Philosophy Questions

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  1. [3pt] [A] Name the fallacy committed by each of the following arguments and [B] reconstruct the argument to demonstrate its fallaciousness.
  • The US population enjoys baseball and is also fond of basketball. So if you want people to like basketball, making them like baseball would be a way to achieve this.
  • Climbing El Capitan without proper training will put you in serious danger, so if you don’t climb El Capitan without training then you won’t be in serious danger.
  • Those who are in favor of Biden´s stimulus plan don´t see that no one has proven that it will truly benefit Americans. Thus, the plan won´t really benefit Americans.
  • Seconds after eating a hot dog Paul got struck by a lightning and had to go to the hospital. For his own good he should never eat a hot dog again!
  • [3pt] Identify the faulty argument technique employed in each of the following. Briefly explain your answer.

Example: Of course he’s not a liar: he swore to me that he always tells the truth.

Begging the question: We are told to believe that he’s honest because he assures us that he always tells the truth, but this assurance being true presupposes that he’s not a liar, which is our conclusion and so the reasoning is circular.

  • The President explained her plan to introduce some background checks when it comes to gun ownership. We should oppose her plan as strongly as possible; she wants to take everyone´s guns away!
  • Historians shouldn´t evaluate Trump´s presidential track record harshly, after all, he was a very successful TV personality!
  • The candidate was clear, either she wins the election with a clear majority or the state will irremediably become a communist dictatorship.
  • Sally asked her father to have cake for dessert once a week. Of course, he shouldn’t agree! If he gives her cake once a week, then she’ll be asking for cake every other day, and finally to get cake every single day!
  • [1pt] Write a paragraph explaining in your own words the difference between relative difference and absolute difference.

*Extra credit [1pt]: Find an example of a media report in which relative and absolute difference are confused.

Hint: Such reports often concern the likely benefits of new medications, cosmetic products or domestic cleaning products.

  • [3pt] Provide an example of four of the following fallacies and faulty argument techniques. Try to make your example appreciably different from those already provided for you. At least two of the examples should be other than your own, i.e. you found them while reading the news, watching a video, on social media, and so on, please indicate the source in these cases.
  • Post hoc ergo propter hoc
  • Mistaking correlation with causation
  • Causal inversion fallacy
  • Appeal to ignorance
  • Epistemic fallacy
  • Begging the question
  • Red herring
  • Straw target
  • Base rate fallacy
  • False dilemma
  • Slippery slope
  • Equivocation

*Extra credit: (a)0.5 pt. each give examples of the fallacies in 4) you haven’t already covered. 0.5 extra if the example was other than your own’s, i.e. found in an article, video, etc, in this case, please, in

dicate the source.

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