Logic 103: The Dark (Dark) Side of Logic

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 102 (which covers the Argumentum ad Baculum, Argumentum ad Hominem, Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, and Argumentum ad Misericordium) here.

Actual Article Begins Now:

All right, Logic fans, it is time for the next exciting episode in our cutting edge expose’ of the sneaky little fallacies which try to undermine the very foundation of dialogue as we know it. Last session, we talked about four of the most common fallacies at large in the world today: the Argumentum ad Baculum (where you threaten folks with evil things if they don’t agree with you), the Argumentum ad Hominem (where you call someone else evil in order to undermine their credibility), the Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (where you say something’s true because it hasn’t been proven untrue), and the lousy, low-down Argumentum ad Misericordium (where you say someone should agree with you because you are so pathetic). We also covered a bit about how to get goth girls to talk to you, because that seemed to be very relevant. Speaking of relevance, all these fallacies were revealed to be “fallacies of relevance”, because they address situations where the premises you are using to prove your conclusion are irrelevant to the actual argument.

Everyone clear? All right. We are ready for our next foray into the treacherous waters of logical argument:
The Dark (Dark) Side of Logic. Continue reading

Logic 102


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

Continue reading