Which of the logical fallacies were they using trying to persuade you?


Write of a time that someone tried to persuaded you by using one of the 17 logical fallacies described in your first power point? Which of the logical fallacies were they using trying to persuade you? What was the topic? Did it work? (Minimum 3 paragraphs)


Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy 1301:DE

Philosophy 1301

  • Danny Brown: Professor
  • M.A. Philosophy- University of Houston
  • B.A. Philosophy- North Carolina State University
  • B.A. Communications- North Carolina State University

Philosophy is the critical and rational examination of the most fundamental assumptions that underlie our lives, an activity of concern to men and women of all cultures and races.
— Velasquez

Survey Course

  • The Introduction to Philosophy class is a survey course designed to familiarize students with the various fields in philosophy and with those philosophers associated with them.
  • It should also enable students to develop skills in logic and critical thinking.


  • My Mini-definition:
  • The History of human thought.
  • How do we (humans) think about and of ourselves as human beings.
  • What, if any, is our purpose in the universe.
  • How do we view the world around us.

What is Philosophy?

  • Philosophy is a 5,000 year old academic tradition that systematically analyzes the very foundational questions of human existence.
  • Philosophy seeks clarity on issues ranging from the existence of God, the validity of scientific knowledge, arguments over right and wrong, and the existence of the soul.

Philosophy 1301

  • “Philosophy” is a combination of two ancient Greek words, “Philein” and “Sophia”, which mean “love of wisdom.”
  • “Hard thinking” — Alvin Plantinga

Analysis and critique of fundamental

beliefs and concepts.

What is Philosophy?

  • It is an enterprise which starts with wonder at the mystery and marvel of the world.
  • Philosophy pursues a rational investigation of those mysteries and marvels, seeking wisdom and truth.

What is Philosophy?

  • If the quest is successful, it results in a live lived in passionate moral and intellectual integrity.
  • Believing that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” the philosophy leaves no facet of live untouched by its probing glance.

What philosophy is not

  • Not mere speculation
  • Offer reasons
  • Peer review

Not Dogmatic

Preview of Things to Come

  • Why be moral?
  • What is the best form of political organization?
  • Is there an afterlife, and if so, what is its nature?
  • What is the meaning of life?

Does God Exist?

How Does the Mind Relate to the Body?

What Is Real? (What Actually Exists?)

So Why Study Philosophy?

Some Reasons

  • Critical thinking skills, writing skills and speaking skills
  • Liberation from prejudice and provincialism.
  • Expansion of one’s horizon
  • Understanding Society

Not usually taught before college
Guard against propaganda Intrinsically interesting
Helps fulfill our “self actualization” needs (Abraham Maslow)

Critical Thinking

In most academic subjects, students are taught what to think, rather than how to think.

The goal of philosophy:

  • Autonomy
  • The freedom of being able to decide for yourself what you will believe in by using your own reasoning abilities.
  • In other words, learn to think for yourself.

Traditional Divisions of Philosophy

  • Epistemology
  • Metaphysics
  • Ethics
  • Political & Social Philosophy
  • Logic and Critical Thinking
  • Aesthetics


  • Epistemology refers to that branch of philosophy that critically evaluates the nature, methodology, limitation, and origin of human knowledge.



  • a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being.


  • The theoretical study of morality (likened to a theoretical study of physics)
  • …is a code or set of principles by which people live by.

Political & Social Philosophy

  • The study of social values and political forms of government.
  • Studies the nature of justice.

Logic and Critical Thinking

  • Logic maybe defined as the branch of philosophy that reflects upon the nature of thinking itself.
  • Distinguishes, “What is the correct way of thinking?”
  • Logic is perhaps the most fundamental branch of philosophy.
  • All branches of philosophy employ thinking; whether this thinking is correct or not will depend upon whether it is in accord with the laws of logic.


  • The Study of Beauty and Art.

Inappropriate Authority

We base much of what we believe on the evidence of authority, and citing an authority is a legitimate way of justifying a belief.

Generally speaking, philosophers do not accept a statement solely on the basis of an individual’s authority, no matter how eminent.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

  • “Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts. Philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity. . . . Without philosophy thoughts are, as it were, cloudy and indistinct: its task is to make them clear and to give them sharp boundaries.”

But why Philosophy?

What is Philosophy?

  • It aims for a clear, critical, comprehensive conception of reality.

Rational Argument

  • The hallmark of philosophy is rational argument.
  • Philosophers clarify concepts and analyze and test propositions and beliefs, but their major task is to analyze and construct arguments.

Distinction: Scientist vs. Philosopher

  • Philosophical reasoning is closely allied with scientific reasoning in that both build hypotheses and look for evidence to test those hypotheses with the hope of coming closer to the truth.

Scientific Experiments:In Lab

  • However, scientific experiments take place in laboratories and have testing procedures to record empirically verifiable results.

Philosophical Experiments: In Mind

  • The laboratory of philosophers is the domain of ideas—the mind, where imaginative thought experiments take place; the study where arguments are written down and examined; and wherever conversation or debate about perennial questions of life takes place , where thesis and counterthesis are considered.

(How Should We Live? Louis P. Pojman)

Philosophy’s Mission

  • While various disciplines such as mathematics and science are concerned with determining specific knowledge of the universe, philosophy has a grander mission: understanding how and why the universe is the way it is, the core principles that underlie and govern the whole experience.

(The Philosophers Way: John Chaffee)

Victor Frankl
“Man’s concern about the meaning of life is the truest expression of
the state of being human…

Victor Frankl

…It is the rational man’s ultimate concern. It may be the search of what defines us… is what ultimately defines us.”

In the beginning of all Philosophy 1301 Classes….

  • Students are introduced to the correct and valid way to construct an argument.
  • Valid Arguments lead to Valid hypothesis.
  • Reason is the tool of the philosopher.

9 Tips to become a
better Critical Thinker

Be open-minded to new ideas.

Know that people have different ideas about the meaning of words.

Separate emotional and logical thinking.

Question things that don’t make sense to you.

Avoid common mistakes in your own reasoning.

9 Tips to become a
better Critical Thinker

6) Don’t argue about something that you know nothing about.

7) Build a strong vocabulary to better share and understand ideas.

8) Know when you need more information.

Know the difference between conclusions that could and must be true.


Logical Fallacies

  • A fallacy is a bad method of argument, whether deductive or inductive.
  • Arguments can be “bad” (or unsound) for several reasons: one or more of their premises may be false, or irrelevant, or the reasoning from them may be invalid, or the language expressing them may be ambiguous or vague.


Logical Fallacies

  • There are certainly an infinity of bad arguments; there may even be an infinity of ways of arguing badly.
  • The name fallacy is usually reserved for typical faults in arguments that we nevertheless find persuasive.
  • Studying them is therefore a good defense against deception.


List of 17 Logical Fallacies

  • I stumbled upon a very helpful list of maxims of clear and careful thinking that I’m passing on to you.
  • It comes from James Beverley and is gleaned from a section entitled “How to Think and Reason Correctly” in his book Holy Laughter and the Toronto Blessing, published by Zondervan.


1. Emotion does not settle issues of truth.

2. Tradition is not always right.

3. Do not give human authority figures uncritical allegiance.

4. Be careful of the way you use words. Words are tools. They must be used properly and carefully.


5. Do not force people into limited or false options.

6. Do not use name-calling or put-downs as a debate tactic (argumentum ad hominem).

7. Be careful of accusations based solely on the presumed origin of a given idea or practice (the genetic fallacy).

8. The popularity or unpopularity of something does not make it either true or false.



9. The fact that something is either an old or a new idea does not automatically make it correct (chronological snobbery).

10. Be careful in the use of “guilt by association.”

11. Do not dismiss good ideas or practices by letting your imagination take them to inappropriate extremes. Be prudent when using the “slippery slope” argument


12. Be alert to cause and effect errors (post hoc propter hoc).

13. Make sure that conclusions follow from adequate evidence and support.

14. Do not accept clichés or popular slogans uncritically.

15. Do not “stack the deck,” i.e. only point out observations that support your pet theory, ignoring all evidence to the contrary.


16. Be wary of generalization. Remember that the truth is not always in the middle.

And Last:

17. Do not take ideas or people out of context.



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