Catalog of specious argument types

Scott notes a description by Brehm

He is simply intellectually dishonest. He is the master of the False Choice (pass the stimulus or do nothing & let the economy “tank”; socialize health care or “stand pat” — he said that last night), the Straw Man (the approach of putting moral “dogma” above “science”), the Scapegoat (those at the “commanding heights of our economy” (preface to his Budget) and the sly Non Sequitur (the breathtaking argument that to revive our economy and control spending, the government must take over health care and energy and expand federal spending on education). He deploys them in every argument he makes.

One of the first things you need to do in evaluating an argument is to look at its structure. The common logical fallacies are well described but that does not limit their use by some. If you go to the effort of detecting them, you will at least be aware of the quality of the arguments you hear that are trying to influence your views.

Comments are closed.