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Fallacy Summary And Application Paper

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Fallacy Summary and Application Paper

In the workplace, disagreement and arguments can be common. Part of management is the ability to listen to both sides and make the right decisions. Knowing the use of fallacies can help to separate fact from opinion.

Fallacies are used to help sway opinion or judgment to one side. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines Fallacy as a kind of error in reasoning. (Dowden,2004) Some times a fallacy is not used purposely, but out of assumption. Although fallacies are most common in both advertising and political speeches, they can be used for other business related purposes such as sales presentations, company debates on policies, and explaining poor decision making. With so many different types of fallacies, it can be hard at time to tell which is which.

This paper will look at only a few of the fallacies, because writing about all the different one would make this paper a novel. In deciding which fallacies to use depended on the type of environment, they were to be use. By narrowing the choices to the work environment, it was easier to pick. This is not to say that all type of fallacies could not be used in the work place. However, the Appeal to Authority does not have the same meaning in the workplace as does it on a advertisement. John Elway clams to have a no "Hassle Policy" in his dealerships, but that does say that all company should do the same. This policy is set up for the customers benefit, to bring them to the dealership and they will not be bothered by salespeople. If one of the Elway dealerships employees runs a demo car into a wall, there will most likely be a hassle. Of course this scenario could also be seen as a fallacy.

The first fallacy to look at is Ad ignorantium or Appeal to Ignorance. It is defined as "Arguing on the basis of what is known and can be proven. If you can't prove that something is true then it must be false (and vice versa)." (Unknown,2005)

In a business situation the argument can be made that if one can not prove the loss or problem than it might not happen. Being as the future is not always certain, knowing the absolute solution is most likely a hunch. This point of view could be used to cause doubt or confusion to sway popular opinion.

The second fallacy to be examined Amphiboly, a fallacy of syntactical ambiguity deliberately misusing implications. (Unknown,2005) This fallacy can be used by offering a small cross section of a population as a whole demographic. One could claim that that 8 out of ten office employees prefer flexible hours. This leads others to think that 80 percent of the employees would prefer this choice. Though this may be true, with such a small representation of the employees, a bias may be overlooked. This fallacy is more of a intentional uses to persuade opinion to one way of thinking.

The third fallacy will be the Straw man. This fallacy occurs when we misrepresent an opponent's position to make it easier to attack, usually by distorting his



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