Informal Fallacies and Idols of the Mind

(1)The fallacy of Argumentum Baculinum revolves the use of force or threat as the course for justification (Bacon).  An employee suggests “the remuneration scheme offered by the company ought to be changed” and the employer threatens to terminate his/her job is a relevant example.

            (2)Argumentum ad Hominem is considered an abusive fallacy. It is characterized by an attack on the person and not the argument. Person one: tax on hard drugs ought to be reduced. Persona two: your fat ego and selfishness will drag this nation into eternal poverty.

            (4)Argumentum ad Ignorantiam has been established as based on an appeal to ignorance. It renders a statement or an argument false for lack of evidence on its truth. For example: one arguing that limitation on plastic packaging will be associated with higher costs than benefits.

            (7)Argumentum ad Verecundiam is an appeal to authority. Assertions made takes the side of truth or falsity based on the authority of the speaker. If a politician argues for development projects, and that do not reflect economic empowerment, he/she might be considered correct due to political authority given.

            (9)The fallacy of hasty generalization, as characterized by rush utilization of insufficient evidence, establishes conclusions on shallow evidence and as a result it is faulty (Tosi). For instance, generalizing the Islamic religion with terrorism.

            (10)Fallacy of cause is characterized with the presumption of the causative agent to an occurrence. Election winning election by a black politician does not amount to the conclusions that all blacks are great politicians.

            The four idols of the mind limit thinking and perception. The idol of tribe stimulates use of human ways as a measure to the universe. For instance, the propensity to draw inferences without honoring the possibility and relevance of all possible alternatives. The idol of the cave follows the redefinition of awareness or tradition. For instance the tendency to be attracted to new things then as exposed to over time. It follows a reverse that some minds follow the renowned norms based on prior awareness or tradition. The idol of the marketplace defines effects of the interactive use of language. For instance, us of code words such as ‘the elephant is here’. Finally, the idol of theater relates to the adoption of new line of thought.

Works Cited

Bacon, Francis. The Works of Francis Bacon. Stuttgart- Bad Cannstatt: Frommann, 1963. Print.

Tosi, Andreas. “The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon.” 17 (2011): 121. Print.


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