(Sally does happen to be sweet and naive.)


The argument is a grossly illogical one, but the conclusion happens to be correct.

If we discredit the conclusion because of the poor argument, however, we would be committing the fallacy fallacy, or argument from fallacy.

It’s important to point out the logical flaws in an argument. But it’s also important to be aware that the conclusion may still be correct – it just hasn’t been defended well.


Example:

Bad argument: It’s ethical to defend the lives of unborn babies because they are cute.


While the conclusion is correct – every life matters – the argument is fallacious. It defends an ethical stance with an emotional argument. Emotions should not dictate ethics.

However, a conclusion should not automatically be presumed false simply because it is backed by a weak argument.


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© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

 

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