Fallacious Arguments- Six types of Formal Fallacy
The Power Behind Words
As writers we naturally know words and what they are capable of. We know how to paint a picture with letters rather than colors, as we know the importance of detail as well as the power of vague open ended perceptions. This is why we are so commonly called, ‘Wordsmith’. We have the power to control manipulate and change the way others perceive situations, and feel about the world by simply writing words in a particular manner that applies to our audience in some way, shape or form. Words trigger our subconscious, our ideas, our emotions and situations-it is not a word itself that matters or harms, after all- it is just a configuration of letters and symbols. The powers of words is not the words, it what the Meaning of a word means to you.
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What are fallacious arguments?
Words with an emotional trigger are described often as fallacious arguments for their misleading and extremely deceptive purpose. Knowing these triggers, prepares us, and allows us to disarm the word (meaning-if we know the purpose for which they are spoken; they will lose some of their effectiveness on us). None the less, words are extremely important, not only to know, but to use and to identify as to what they mean and what their purpose is.
Knowing how powerful words are is important to each and every one of us for one reason, to keep from having words manipulated and used against you. Words should be thought of as tools. One can use them for good as well as evil. A person’s ability to use words can give them the tools to manipulate a person into achieving exactly what they wish to achieve, which leads me directly back to my fallacious arguments. Fallacious arguments are words that appear logical, but are not- they are words with intent to deceive, to convince and to manipulate you into doing or agreeing to something that may have not been what you wanted. Fallacious arguments are always intended for someone else’s benefit and gain, not yours.
There are many different types of fallacious arguments, some of which are called Formal Fallacy. There are 6 types of Formal Fallacy; Appeal to Probability, Argument from Fallacy, Base Rate Fallacy, Conjunction Fallacy, Fallacy of necessity and the Masked Man Fallacy.
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Types of Formal Fallacy
A formal fallacy is defined as an error in logical thinking. Basically a Formal Fallacy is a statement with a conclusion which is not supported by its premises.Appeal to probability, can be described as saying, because it can happen, it will happen. An example of this is, if you do not take vitamins, you will get sick.
Argument from Fallacy applies to the assumption that if an argument for one conclusion is fallacious then the conclusion within itself is false. This is like saying; a fish lives in the water, so everything that lives in the water is a fish.
Base rate fallacy is an error that occurs when the conditional probability of some hypothesis has been given some evidence, is assessed without taking into account the prior probability of the hypothesis and the total probability. Within this fallacy, the error is in the math and the logic.
Conjunction fallacy is a logical fallacy for when it is assumed that a specific condition or conditions are more probable than a general condition, when two different factors are combined in a logical but unassailable manner. A fallacy such as this is equivalent to saying. When Sara was growing up she won the National Spelling Bee and enjoyed swimming. When Sara was an adult she was a spelling tutor and taught her students to swim vs. saying that Sara grew up to be a Spelling Tutor.
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Utilize the Power within Words- Recognize and Control Conversations and Motives
Fallacy of necessity is a fallacy in the logic of a syllogism whereby a degree of unwarranted necessity is placed in the conclusion. An example of Fallacy of necessity is saying that, Men cannot have children. Tom is a man. Tom will never have children.
Masked man fallacy is a in which substitution of identical designators in a true statement can lead to an untrue conclusion. This is like saying; his name is Tom, but I do not know his friends name. His friends name is not Tom.
Knowing the power of words, not only makes you more adapt to foresee when someone is not being straight forward, and not in for your best interest, but allows you the power to combat the manipulation. With the knowledge you can control conversations, and address situations as they occur. Allow your knowledge of words; provide knowledge of people and of the world.