Unit 5: Fallacies
Now that you have studied the necessary structure of a good argument and can represent its structure visually, you might think it would be simple to pick out bad arguments. However, identifying bad arguments can be very tricky in practice. Very often what at first appears to be ironclad reasoning turns out to contain one or more subtle errors.
Fortunately, there are a large number of easily identifiable fallacies – mistakes of reasoning – that you can learn to recognize by their structure or content. In this unit, you will learn about the nature of fallacies, look at a couple of different ways of classifying them, and spend some time dealing with the most common fallacies in detail.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.
5.1: Introduction to Fallacies
5.2: Types of Fallacies
5.3: Ten Common Fallacies in Detail
5.3.1: Straw Man Fallacy
5.3.2: Gambler's Fallacy
5.3.3: Begging the Question
5.3.4: Red Herring
5.3.5: Ad Hominem (Against the Person)
5.3.6: Ad Ignorantium (Appeal to Ignorance)
5.3.7: Ad Populum (Appeal to the People)
5.3.8: Complex Question (Double-Barreled Question)
5.3.9: Loaded Question
5.3.10: Non Sequitur (It Does Not Follow)
5.3.11: Review of Fallacies
5.4: Cognitive Biases