Once we put the two steps of the argument together to form a complex argument, we see that it begs the question of who should get the biggest share:

P1) I'm getting the biggest share of the haul.

P2) Whoever receives the biggest share of the haul is the leader.

C1) I must be the leader of the gang.

P3) Gang leaders always receive the biggest share of their gang's haul.

C2) I'm getting the biggest share of the haul.

Thief number one is guilty of begging the question (in addition to armed robbery) because PI, which he uses to reach C2, expresses the same proposition as that expressed by C2. So the conclusion - that thief number one gets the biggest share - is already assumed by the premises. Notice that each inference stage passes our test for validity, if the premises were true, the conclusion would have to be true, but the argument is a clear instance of the fallacy of begging the question of who should get the biggest share of the proceeds of the robbery.

An argument's premise(s) and conclusion need not express a proposition in precisely the same way (as they do in the previous example) in order for it to count as an instance of begging the question. It is sufficient that the premise be a version of, or relies upon, the claim made by the conclusion. If someone were to argue from the premise that newspaper editors claim that their publications are better than any other medium for finding out about events overseas, to the conclusion that newspapers are the best source of international news, their argument would commit the fallacy of begging the question. For obvious reasons, the fallacy of begging the question is often referred to as 'circular reasoning'.

False dilemma

This is the fallacy of limiting consideration of positions on an issue to fewer alternatives than should be considered. Typically, the arguer pretends that there are only two options, when in fact there are more: the arguer sets up a dilemma where none really exists by misrepresenting the possible positions on an issue so that there appears to be a straight choice between their own and its opposite. The fallacy is committed by a politician who argues as follows:

There is a tough choice facing the government and the nation: either we cut taxes and increase everyone's spending power, thereby providing much needed stimulation to the economy, or we increase spending on health and education. It is impossible to do both; and without a tax cut the economy will remain weak. So increased spending on health and education will have to wait.

As a reconstruction shows, the argument is valid, but the fallacy is driven by the false assumption that cutting taxes and increasing public spending on health and education preclude each other.

P1) We should stimulate the economy.

P2) The only way to stimulate the economy is by cutting taxes. C1) We should cut taxes.

P3) We cannot both cut taxes and increase public spending on health and education.

C2) We should not increase public spending on health and education.

The assumption P3 is not true because (a) if a tax cut does improve the economy, then even if the government takes a smaller proportion of the Gross National Product it might take in more in absolute terms (because the GNP will be larger); (b) expenditure on health and education might be increased by diverting government funds from other areas such as defence; (c) the government might be able to sustain a period of decreased tax revenues and increased overall expenditure by increasing its debt (or decreasing its surplus, as the case may be).

The fallacy of false dilemma is often used to make the false assumption that if someone does not agree with X, they must be anti-X, whereas they may hold some intermediate position or be undecided. For example, suppose someone asks you if you are in favour of positive discrimination towards under-represented groups in the award of promotion to higher grades of a profession (affirmative action). You reply that you are not and, employing a fallacious inference, they accuse you of being against affirmative action, when in fact you may just be undecided, neither for nor against it. Or, worse, perhaps they retort that you support discrimination against under-represented groups, and therefore are racist, ageist and misogynist (among other things).

CHAPTER Rhetorical ploys and fallacies are both instances of sham-

SUMMARY reasoning. While rhetorical ploys seek to persuade by non-

argumentative means, fallacies are argumentative attempts to persuade that embody some characteristic type of confusion or mistaken assumption. Many fallacious arguments may function at the very same time as an effective rhetorical ploy, thus causing the audience not to notice the fallacy. Insofar as we aim to be rational, and to appeal to the rationality of others, we should avoid using rhetorical ploys and fallacies in our own attempts to persuade and should take care not to be persuaded by others' rhetorical or fallacious attempts to persuade us to do and believe things. The best way of doing so is to familiarise ourselves with various common rhetorical ploys and fallacious forms of argument.

Many rhetorical ploys are appeals to specific feelings or desires; these include the appeals to novelty, popularity, compassion, pity, guilt, fear, cuteness, sexiness, hipness, coolness, wealth, power and many others. Typically a position or consumer item is represented in association with some object of the specific feeling or desire, in order that the feeling or desire should be directed upon the position or consumer item. The direct attack involves the bald assertion of a position or command; the hard sell is the direct attack repeated. The use of buzzwords is the use of words with high emotive or otherwise rhetorical charge to manipulate the passions of an audience. Scare quotes are used mockingly to make an opponent's position or other phenomenon look ridiculous or dubious. Trading on an equivocation occurs when someone knowingly makes an ambiguous statement that may be true when interpreted a certain way, which, when interpreted another way, may be false, but is more favourable to the position being advanced or to the product being advertised. Smokescreen occurs when one talks about some highly controversial, compelling or otherwise arresting issue or object, in an effort to divert the audience momentarily from the issue under discussion. A successful smokescreen causes the audience to overlook the fact that the issue has not been addressed.

Fallacies can be grouped together according to certain shared features. Formal fallacies are simply mistaken inferences - inferences of certain characteristic kinds that are often mistakenly thought to be valid or inductively forceful. These include: the fallacies of affirming the consequent (of a conditional proposition) and denying the antecedent (of a conditional proposition);

the fallacy of deriving ought from is, which is committed by any argument that attempts to move from solely descriptive premises to a prescriptive conclusion, and the base rate fallacy.

Substantive fallacies are committed by arguments that tacitly assume some very general principle of a characteristic kind that it may be tempting to rely upon, but which is false, and which can easily be seen to be false the moment it is brought to light. The fallacies of majority belief and common practice make illegitimate inferences from the commonality of a belief or an action to its acceptability. The ad hominem fallacy and the tu quoque fallacy use facts about the person(s) putting forward a position as grounds for rejecting it. The appeal to authority makes a mistaken appeal to the opinion of someone who is not qualified (or under-qualified) on the matter in hand. The perfectionist fallacy is committed when excessive demands are placed on an idea or proposal; the fallacy of conflating morality with legality occurs when we mistakenly assume that anything that is legal must also be moral or that anything that is illegal must be immoral. The fallacy of weak analogy arises when an argument employs an unsustainable or an unjustified analogy. Causal fallacies are committed when we make mistaken inferences about the cause of a phenomenon or an event. There are three types of causal fallacy: post hoc ergo propter hoc - the fallacy of assuming that the temporal priority of X over Y makes X the cause of Y; fallacy of mistaking correlation for cause - falsely assuming that the simultaneous occurrence of X and Y makes one the cause of the other, and the fallacy of causal inversion - the mistaken inference that if X causes Y, an absence of X will prevent Y. Epistemic fallacies and the fallacy of appeal to ignorance occur because of unwarranted inferences from what is known, believed or proved to additional knowledge, beliefs or proof of which the arguer has no independent evidence.

Substantive fallacies can be exposed by careful argument reconstruction. An initial reconstruction will demonstrate that the argument, as stated, is either invalid or inductively unforceful. A second reconstruction can be used to reveal the false assumption that drives the fallacious reasoning, thereby demonstrating that the (amended) argument is unsound. For each substantive fallacy, all instances of the fallacy will be driven by the same or a very similar assumption.

Some fallacies are neither formal nor substantive. Not all instances of the fallacies considered in the final grouping of this chapter are invalid, non-inductively forceful or unsound even when carefully reconstructed. A deductively sound, hence valid argument may beg the question, for example. While the method of exposing hidden assumptions will prove helpful for some instances, there is no single false assumption that underlies all instances of each of these types of fallacies.

The red herring fallacy occurs when irrelevant premises are given as a reason for accepting a conclusion. A slippery slope fallacy is committed when an arguer assumes without justification that to permit or forbid a course of action will inevitably cause a chain of undesirable events. The straw man is deliberately set up as a target that will be easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument. An argument commits the fallacy of begging the question when the truth of its conclusion is assumed by its premise(s). The fallacy of false dilemma is committed when an argument limits consideration of positions on an issue to two mutually exclusive ones, thereby setting up an apparent dilemma, when there are other positions that could be considered.

Name the following rhetorical ploys. Example:

If we allow the development of genetically engineered foodstuffs, we are leaving our children and our children's children open to the threat of genetic mutation and environmental disaster. Appeal to fear/scare tactics

The 'relationships' of homosexuals cannot be compared to that of marriage: marriage is something that involves a man and a woman united through the word of God.

Take a look at the latest hatchback from Fraud: the new Ergo.

Successfully applied knowledge management is now impacting on organisations in terms of both direct competitive advantage, and in building a learning culture that identifies itself through a shared vision and common purpose.

More pet owners feed their puppies first choice puppy food than any other. If you want to give the little fella a head start, shouldn't you, too?

The Marketers Success Affirmation

The Marketers Success Affirmation

Learning How To Be An Internet Idol And Using Affirmations Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life And Success! Utilizing affirmations and some tools is a way to restrict criticism of yourself and other people. Affirmations help you in training your brain to be more about final results and to a lesser extent about quibbling. How we talk to ourselves really does regulate the type of energy we vibrate and what that draws into our life experiences.

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