• OK, it's on.
  • Please note that many, many Email Addresses used for spam, are not accepted at registration. Select a respectable Free email.
  • Done now. Domine miserere nobis.

Rehabilitating Logical Fallacies

Hadoblado

think again losers
Local time
Tomorrow 1:23 AM
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
6,239
-->
The people that shout out latin ("ad hominem!") are the same as the ones that shout defense mechanisms ("you're just projecting") or Dunning-Kruger.

The design of these constructs is to explain, but the application is to dismiss. They are both an appeal to a specific narrative woven from authority. Do you disagree with logic and philosophy? Do you disagree with the field of psychology? A lot of the time the claim doesn't even fit the structure of the fallacy.

In my experience, people direct these tools outward in service to their own social goals, but rarely apply them inward. They have become little more than an obstructive mechanism to stop people from saying things we don't like.

What's your experience? Do you use this language?
 

EndogenousRebel

We're all trying our best. Aren't we?
Local time
Today 10:53 AM
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
1,053
-->
Location
Narnia
Is an ad hom that serves to point out how someone may be "incompetent" in some regard that is relevant to the subject an ad hom? Or is it consideration of facts that certain parties would prefer be omitted? What is the argument for omission and is it valid and sound?

Language is hard, and makes us think we know more than we actually do. In the spur of the moment it's hard to come up with a retort because such a thing is deliberated upon. Someone could've spent a spare 5 minutes thinking about something, with faulty logic and they will be more prepared than you if you aren't equipped for it. This is why lawyering is hard.

Someone who isn't a surgeon can by definition say that calling them "not a surgeon" is an ad hom, in response to them commenting on the surgery profession. They might also say 'no shit?' if they aren't in the medical field.

My approach is to ask questions about what the person is saying. I don't see any point in dismantling the words of what someone is saying because I'm more interested in the person and what they meant.

I don't use the language much at all. Probably only a couple times in my life in real interactions. I think it was times where the person was publicly bold and egregiously disagrees with me, and thinks their articulated words in any way addresses the subject

Any other time, a disagreement arises all I have to say is something like "that sounds like wack" and I just have to give the reason I think why without attacking someones words. Thus I can really get at what the other person means and why they mean that rather than making them self-conscious.
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
Local time
Tomorrow 1:23 AM
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
6,239
-->
Insults are ad hom fallacy if they serve as an invalid premise.

You will fail maths because you are a moron is not an ad hom fallacy, as it has a valid argument structure (although some is implicit).

1) You are a moron
2) All morons who take maths will fail maths
C) You will fail maths

However, while it is a valid argument, it is not a sound one. Idiot savants exist. Maths problems are not uniformly difficult. Of course, it's all in the interpretation when translating implicit arguments.

I think I basically agree with your approach.
 

Cognisant

Prolific Member
Local time
Today 4:53 AM
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
9,824
-->
The people that shout out latin ("ad hominem!") are the same as the ones that shout defense mechanisms ("you're just projecting") or Dunning-Kruger.

The design of these constructs is to explain, but the application is to dismiss. They are both an appeal to a specific narrative woven from authority. Do you disagree with logic and philosophy? Do you disagree with the field of psychology? A lot of the time the claim doesn't even fit the structure of the fallacy.
I think you have a confirmation bias :D

I appreciate the attempt at a reasoned argument, even if that reasoning is flawed at least it's not just a snide comment or insult.
 

scorpiomover

The little professor
Local time
Today 4:53 PM
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
2,406
-->
What's your experience? Do you use this language?
When person A mentions that person B has used a logical fallacy, person B can respond in one of 3 ways:

1) "Yes, you're right. I will rescind my argument. I might still be right for other reasons. But my current argument is invalid, and so I don't yet have proof for my conclusions."

2) "No, I think that logical fallacy does not apply to my argument. Here's why. But if you disagree, please respond."

3) "F**K YOU! YOU UGLY MOTHERF**KER! YOU'RE JUST A LYING SACK OF SH*T! I'M RIGHT! I'M ALWAYS RIGHT! IF IT WASN'T FOR YOU F**KERS, THE WORLD WOULD BE GREAT!"

You can have a conversation with #1 & #2, as the other person is still listening to what you have to say, and still respecting your POV.

#3 is when the conversation has ended. Person B really isn't interested in what person A has to say. So there's nothing to talk about.

In real life, #3 used to be uncommon, as if person B said that in a pub or a bar, they were likely to be shunned or banned, for inciting violence.

I'll use #1 and #2 with someone I'm having a conversation with. #3 means the person has left the building, and I'm trying to communicate with the cognitive equivalent of a violent crack-head.

But #3 is pretty common these days, especially on the internet.
 

dr froyd

Active Member
Local time
Today 4:53 PM
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
324
-->
most people who utilize logical-fallacy arguments are likely people who are not arguing in good faith, for the simple reason that people who are interested in arriving at truths – as opposed to simply arguing for the sake of arguing – are extremely rare. When you argue in good faith you are likely to ignore fallacies that you notice, because you are more interested in the actual point the person is trying to make than whether their full argument is logically consistent.

but there are certainly times when someone's opinion is rooted in a fallacy, in which case you have to address it somehow - but preferably not by invoking a formal logical fallacy.
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
Local time
Tomorrow 1:23 AM
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
6,239
-->
Good faith - that's another one that confuses me a little.

I'm someone that argues in both good faith and bad faith, but it's generally pretty clear which. I've never had anyone accuse me of bad faith arguing when I'm actually arguing in bad faith. When I'm arguing in good faith however...

The issue is that in terms of game theory, accusing people of arguing in bad faith is disproportionately strong. If they are bad faith you are correct, if they're not bad faith they are arguing so poorly you can't even tell. They pay the cost for you being wrong, meaning this accusation has strong rhetorical efficacy.

The definition is also sort of ambiguous. I get the feel many people use it differently. It can mean that you're earnest but lazy, or trolling, or just bad (based on the way I've seen it used).

I agree with you Froyd about how articulating stuff as fallacies implies you're trying to win rather than trying to understand.
 

onesteptwostep

The Lance of Longinus
Local time
Tomorrow 12:53 AM
Joined
Dec 7, 2014
Messages
3,713
-->
In moral philosophy I'm more inclined to think that most moral inclinations are ultimately rooted in emotions rather than in rationality, so in parallel I don't think what you point out is largely false, that we set up accusations of logical fallacy to forward our own rationale or to negate the substance of our opposing members. Many times I tend to bend the rules for my own case and the rational preposition or structure I set for the debate sort of distracts my oposing party from engaging in a parital manner.

So in a way it would be wise to distance yourself from your own values and proclivities and suspend judgement to arrive at a more wholesome, dialectic approach.
 

scorpiomover

The little professor
Local time
Today 4:53 PM
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
2,406
-->
Good faith - that's another one that confuses me a little.
Someone who games the system.

An example is when UK prisons used to ask new prisoners if they were on benefits. Bad faith actors would say they weren't on benefits, and then get a mate on the outside to pick up the money and give the prisoner some of it, in return for a cut.

The issue is that in terms of game theory, accusing people of arguing in bad faith is disproportionately strong.
The alternative to a bad faith argument, is to walk away and use your BATNA, your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.

If you have a weak BATNA, or you won't walk away, or you won't use your BATNA, then you're entirely reliant on the other person being willing to play by the rules.

I agree with you Froyd about how articulating stuff as fallacies implies you're trying to win rather than trying to understand.
Most people who do subjects when you're just interested in the truth, like in mathematics, are not taught to use logical fallacies, but are taught other methods to determine truth.
 

Animekitty

baby marshmallow born today
Local time
Today 9:53 AM
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
8,009
-->
Location
crib
The fact that some people think they always right create barriers to communication. The point of argument is the point but what is settled by the OP as what it is a mutual conclusion. Any fallacy tangent can go on forever. But as long as the point is reached any tangent can become what point it was set for.

argument comes from what the aim is and what central points are. long-standing arguments in philosophy are looked at from every angle, it's been done before. what is realized is that people discover things all the time from angles they can communicate but are not always convincing. Language is a barrier. People think they share a language with a group but this technically is not true. Morphology happens all the time and you cannot read all the books dead or alive.

a difference is always there but not understanding. Good and Bad faith is all mixed as one. Our minds do not act as deconstruction machines. They put effort into understanding even if they cant most times. They ascribe new metrics to new things in the environment. New things that will not get integrated in other's minds the same way.

memes are strange things

 

Old Things

Active Member
Local time
Today 10:53 AM
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
107
-->
I am not really a big "fallacy" guy.

Sometimes it is obvious and other times it is not. Someone who is well versed in fallacies could probably put my arguments to shame as I probably don't know when I am being fallacious half the time.

Also too, I think if everything is a fallacy then this shows your not really trying to understand the person. People are very prone to make errors and I think generally it is best to give the benefit of the doubt. That's probably why steelmanning the opposing position is good practice. Not only does it sharpen your own debating skills, but it also makes known that if the person has a point hidden in there somewhere that you find it and don't dismiss it and argue against that instead. That way your argument becomes more powerful and much more difficult to refute.
 

ZenRaiden

One atom of me
Local time
Today 4:53 PM
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
2,043
-->
Location
Between concrete walls
Thinking and language are not the same.
However language is the best framework for getting common ideas to other people.
As @EndogenousRebel ebell pointed out language does not imply understanding, but it does always communicate something.

For example Sarah SIlverman points out that visual spatial thinkers suck at spelling, cannot explain ideas well, think they know more than they can fit into words,
often have trouble getting a point across and make others think they are rather shy or dumb or both.

Ad Hom is not really important and certainly not a logical fallacy.
Its a rader useless conecept.
Its not useful if you are trying to arrive at the truth, to detract from the subject of the topic and use ad homs.
Ad homs rarely happen or have negative effect in debates where people are trying to arrive at truth.
Ad homs can be a defense tactic, though.

Ad homs can also be legitimate part of debate in order to add context and substance to what is being considered, however, context matters.

Dunning Kruger is not very useful concept.
 

scorpiomover

The little professor
Local time
Today 4:53 PM
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
2,406
-->
Dunning Kruger is not very useful concept.
Nothing is very useful, that reveals how to objectively detect desirable qualities in people. Like being logical.

Before people saw being logical as being desirable, people were happy to say that only INTPs were logical.

Once people perceived being logical as being desirable, it seemed as if almost everyone was claiming to be logical. The term lost all meaning.
 

ZenRaiden

One atom of me
Local time
Today 4:53 PM
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
2,043
-->
Location
Between concrete walls
Once people perceived being logical as being desirable, it seemed as if almost everyone was claiming to be logical. The term lost all meaning.
That implies that people used the term logical, as something with precise meaning as opposed now.

I don't know if that is the case.

However from philosophy, the word logic, means a method and way of thinking, based around principals, that allow people to form models of reality that are exact, and without errors, and contradictions.
It could also be a tool to expose human flaws in thinking.

In math I believe logic, means a function. Its a operator, that allows people to describe something, in fixed terms, thus all logical operations are predefined templates, that never change, so when the logical operator happens, there is no ambiguity - which logical operator is used, regardless to what is used as input. The operation is the same always.

In common language to me logical simply means my reasoning has steps, that I can follow back, and explain to someone, in such way that each step follows the other, in most sensible way to me.
If someone agrees with this, they agree.
If someone disagrees, then I would have a dilemma. Either they are right and know more, or they are wrong.
Perhaps even they found a solutions, that seems less logical to me, but solves the problems as well, or their logic, the reasons and steps they use in thinking are above my understanding.
There is causal link and little more to it.
There is no philosophy or math logic there.
Its more or less based around simple experience following a step by step process.
 

Old Things

Active Member
Local time
Today 10:53 AM
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
107
-->
Logic follows rules. Nothing subjective about it.

For example, a Modus Ponens can be either invalid, valid, or sound.
 
Top Bottom