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XV.

OTHER FALLACIES:
Argumentum ad crumenam
-believing that money is a criterion of correctness; that those with more money are more likely to
be right.
Argumentum ad lazarum
-assuming that because someone is poor he or she is sounder or more virtuous than one who is
wealthier.
Argumentum ad nauseam
-this is the incorrect belief that an assertion is more likely to be true the more often it is heard; it
employs constant repetition in asserting something.
Plurium interrogationum / Many questions
-this occurs when a questioner demands a simple answer to a complex question.
Non sequitur
-an argument where the conclusion is drawn from premises which are not logically connected
with it.
Red herring
-when irrelevant material is introduced to the issue being discussed, so that everyone's attention
is diverted away from the points being made, towards a different conclusion.
Audiatur et altera pars
-people arguing from assumptions which they do not bother to state; the premises of an
argument were not stated explicitly; Note that it is not strictly a fallacy to fail to state all of one's
assumptions; however, it is often viewed with suspicion.

XVI. ASSESSING TRUTH CLAIMS


-statements are either true or false
-truth of all the premises and their strong connection with the conclusion will yield to a sound
argument
-understanding the nature of statements is helpful in the construction and evaluation of
arguments
Verification
-the process of determining whether or not a claim is true
-what makes one statement true is different from what makes another statement true
-different types of statements have different notions of truth
Types of Statements
Empirical Statements
-asserted to be true on the basis of sense/perception; one need only to check or observe the
facts (direct evidence); correspondence between a statement and an empirical fact
(correspondence theory of truth).
-however, there are empirical statements that cannot be checked or verified by direct
observation; We cannot go back in time to check the correspondence of the statement to the
facts, instead, consult indirect evidence like history books.
-the same applies with statements about the future; We can use empirical evidence about the
past and present that makes the predicted event likely to occur. When the event occurred, then

we would have direct evidence.


-Falsifiability Principle; sometimes it is practically impossible to observe every single member of
the population to prove the truth of a statement; Instead, just look for a falsifying instance, that
is, an instance which if it happens, the statement can be considered false.
Analytic Statements
-asserted to be true based on a rational analysis of the concepts contained in the statements;
the use not of the empirical senses but of reason; coherence of the statement with a particular
formal system (coherence theory of truth)
Evaluative Statements
-judgment about the worth or value of a thing (preference, personal taste, approval or
disapproval; there is no need to justify the statement; we simply need to respect the statement.
-they are arbitrary and subjective; they have no empirical truth claims, as such, cannot be
verified using correspondence theory; also, they are not based on formal system, thus, cannot
be verified using coherence theory. In sum, do not waste time arguing about their truth or
falsity.
Moral Statements
-unlike empirical statements, they have truth values; moral claims.
-they should not be regarded as purely subjective and need to be justified as either true or false;
the rightness or wrongness of an action is to be determined using either deontological theory
(appeal to objective moral principles e.g. respect for human dignity, preservation of peace, care
for the environment) or consequentialist theory (appeal to the consequences of an act e.g.
benefit-harm equation).
Sources of Truth Claims
Personal Experience
-we based much of what we believe and accept on what we personally observe or directly
experience.
-our sense of experience, however, is limited; our perception of things is not infallible; our
beliefs, fears and expectations affect or even distort our observation.
Background Information
-that vast network of conscious and unconscious beliefs we learned from what we read, hear
etc. from a variety of sources; it helps us avoid being misled by the inadequacies of our sense
perception.
-the broader our background information of things, we can evaluate claims more effectively
Testimony and Authority of Other People
-sometimes we do not have a direct experience or background information of things, yet we still
accept the claim because it is said by a person who has credibility or authority over the matter.
-our reliance on the authority of the person making the claim will also explain why sometimes
even if the claim diverts from our experience or information, we tend to still believe it.
-notably, there is a tendency for many to judge a person's credibility on the basis of outward
appearance e.g. based on his accent, gender, color, etc.
-there is no hard and fast criteria to determine who is credible, but we can consider some
guidelines; e.g. The source is someone we can trust; The source is a genuine expert or
authority; The source is not biased.