In Defence of Logical Fallacies | Itzhak Rasooly

Students of ‘critical thinking’ are warned to be wary of ‘logical fallacies’. As one recent textbook put it, these are arguments whose premises are either ‘irrelevant’ to their conclusion or else fail to provide it with ‘sufficient evidence’. The list is typically long: arguments from equivocation, slippery slopes, straw men, appeals to authority, etc. Yet many of these arguments are in fact perfectly respectable and merit their prevalence in public debates.The Ad Hominem AttackA good example is the argumentumad hominem. According to textbook authors Bassham et al., this is committed ‘when we…

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