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Logical Fallacies And Application

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Logical Fallacies and Application

This paper will define logical fallacies and explain their significance to critical thinking. There will also be examples to the three fallacies chosen on an organizational level. The three fallacies general application to decision-making and critical thinking will be discussed as well. The three fallacies that were chosen for this paper are begging the question, inconsistency and slanting.

In order to understand fallacies first we must define what a fallacy is. A logical fallacy in critical thinking "is an argument that contains a mistake in reasoning" (Baasham et al, 2004, p.140). An argument according to Baasham, Irwin, Nardone and Wallace "is a claim put forward and defended with reasons" (2004, p.30). These arguments are "composed of one or more premises and a conclusion" (Baasham et al, 2004, p.30). Premises are statements that can be true of false that are supposed to provide evidence for the conclusion. Basically fallacies can be very persuasive in critical thinking based on how they are presented.

The fallacy of begging the question is where the conclusion is already implied or assumed in the supporting statements or premises. There are two ways that this fallacy can be committed. One is basically restate the conclusion in a different way or with a different word with the same or similar meaning. The second way to commit this fallacy is called a circular argument. A circular argument occurs when the conclusion is restated with more than one statement which is reasons for the conclusion (Baasham et al, 2002, p.159).

The article Arkansas AG warns of Mystery Shopper Scams by Consumer Affairs shows an example of this type of fallacy. Mystery shopping is where and individual gets paid to pose as a regular customer then reports back to the referring company the type of treatment he or she received. According to the article there are ads for companies stating that anyone can become a mystery shopper, be paid up to $50 per hour to shop and be able to keep the merchandise free. What the company's ad does not say is that they are not the company that is hiring but will sell a book of companies that do. Now if this is bad enough some of these Mystery Shopper books supply false information and links to companies that no longer participate in mystery shopping or are out-dated. By the time the consumer finds this out it is too late with no chance of a refund of the money paid to buy the book.

According to the article by Consumer Affairs "con artists hope that the allure of easy money will rush a consumer into falling for such a scam before they take time to consider the offer and become suspicious" (Consumer Affairs, 2006, p.1). Mystery Shopping is in point of fact legitimate but not as glamorous as these ads make it out to be. In most cases, shoppers do not get paid the big dollar that is stated plus they do not get to keep the merchandise. There is a great deal of paperwork involved for the little amount of money actually paid for the service. These jobs are very hard to get but the ads make it sound like they are plentiful all an individual has to do is call.

The fallacy of inconsistency occurs when there is a belief or assertion of two statements that cannot be true at the same time or are incompatible with each other. Critical thinkers avoid this logical fault because no real learning can take place without allowing oneself to be open to new ideas. Stubbornness is one reason a person may hold on to an old idea despite the fact of new information proving that the idea is incorrect or false (Baasham et al, 2002, pp.182-183).

An article by Diana Gorgos discusses the inconsistencies of the iPLEDGE program. This article will provide an example of the fallacy of inconsistency. The article Dermatology Nursing News states that the iPLEDGE program that was created for patients to prevent the use of the drug isotretinoin in pregnant women. Diana Gorgos stated that "a mandatory risk-management system, tracks doctors, patients, wholesalers and pharmacies to ensure women of childbearing age do not become pregnant while taking isotretinoin" (Gorgos, 2006, p.185).

The fallacy is that what iPLEDGE says it is suppose to be doing but what the Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA) who created the program is stating is not happening. This is creating the inconsistency in the program in what is being told to the patients for whom this program is supposed to protect. DNA members are currently in the process of correcting the serious problems with the iPLEDGE program. DNA members say that patient safety remains of the utmost importance.

The fallacy of slanting is in short changing the meaning of



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