EngradeWikis › CHAPTER 13 (LOGIC)




The great Aristotle classifies fallacies into fallacies in the language and fallacies in the matter. Celestine Bittle describes the former as resting upon the lack of preciseness in the words used to express thoughts; the latter as the result of confusion in the thing stated. Thus, this chapter discusses fallacy and sophism.



In this chapter we have learned the following:

1. Formal errors are violations of the rules which govern the fundamental forms of reasoning. Material errors are errors of facts or faulty use of ideas and words. If these latter have a deceptive resemblance to truth and are used with a purpose of misleading, they are called sophisms; but if their use is unintentional, they are fallacies. There are fallacies in language and also fallacies in matter;
2. The following are fallacies in languages: (a) equivocation, using word in different meanings; (b) Amphiboly, using phrases or entire sentence ambiguously;(c) Composition, taking conjointly what should be taken separately; (d) Division, taking separately what should be taken conjointly; (e) Accent or prosody, ambiguity due to false accent or false emphasis; (f) Figures of Speech, when a conclusion of identity or similarity of meaning is drawn between one diction and another, due to their similar of construction;
3. The following are fallacies in matter: (a) Accident, the confusion of accidental and essential characteristics of a thing; (b) Absolute and Qualified Statements, arguing from a generally true statement to a specific case, or from a special case to the general class; (c) Ignoring the Issue, proving what is not to be proved, not proving what is to be proved, disproving what has not been asserted; (d) Begging the Question, assuming as true the very thing to be proved; (e) Consequent, arguing from the falsity of the antecedent to the falsity of the consequent, or from truth of the consequent to the truth of the antecedent; (f) False Cause, assigning a wrong cause to a certain effect.


NAME:_____________________________ SCORE:__________
YEAR & SEC:________________________ DATE:___________

The subjoined arguments may be assumed to be based on fallacies of some kind. Determine which fallacy has been committed in each case.

1. A circle is round and a round is circle

2. I saw Bernabe at the communist meeting; therefore, I presume he is a communist

3. The president said it, therefore, it must be followed.

4. You are not a Lycean therefore, you are an Atenean.

5. He couldn’t have committed the crime; his mother is such a religious person.

6. Edison stated that man‘s soul is a form of electrical energy. He should know it. He is a wizard in electricity.

7. Many government employees were kicked out because of their communistic leanings, therefore, I suspect that the whole of our government is communistic.

8. Capitalism is wrong is practice, therefore, utilitarianism must be right in theory.

9. If logic is difficult then metaphysics is more difficult, but logic is not difficult, therefore, metaphysics is not difficult.

10. Lenin is not a bad fellow, therefore, Soviet can’t be so bad.