A Philosopher's Blog

42 Fallacies in Spanish

Posted in Philosophy, Reasoning/Logic by Michael LaBossiere on August 27, 2015
42 Fallacies Cover 2Alexis Beldad Moraleda has translated my 42 Fallacies into Spanish.
The blog post for the book is here: http://interioresy3d.blogspot.com.es/2015/08/cuarenta-y-dos-falacias.html.
The direct download is here: http://www.4shared.com/web/preview/pdf/oTcLSkLuce?
It can also be downloaded directly: 42-Falacias.
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20 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on August 27, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Cool.

    • ronster12012 said, on August 28, 2015 at 7:47 am

      But the slippery slope is not a fallacy regardless of the language…….

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on August 29, 2015 at 11:27 am

        In informal usage (this follows from that because of steps between this and that) it often is not. But, the slippery slope in the technical sense is a fallacy. After all, saying X must follow from Y without any support for that claim is, by definition, a fallacy.

        • T. J. Babson said, on September 7, 2015 at 11:25 am

          There is plenty of psychological and social science evidence that humans tend to slide down slippery slopes.

          Have you ever fed a baby, Mike? Smooth sailing after the first mouthful.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 7, 2015 at 6:15 pm

            Sure, people engage in slippery slope slides.

            As I have said before, if you can make the connection between the top of the slope and the bottom, then there is no fallacy committed. This is why the full name of the slippery slope is the “slippery slope fallacy.” In this regard it is analogous to the appeal to authority: appealing to authority is not a fallacy if the conditions of the argument are met. If they are not, then it is a fallacious appeal to authority.

            • T. J. Babson said, on September 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm

              Mike, let’s talk about–to pick an example we have discussed recently–abortion. Pro-life activists try very hard to get bills passed restricting abortion in certain circumstances.

              Here is what Planned Parenthood has to say on this issue:

              20-Week Bans Are Part of an Agenda to Ban All Abortion:
              The introduction of these bans doesn’t come in isolation. They’re part of a dangerous, out-of-touch, and coordinated effort to chip away at abortion access. Anti-abortion politicians in Congress and state legislatures are pushing their agenda, bit by bit, to ultimately outlaw abortion completely.

              This is a slippery slope argument and PP is exactly right. This is why PP does not favor *any* restrictions on abortion, right up until the baby is born.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 8, 2015 at 2:04 pm

              PP does use rhetoric here, but since they do provide support for the claim that the complete ban will follow from the incremental push, there is no slippery slope fallacy here.

              But, as you note, they are arguing that the incremental push must be stopped because they regard the end goal as especially bad. But, I don’t see where this entails that they favor abortion right until birth. They might do so, but there is nothing in the text you cite that supports the claim that they favor right-before-birth abortion.

            • TJB said, on September 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm

              “…but since they do do provide support for the claim that the complete ban will follow from the incremental push…”

              What support? That they believe it will happen?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 8, 2015 at 5:55 pm

              Their premise, as it were, is that the incremental chipping away is occurring. To use an analogy, the claim that someone is continuously whittling a stick does provide support for the claim that if they keep doing that, the stick will be whittled away.

              Whether the premises is true or not is another matter.

            • TJB said, on September 8, 2015 at 4:28 pm

              Mike, let’s flip it around. Let’s say you write on your website that you are against slavery. Person A says “Mike’s against slavery–he says it right on his website.” Person B says: but is he against slavery for Armenians? There is nothing in the text you cite that supports the claim that they oppose slavery of Armenians.

              Regarding PP, you are playing person B to my person A.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 8, 2015 at 6:03 pm

              Interesting approach.

              You are right, if I am against all slavery, then it follows that I am against enslaving Armenians. As in the classic discussion in Chinese logic, a white horse is a horse. Or the syllogism:
              1. All men are mortal.
              2. Socrates is a man.
              C. Socrates is mortal.

              But, how is this the same as the PP case?

              If they claimed they were in favor of all abortion, then your analogy to slavery would work. But, they just claim to be in favor of some abortion. This would be like someone saying they oppose Armenian slavery. This does not entail that they oppose all slavery–they could be fine enslaving everyone else. Likewise, the fact that PP supports some abortions does not entail they support all abortions.

              I freely admit that I do not know if PP has a secret agenda to legalize all abortion. Likewise, I freely admit that I do not know if the Republican leadership has a plan to re institute debtor prisons and indentured servitude.

            • T. J. Babson said, on September 9, 2015 at 7:57 am

              “You are right, if I am against all slavery, then it follows that I am against enslaving Armenians.”

              Similarly, if PP says that it “supports a woman’s right to abortion” then it follows that PP supports abortion except where they explicitly say they don’t, which is nowhere.

              The analogy is rather exact, actually.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 10, 2015 at 3:37 pm

              This might make less sense than usual-just had some surgery and I still can’t quite feel my face.

              You do make a good case, but I offer the following counter:

              It is true that if I am against all slavery, then I am against anyone being enslaved. However, it certainly seems to be possible to support the view that people have a right to X without accepting that there are limits and boundaries on that right. To assume that a person supports a limitless X right unless he explicitly states a limit would be rather problematic and unjustified.

              To illustrate, I support a person’s right to own weapons. But, I do not explicitly state that I do not support the right of private citizens to own nuclear weapons, nerve gas, chemical weapons, attack helicopters, bombers, artillery, destroyers, tanks, anti-tank missiles and bouncing Betty mines. To infer that I support private ownership of nukes would be odd and unwarranted.

              As another illustration, I support the right to free speech. I do not explicitly state that I do not support the right of people to leap out of the audience during the Late Show, rip of their clothes and scream obscenities into the cameras while they fornicate until security tasers them. So, to conclude that I support that sort of “free expression” would be unwarranted and odd.

              Now, if PP said that it supports all abortion, then it would be reasonable to infer they would support abortion one second before birth. This would be analogous to me saying that I support the right of the individual to own all weapons.

              It could be countered that supporting a right entails supporting a limitless version of that right unless one explicitly states the exact limits one accepts. However, the principle of charity and good sense would seem to require assuming a person holds to common limits to rights unless he states otherwise. That is, there should be a presumption of limits rather than limitless rights.

  2. WTP said, on September 6, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    In the real world…


    Right now, it’s all about sugar. Even Jamie Oliver is getting in on it now! “Sugar is the new tobacco” is a phrase I have been hearing lately, the campaign against sugar is gathering in strength, what ill effects do you foresee from possible state intervention in the sugar market?

    We’re all smokers now, aren’t we? The interesting thing about the slippery slope is that people deny it exists when people make a reductio ad absurdum argument like ‘if you tax cigarettes, where do you stop? Are we going to tax sugar next?!’ But the next minute the same people are saying ‘sugar is the new tobacco, it needs to be taxed like cigarettes!’ An idea goes from being regarded as a silly scare story to being considered a serious policy without anybody seeming to notice the shift.

    Likewise, the sudden switch from demonising saturated fat to demonising sugar seems to have taken place in the twinkling of an eye. If, as many people say, the evidence for the war on saturated fat was never that great, isn’t the obvious lesson to be sceptical about nutritional epidemiology rather than to jump on a bandwagon charging in the opposite direction, based on equally dubious evidence? Does hysteria have to be replaced by hysteria? South Park is starting to look like a fly on the wall documentary.

    http://con4lib.com/an-interview-with-christopher-snowdon/

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 7, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      The thing is, you are not showing that the slippery slope fallacy is not a fallacy. The slippery slope fallacy is when a person claims that Y must/will follow from X, without providing adequate reasons as to why Y will follow from X. If reasons are given linking X and Y, then the fallacy is not committed.

      You have argued why X will follow from Y, so this is not a slippery slope fallacy.

      • WTP said, on September 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm

        No. The perfectly adequate reason that Y must/will follow X is that, outside the ivory tower, out here in the reality of the real world, specifically in the instance stated and in many, many other cases, Y actually, really did follow X in spite of all the prior insistences by many, many other philosophers that there is no logical reason that Y should follow X.

        What you fail to understand, and more to the point are afraid to admit, is that philosophy as practiced in the real world (“philosophy is practiced”!…heh..I kill me) is weak and refuses to learn anything that interferes with the rules of the many worlds inside philosophers’ heads.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 8, 2015 at 1:58 pm

          You are still just saying that cases in which there is evidence for a connection between X and Y, the slippery slope fallacy is not committed. If there are historical examples of Y following from X, then a generalization or argument by analogy can be made that since this happened in the past, it can happen now.

          Arguing that there is no reason why Y should follow from X is different from pointing out that a specific argument does not make the connection. So, if your beef is with philosophers who have argued that Y would not follow from X, you have an issue with their arguments, not the slippery slope fallacy.

          • WTP said, on September 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm

            If there are historical examples of Y following from X, then a generalization or argument by analogy can be made that since this happened in the past, it can happen now.

            And hence the fallacy of modern philosophy, and most specifically the fallacy of the fallacy of the slippery slope. That being assuming that you know enough about a potential sequence of events to call any concern about the probability of the progression of those events a fallacy. Black swans don’t exist until they do…except for the fact that they always did. But more specifically to philosophy, generalization and analogy upon which the fallacy is called depends upon the (often limited) experience of the philosopher.

            Thus leaving the only slippery slope fallacy that can strictly exist being the ones where X and Y exist in mutually exclusive domains. Which makes the point quite irrelevant. You want to have it both ways. You want to call something a fallacy but all you have for argument is that it hasn’t happened yet. This is dependent upon a requisite ignorance of probability and, most often when in the form of argument, an ignorance of human and even animal nature.

            There is a reality out there Mike, and she’s a real and jealous bitch.

  3. TJB said, on September 16, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    You could expand to “Fallacies and Cognitive Biases”…

    http://www.businessinsider.com/cognitive-biases-that-affect-decisions-2015-8?utm_source=feedly

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on September 17, 2015 at 7:52 am

      I’m actually working on that now-my next book is on rhetoric and cognitive biases. My ultimate goal is to have a complete critical thinking text available in print for under $20. Most texts are $120 these days.


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