Bias Time (9 of 9)

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[To round off brain ‘governance’]

Yes, it’s bias time again. The last of the series of biases that you, yes you, have. Even if you are aware of these, and even if you consciously try to correct for them to be, heh, ‘objective’, as in what e.g. auditors pursue, you will fail.

Red herring fallacies

  • Ad hominem: attacking the person instead of the argument. A form of this is reductio ad Hitlerum.
  • Argumentum ad baculum (“appeal to the stick” or “appeal to force”): where an argument is made through coercion or threats of force towards an opposing party
  • Argumentum ad populum (“appeal to belief”, “appeal to the majority”, “appeal to the people”): where a proposition is claimed to be true solely because many people believe it to be true
  • Association fallacy (guilt by association)
  • Appeal to authority: where an assertion is deemed true because of the position or authority of the person asserting it
  • Appeal to consequences: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument concludes that a premise is either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences for a particular party
  • Appeal to emotion: where an argument is made due to the manipulation of emotions, rather than the use of valid reasoning
  • Appeal to fear: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made by increasing fear and prejudice towards the opposing side
  • Wishful thinking: a specific type of appeal to emotion where a decision is made according to what might be pleasing to imagine, rather than according to evidence or reason
  • Appeal to spite: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made through exploiting people’s bitterness or spite towards an opposing party
  • Appeal to flattery: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made due to the use of flattery to gather support
  • Appeal to motive: where a premise is dismissed, by calling into question the motives of its proposer
  • Appeal to nature: an argument wherein something is deemed correct or good if it is natural, and is deemed incorrect or bad if it is unnatural
  • Appeal to novelty: where a proposal is claimed to be superior or better solely because it is new or modern
  • Appeal to poverty (argumentum ad lazarum): thinking the conclusion is affected by a party’s financial situation.
  • Appeal to wealth (argumentum ad crumenam): concluding that a statement’s truth value is affected by a party’s financial situation. Very similar to Agrumentum ad lazarum. The terms ad lazarum and ad crumenam can be interchangeable.
  • Argument from silence (argumentum ex silentio): a conclusion based on silence or lack of contrary evidence
  • Appeal to tradition: where a thesis is deemed correct on the basis that it has a long-standing tradition behind it
  • Chronological snobbery: where a thesis is deemed incorrect because it was commonly held when something else, clearly false, was also commonly held
  • Genetic fallacy: where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context.
  • Judgmental language: insultive or pejorative language to influence the recipient’s judgment
  • Perverted analogy fallacy: twisting an opponents analogy to mean something broader than intended, a form of Straw Man argument.
  • Poisoning the well: where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say
  • Sentimental fallacy: it would be more pleasant if; therefore it ought to be; therefore it is
  • Straw man argument: based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position
  • Style over substance fallacy: occurs when one emphasizes the way in which the argument is presented, while marginalizing (or outright ignoring) the content of the argument
  • Texas sharpshooter fallacy: Picking your target after you shoot the dart ensuring that you are right
  • Two wrongs make a right: occurs when it is assumed that if one wrong is committed, another wrong will cancel it out
  • Tu quoque: the argument states that a certain position is false or wrong and/or should be disregarded because its proponent fails to act consistently in accordance with that position

To round off, some conditional or questionable fallacies

  • Definist fallacy: involves the confusion between two notions by defining one in terms of the other
  • Luddite fallacy: related to the belief that labour-saving technologies increase unemployment by reducing demand for labour
  • Broken window fallacy: an argument which disregards hidden costs associated with destroying property of others
  • Slippery slope: argument states that a relatively small first step inevitably leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant impact.

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