Fallacies Lecture 1: Fallacies of Vagueness.
What is a Fallacy?
- A Fallacy is simply an inference that is defective in some way.
- It is important to study fallacies because many fallacious arguments seem persuasive and can fool us into thinking that they are good arguments.
- Some types of defective arguments are repeated so often that they have been identified and given particular names.
- A word is vague when there are borderline cases where it is unclear whether the term applies or not.
- Specifically, issues of vagueness often occur when a term applies on a continuum of small changes.
- Consider a term like ‘old’:
- We can divide up age as finely as we desire from the broad categories of year and month all the way down to very fine categories of minutes and seconds.
- A clear case of old is Sean Connery at 81.
- A clear case of not old…
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