Newsflash: Someone is wrong on the internet.
How can you make sure it is not you? Or the author of that clickbait article?
You must first understand logical fallacies, those flaws in reasoning that dominate social media posts, news site commentary, political speech, and much of what passes for insight in civil discourse.
A logical fallacy is an argument based on faulty reasoning. While errors come in a variety of forms, they all share the same destructive power: to dismantle the validity of your entire argument.
Inflection Magazine, the opinion, editorial, and news analysis journal of Academic Influence, unpacks the 30 most commonly encountered errors in logic in the first entry of its 30 Common Logical Fallacies–A Study Starter.
“We can all agree that the current level of discourse could be much improved if we were all a little more focused on thinking correctly,” said Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of Academic Influence and professor of physics. ”But even the smartest thinkers sometimes overlook errors in logical reasoning. No one is immune to committing mistakes in logic. It’s why we think this Study Starter in logical fallacies is so essential and why we’ve chosen this subject to lead off our series.”
As school and college classes resume, more students will be heading to the internet for information. The need for accurate and unbiased sources has never been greater. Study Starters from Texas-based Academic Influence serve as a resource for anyone to dive into a topic and be quickly immersed in its core ideas and concepts.
The logical fallacies Study Starter examines what constitutes a logical fallacy and why addressing fallacies matters. Then, it identifies 30 commonly encountered informal and formal errors. Some bad arguments include appeals to ignorance or popular opinion, hasty generalization, and the strawman argument.
“Academic Influence is about equipping learners with the resources they need to advance their educational goals,” said Macosko.