Habits of Mind
Unit 5
 
STORYTELLING IN OTHER FORMS
 

Examples

Exercises

 

LOGICAL FALLACIES

 

"Stalking the wild fallacy" is the name that writer and philosopher Gary Curtis gives to looking for examples of logical fallacies in everyday life. Check out his Fallacy Files.  If you happen upon a logical fallacy in the wild, Curtis invites you to contribute. 

 

For lists of logical fallacies and brief definitions, see the Philosophicalsociety.com's Web page.

 

 

GOOD JOURNALISTS ARE SKEPTICAL

 

Journalists learn to double-check someone's background (did job candidates applying for a public position really graduate from the universities they said they did?  And with the degrees they claimed?). They learn to research for themselves whether someone has publications in a field in which they claim expertise—and even to research what those publications mean.

 

"Some online journals will publish fake science, for a fee":  Read this NPR story for an example of why it's so important for journalists to be skeptical and double-check all information.

 

FactCheck.org is invaluable because it fact-checks politics—and also Internet rumors, social media memes, health and science claims, and more.

 

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe and Snopes.com are fun places to browse for examples of hoaxes or questionable logic.

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Mike Rugnetta hosts this video, which describes, troubleshoots and provides examples of five common logical fallacies. It's fast paced, but you have the option to look at each segment individually—just scroll down on the description section (from PBS Ideas Channel). Here's the second installment, with three more fallacies.

 

Josh Clark is one of the hosts of the award-winning and hugely popular podcast "Stuff You Should Know," which is a treasure trove of, well, stuff you should know. Here he gives us a brief introduction to the often misunderstood and misused term "beg the question."  John Corvino, a philosophy professor at Wayne State University, explains the fallacy in less than two minutes. LogicallyFallacious.com gives a few familiar examples, along with an important exception.

When you hear the videos refer to premises and conclusions, they're talking about the validity of an argument. Syllogisms are one way to think about the basic building blocks of a logically valid argument. That's what Professor Corvino explains validity in the video below. 

A couple of other links may add to your understanding of syllogisms and logical reasoning.