Madsen Pirie - How to Win Every Argument - The Use and Abuse of Logic

Madsen Pirie - How to Win Every Argument - The Use and Abuse of Logic

Madsen Pirie - How to Win Every Argument - The Use and Abuse of Logic

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"Sound reasoning is the basis of winning at argument. Logical
fallacies undermine arguments. They are a source of enduring
fascination, and have been studied for at least two-and-a-half
millennia. Knowledge of them is useful, both to avoid those used
inadvertently by others and even to use a few with intent to
deceive. The fascination and the usefulness which they impart,
however, should not be allowed to conceal the pleasure which
identifying them can give.
I take a very broad view of fallacies. Any trick of logic or language
which allows a statement or a claim to be passed off as
something it is not has an admission card to the enclosure
reserved for fallacies. Very often it is the case that what appears
to be a supporting argument for a particular contention does not
support it at all. Sometimes it might be a deduction drawn from
evidence which does not sustain it.
Many of the fallacies are committed by people genuinely
ignorant of logical reasoning, the nature of evidence, or what
counts as relevant material. Others, however, might be committed
by persons bent on deception. If there is insufficient force
behind the argument and the evidence, fallacies can add enough
weight to carry them through.
This book is intended as a practical guide for those who wish
to win arguments. It also teaches how to perpetrate fallacies with
mischief at heart and malice aforethought. I have described each
X How to Win Every Argument
fallacy, given examples of it, and shown why it is fallacious. After
any points of general interest concerning the history or occurrence
of the fallacy, I have given the reader recommendations on
how and where the fallacy may be used to deceive with maximum

Abusive analogy
Affirming the consequent
Analogical fallcy
Antiquitam, argumentum ad
Baculum, argumentum ad
Blinding with science
The bogus dilemma
Circulus in probando
The complex question (plurium interrogationum)
Concealed quantification
Conclusion which denies premises
Contradictory premises
Crumenam, argumentum ad
Cum hoc ergo propter hoc
Damning the alternatives
Definitional retreat
Denying the antecedent
Dicto simpliciter
Emotional appeals
Every schoolboy knows
The exception that proves the rule
Exclusive premises
The existential fallacy
Ex-post-facto statistics
Extensional pruning
False conversion
False precision
The gambler's fallacy
The genetic fallacy
Half-concealed qualification
Hominem (abusive), argumentum ad
Hominem (circumstantial), argumentum ad
Ignorantiam, argumentum ad
Ignorantio elenchi
Illicit process
Irrelevant humour
Lapidem, argumentum ad
Lazarum, argumentum ad
Loaded words
Misericordiam, argumentum ad
Nauseam, argumentum ad
Novitam, argumentum ad
Numeram, argumentum ad
One-sided assessment
Petitio principii
Poisoning the well
Populum, argumentum ad
Positive conclusion from negative premise
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
Quaternio terminorum
The red herring
Refuting the example
The runaway train
Secundum quid
Shifting ground
Shifting the burden of proof
The slippery slope
Special pleading
The straw man
Temperantiam, argumentum ad
Thatcher's blame
Trivial objections
Tu quoque
Unaccepted enthymemes
The undistributed middle
Unobtainable perfection
Verecundiam, argumentum ad
Wishful thinking

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