In response to requests from my logically-sound readers, you can now find links to Logic 101 (which covers the basic structure of logical arguments) and Logic 103 (which covers the Argumentum ad Populum , Argumentum ad Verecundiam, Petitio Principii, Complex Question, The Ignoratio Elenchi, Fallacies of Ambiguity, The Fallacy of Composition , and Fallacy of Division) here.
Begin Actual Article:
In the first article in this series, Logic 101, we looked at the basic structure of a logical argument. We went over what a logical ARGUMENT is (as differentiated from where you are screaming epithets at your spouse and the neighbors start banging on the floor), what a PROPOSITION is (hint: this is not the same thing as the pick up line you offer to the pretty goth girl in the corner, though in my experience it may get you farther), what PREMISES and CONCLUSIONS are. We also went over the two basic kinds of logical arguments: DEDUCTIVE and INDUCTIVE, how they work, and (in the comment thread) why some folks think inductive reasoning sucks.
Now, as promised, I present to you part two: The Attack of the Evil Fallacies
In response to requests from my logically-sound readers, you can now find links to Logic 102 (which covers the Argumentum ad Baculum, Argumentum ad Hominem, Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, and Argumentum ad Misericordium) and Logic 103 (which covers the rest of the common fallacies) here.
Actual Article Resumes Now:
In the early days of Newsvine (as in, waaay back at the beginning of the year) there was a fair amount of discussion here and there about the nature of the educational system in this country. One of the conclusions reached therein was that our country would be much healthier if logic were taught to all students. More recently, there was an upsurge of folks calling each other out on the use of logical fallacies, most particularly the use of “strawman arguments”. Here in the recent past, I have seen a repeated use of the argument that “if you do not support the extension of my intolerant beliefs into law, you are intolerant.” All of this put together has led me to the conclusion that we may be well overdue for a logic lesson.
Enter my Mom. Both my parents went to school for philosophy. Quite honestly, I tried like hell not to listen to any of it as I was growing up. While most kids were playing Monopoly with their folks, I got to play fun games like this:
“Their are three errors in this sentance.”
My mission was to find them. Good, fun, family times. But I digress…
My Dad died when I was twelve, but my Mom is still alive and kicking. She has never given up on her quest to teach me logic, and now that I have offspring, she is working on him, too. So she seemed the natural place to start when looking to get a grasp of the basics of logic.