Quick Write

Write for 3 minutes on this quote.

Bias

We have talked about some important concepts concerning critical thinking.

  • Critical Thinking
  • Egocentric Thinking
  • Ignorance
  • Integrity

We are going to add Bias to that list.

What is Bias?

Bias – prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

So what exactly is bias and how does it connect to our class?

Peer Review

  • Reader Perspective
  • Constructive Criticism
  • Basic Questions help

Peer Review …

  • is central and permeates everything we do in academia.
  • helps us improve our work.
  • opens up possibilities.
  • complicates and enriches our thinking.

Sample Problem

Measles Outbreak in Madagascar

intermission

Intro to Fallacies

Your textbook has a good list of fallacies beginning on page 352. This is a good place to start researching for your fallacy project. More details will be provided on Monday.

Question your assumptions. Do not assume that you are right.

Here is an example of a fallacy used to persuade.

Why do we say this is a fallacy?

Key Terms

  • Argument: A conclusion together with the premises that support it.
  • Premise: A reason offered as support for another claim.
  • Conclusion: A claim that is supported by a premise.
  • Valid: An argument whose premises genuinely support its conclusion.
  • Unsound: An argument that has at least one false premise.
  • Fallacy: An argument that relies upon faulty reasoning.
  • Booby-trap: An argument that, while not a fallacy itself, might lead an inattentive reader to commit a fallacy.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Fallacies

This is a great resource for further reading on fallacies and how they are not so simple. The article lists 223 of the most common fallacies.

I do not expect you to know them all or to never use any. Fallacies are controversial. We appreciate logic and honesty in Western rhetorical thinking and that is at odds with many fallacies.

Fallacies are not necessarily wrong, they work very well and are very good at persuading people. Fallacies are considered unethical and so we try to avoid them. They are thought of as flaws in thought, tricks, and sneaky uses of persuasion to convince others.

Media and Fallacies

Foodstamp fraud case study

We read the foodstamp fraud case study for today. Let’s see if we can figure out why the authors call BS and what fallacies Fox “News” are using.

Emotional Fallacies (Pathos)

Scare Tactics – Scaring people and exaggerating dangers. Also known as fear mongering.

Scare Tactic Fallacy example.

Either-or Choices / False Dichotomy – Oversimplification to only two choices.

Slippery Slope – Exaggerating the consequences of an action.

Sentimental Appeals – Excessive emotion intended to distract.

Bandwagon Appeals – Follow the path of everyone else.

Ethical Fallacies (Ethos)

False Authority – Offering yourself or other authorities as sufficient evidence.

Dogmatism – persuade by assuming a position based in biblical passages.

Dogmatism Fallacy example

Moral Equivocation – suggesting that serious wrongdoings do not differ from minor ones.

Ad Hominem (At the person) – Attacks directed at character instead of the claims or argument.

Logical Fallacies (Logos)

Hasty Generalizations – conclusions drawn from insufficient evidence. Jumping to conclusions. The most common fallacy you will encounter.

Hasty Generalization example

Faulty Causality – assuming because one event happened after another, the first causes the second.

Begging the Question – a form of circular logic. an argument based on claims that cannot be accepted as true.

Equivocation – the use of ambiguous language to conceal the truth or to avoid committing oneself.

Non Sequitur – an argument in which claims, reasons, or warrants fail to connect logically.

The Straw Man – Misrepresenting an argument in order to knock it down. Arguing something that is not really there.

Faulty Analogy – An extended comparison that is inaccurate or inconsequential.

Red Herring – Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what’s really at stake. Often, the arguer never returns to the original issue.