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How To Be Smart Ep. 2: Logic

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Published on Jun 16, 2011

We discuss logic and logical fallacies, corner stones to proper argument and proof.

Fallacies:
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0) ad hominem: attacking a person instead of their argument

stephen is ugly, so everything he says isn't true

1) hasty/sweeping generalization: using small amounts to assume things about a whole

Math is hard for me, so math must be hard for everyone.

2) argument from authority

The president likes basketball, so basketball must be the best sport

3) appeal to majority

85% of America is Christian, therefore Christianity is true.
- almost everyone used to believe the sun orbited the earth!

4) begging the question: assuming your conclusion is true before your start.

Murder is wrong, so assisted suicide is wrong
-first you have to prove murder is wrong

5) non sequitur, or false cause:

it rained today and I won the lottery, so rain must be lucky

6) straw man: misrepresent the other position

bill: grapes are good for you
bob: if we only ate grapes, all the farmers who produce other food would go out of business, so grapes are evil

7) equivocation: misusing a word

feathers weigh less than one pound, so they are light. light things can't be dark, so feathers aren't dark.
-light means two things: light in color or light in weight. the two aren't related


8) argument from ignorance: we don't know the answer, so we can assume one

I don't know where babies come from, so it must be a stork
-if you don't know, you can't assume. you must prove your conclusion!

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