Posted On: Oct. 30, 2017
History Discussion 1 A fallacy is an error in reasoning. It is to be confused with mistakes. Fallacies involve inferences moving systematically, from one set of sentences to another and then drawing inferences from the same. Example 1 If I live in Berlin, then I live in Germany. I live in Germany. Therefore I live in Berlin. Here we have two premises and one conclusion. While the first sentence is conditional, we can treat it as true. Assuming the second sentence is also true, the conclusion would not be true. It may be true that if I live in Berlin then I live in Germany, and it may also be true that I live in Germany. However, it does not lead to conclusion that I live in Berlin because I could be living in any part of Germany. Therefore, the inference from the premises to the conclusion is fallacious because of a mistake in the reasoning. Example 2 If there is fire, then there is smoke There is smoke. Therefore there is fire Here also we have two premises and one conclusion. The first sentence is conditional and it can be considered as true. The second sentence can also be treated as true, but the conclusion may not be true at all. If there is fire, there will be smoke and it may also be true that there is smoke. However, it does not lead to logical conclusion that there is fire. This is because there could be other reasons for smoke, which are not necessarily attributed to fire. Therefore, the inference from the premises to the conclusion is fallacious because of a mistake in the reasoning. Example 3 If it is raining, then there are clouds There are clouds Therefore it is raining We have two premises here and one conclusion. . The first sentence is conditional and it can be considered as true. The second sentence can also be treated as true, but the conclusion may not be true at all. If it is raining, then there are clouds and it may also be true that there are clouds. But, it does not mean that it will be raining. This is because, just because there are clouds, does not mean it will be raining. The very presence of clouds does not lead to rain. Therefore, the inference from the premises to the conclusion is fallacious because of a mistake in the reasoning. Discussion 2 The Media and Fallacies Media is blamed for committing fallacies. The media could be television, radio, magazines, and the Internet. It is quite common for the media to use a celebrity to endorse a product or service even if the person has no knowledge about it. In other words, the fallacy committed by appealing to a false authority draws a conclusion based on an authority whose expertise is irrelevant to the conclusion. Celebrity endorsement is an argument who support a particular product‘s features or advantages by quoting endorsement by someone who is very famous. He / She need to be an expert in the field of the product range which is being endorsed. The argument means that the fame of celebrity itself is enough to establish the claim. For example, Brett Favre a famous football player endorses Wrangler jeans. While he may be a good player, what is debatable is his knowledge about clothes and their utility value. I for one will not go for these jeans just because it is being endorsed by Brett Favre, even though he is my favorite player. I personally feel that these celebrities are charging a huge amount of money for endorsements and we, as a consumer end up paying their fees indirectly. Another example is that of Dr Dre who is a reputed singer. He endorses HP laptop. The question comes to mind as to why should anyone believe him and buy this product. He does not know technical aspects of the product and still many people get carried away by his endorsements. This is not a good idea as far as consumers are concerned.