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Philosophy 103: 
Introduction to Logic
Review Exercises

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Directions: Please indicate the best answer to the fallacies in the following passages.  Not all passages necessarily contain fallacies. Fallacies present here include those of relevance and presumption.

1. Einstein became a great physicist because his parents and his teachers left him alone to dream.  Had they badgered him to study, he never would have gotten beyond the Swiss patent office.

2. As I drove to school this morning, not one car which was turning had its turn signal on.  Thus, I conclude that the drivers in this state are not well trained since they never use their turn signals.

3. The best definition distinguishing man from other animals is that man is a rational animal.  Therefore, you, as a person, should spend more time studying and using your brain than you should spend for partying.

4. I can see that you are greatly impressed by the power of logic and argument.  Therefore, are you going to sign up for Philosophy 102: Introduction to Philosophic Inquiry this semester or next semester?  It's got to be one or the other.

5. The Smithson Foundation is investigating whether or not police officers are using excessive force in traffic arrests of minorities.  Hence, it is quite reasonable to conclude that some police officers, at least, use excessive force in that kind of arrest.

6. The testimony of the defendant accused of manslaughter in this indictment should be disallowed because she has been arrested for shoplifting on many occasions.

7. Why haven't you written to your Mother as often as you should?  You would feel much better about yourself if you would attend to the details of life which are this important.

8. It should be no surprise to you that the state is, again, headed into either a recession or a deep economic downturn.  After all,  a Republican has just been elected governor.

9. When I was shopping at Bess's Fine Clothing, not one person gave me the time of day.  I guess Bess's is not a very friendly place to work.

10. John Bardeen, a professor at the Advanced Institute of Physics, has gone on record to say that the American Medical Association needs to raise its standards for physicians.  The opinion of a man of that brilliance should not be disregarded.

11. If we took a poll right now, almost every American would agree that a vaccine for AIDS will soon be found.  Therefore, there can be little doubt that AIDS will be practically wiped out in the near future.

12. I made low grades on my first tests in math and English.  I must really be dumb.

13. As a daughter when I was four, my father taught me the beauty of numbers, and I have excelled at mathematics ever since.  My conclusion as to why females do not score as high on math tests?  The males with a high aptitude for mathematics are not spending enough time with their daughters.

14. I think that the tests given in this class were more than fair, and I think you will agree with me because, if you do not, your grade in this course will certainly be in jeopardy.

15. The result of my doing well in economics is very simple.  I eat Post Toasties for breakfast every morning for breakfast, and this breakfast helps my ability to analyze in great depth.  I think it must be all those complex carbohydrates.

16. Oriental Philosophy is the best course taught at Lander University.  I know this because all of my friends say so.

17. Look Mr. IRS examiner, of course I owe taxes—I'm not denying that.  However, I was unable to file on time because my wife was sick and my two children need my attention.  Surely the IRS is not opposed to keeping the family together.

18. Mr. Smith, maybe there is some truth in what you say about me being rude to sales people, but I have certainly heard may sales people complain about your manners, so you are certainly not the person to point this out to me.

19.  Sir, don't you want to look more closely at our aluminum siding for your new home?  When we put this up, your home will take on the glow of beauty, and you will be admired by others as someone who cares.  Not only that, but your life will be richer as you proudly invite others to your home to share the better way of life.

20. It is easy to see that goodness is in the world and not just in our minds, because as we look at the world, some things are obviously not evil or indifferent in themselves.

21. Mr. Watkins has clearly and concisely detailed his arguments concerning the relative safety of tobacco products for Third World countries.  But, let me remind you that we could hardly expect him to say anything else because he has worked in the tobacco industry for the last twenty years.

22. All persons act in order that they might get pleasure.  Even so-called altruistic persons who help others so much that they do almost nothing for themselves must get pleasure out of giving.  Otherwise, they wouldn't do it.  Suppose a person hits himself over the head with a hammer.  He must get pleasure from it, because why else would he do it if he didn't get pleasure from it?

23. The Roper Organization says that more persons watch CBS's 60 Minutes that any other news program on television.  Therefore, it must be the best news programming on TV.

24.  Hilda Robinson, an old backwoods, ignorant lady who never got past the fourth grade in school, claims that chicken soup is good for a cold.  What does she know?  She is ignorant of the scientific evidence.

25. Watch the Business Report at 7:00 on channel 6.  It's the best report on current dealings on Wall Street because no comparative study of business reposts has ever proved to our satisfaction that there is any better.

If you would like additional practice, more exercises on fallacy identification can be found by clicking the links below.
Example Logic Quizzes 
Test on Informal Fallacies
Example Scientific Reasoning Quizzes
Test on Scientific Reasoning Fallacies

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