Examining Logic


Step 1: Read

The first step is to read Chapter 6 of Asking the Right Questions, which is all about spotting logical fallacies. It defines 14 common logical fallacies, which you'll need to be able to recognize in the real world. Important additional fallacies are defined on pages 92, 107, 123, and 125.

Step 2: Find/Make

Once you've gotten your bearings, I want you to go out and either find some logical fallacies in the real world or create some yourself. In all, you should find/make at least 5 examples of fallacies.

FIND: One good place is to check your social media feeds for memes, especially political ones. You can also watch commercials or look at ads in magazines, listen in on a friend's conversation, or cruise YouTube. (There are some dark corners of the internet, so be mindful if you choose that avenue for your searching.) Also, don't just google for specific examples: that's the coward's way out.

For each one you find, take a screenshot or a photo, or grab the URL, or whatever, so you can share it in the next step.

MAKE: Don't want to go out looking? You can create visual examples of fallacies if you want. Just take a photo and add some text, or whatever works to create a compelling example of a fallacy in action.

(If all else fails, feel free to visit my most hated place on the internet: Prager University. Each video is so chockfull of fallacies that it makes my skin crawl.)

Step 3: Post and Respond

Post your 5 examples of fallacies to your Nintendo-named Slack channel (e.g. #team-mario) by 5:00pm on Wednesday, May 22. Be sure to specify for each one which fallacy you think it is an example of.

Before our next class, please read your peers' posts and give them feedback: Did they correctly identify the fallacy, or do you think another is a better candidate? Could the fallacy be corrected, and if so, how? Have you ever been guilty of this fallacy? etc.

Because this assignment is time-sensitive and other people are relying on you, late work will not be accepted.