Today we looked at different billboards, commercials, and advertisements and identifies the implied messages, audience, and rhetorical appeals. Then we reviewed fallacies and identified them in different videos.
Logical Fallacy Notes:
TESTIMONIAL: A fallacy in which support for a standpoint or product is provided by a well-known or respected figure (e.g. a star athlete or entertainer) who is not an expert and who was probably well paid to make the endorsement (e.g., “Olympic gold-medal pole-vaulter Fulano de Tal uses Quick Flush Internet-shouldn't you?"). Also includes other false, meaningless or paid means of associating oneself or one’s product with the ethos of a famous person or event. This is a corrupted argument from ethos. Professionals can also be used.
HASTY/GLITTERING GENERALIZATION: a conclusion formed without evidence, often the product of an emotional reaction; an over-reaction to one occurrence that grafted onto the entire group. It is the reverse of the logic used in a stereotype — a person makes a hasty generalization when he implies that all things in one group must share the traits of this one individual from the group.
example: Pit Bulls are actually gentle, sweet dogs. My next door neighbor has one and his dog loves to romp and play with all the kids in the neighborhood!
LOADED WORDS/LANGUAGE: diction (word choice) that carries emotional charge. Loaded language usually contains words with strong positive or negative connotations that unfairly frame words into limited or biased contexts. The words you choose should clarify the truth of a situation, not misdirect your audience by unfairly describing or biasing the audience’s interpretations.
example: A Bush basher says: “That silly creature can’t think his way out of a paper bag, let alone run the country.”
SLIPPERY SLOPE: (sometimes called a snowball argument or domino theory) suggests that if one step or action is taken it will invariably lead to similar steps or actions, the end results of which are negative or undesirable. A slippery slope always assume a chain reaction of cause-effect events which result in some eventual dire outcome.
example: If I let one student interrupt my lecture with a question, then I'll have to let others and, before long, there won't be any time left for my lecture. (If you give a mouse a cookie...)
BANDWAGON: "everyone is doing it"; concluding that an idea has merit simply because many people believe it or practice it. (e.g., Most people believe in a god; therefore, it must prove true.) Simply because many people may believe something says nothing about the fact of that something. For example many people during the Black plague believed that demons caused disease. The number of believers say nothing at all about the cause of disease.
NAME CALLING or AD HOMINEM: An attack, or an insult, on the person, rather than directly addressing the person's reasons. Name calling is a form of this fallacy. This is one of the devices that make us form a judgment without first examining the evidence on which it should be based. Here the propagandist appeals to our hate and fear by giving "bad names" to those individuals, groups, nations, races, policies, practices, beliefs, and ideals that he would have us condemn and reject. A fan argued that Coach did not have a winning season because he was stupid.
PLAIN FOLKS: is a device used by politicians, labor leaders, business executives, and even by ministers and teachers to win our confidence by appearing to be people like ourselves - "just plain folks," "just an ole country boy/gal," "just an American citizen."
SNOB APPEAL: the fallacy of attempting to prove a conclusion by appealing to what an elite or a select few (but not necessarily an authority) in a society thinks or believes