Read pages 39-48 of the textbook, Asking the Right Questions (EMCC edition).
1. What is the major problem with the reasoning presented in an “either-or/false dilemma” fallacy? How should a critical thinker react when someone presents him/her with such an argument?
2. How is the “explaining by naming” fallacy similar to the “because I said so” reasoning that adults often use with children? What might a college student ask (in his/her head or aloud) when presented with such reasoning by a teacher?
3. How is the “glittering generality” fallacy similar to the “appeal to emotions” fallacy? Why do you think politicians use these “tricks” so often in their speeches? Why do you think so many people fall for their arguments?
4. A politician states, “We need to send all these foreigners back to their homelands.” A man in the audience responds, “Aren’t some of these people already legal citizens? Haven’t they made valuable contributions to this state?” The politician slams his hand on the podium, points his finger at the constituent, and loudly exclaims, “That is the most un-American thing I’ve heard today!” Explain how this response qualifies as an example of the “red herring” fallacy.
5. Review: Compare the effect of fallacies (such as those discussed in this chapter) on the thinking of a student using the sponge method and the thinking of a student using the pan for gold method.
6. Describe a situation in which you have been subject to one of the fallacies described in this chapter. Did you “fall” for the speaker’s/writer’s argument?
7. Describe a situation in which you used one of the fallacies described in this chapter. Did your argument convince the person you were communicating with?