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Philosophy 103: Introduction to Logic
Quiz: Informal Fallacies Part I Answers

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This quiz is based on the following notes:
The Nature of Fallacies

Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam
Argumentum Ad Verecundiam
Argumentum Ad Hominem
Argumentum Ad Populum
Argumentum Ad Misericordiam
Agumentum Ad Baculum

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Directions: Identify the fallacies of relevance in each of the following passages. Choose from the fallacies of ad ignorantiam, ad verecundiam, ad hominem, ad populum, ad misericordiam, and ad baculum.

1.  The president of Lander University will be severely disappointed if Lander does not get more funds from the state next year. For this reason the state appropriations should be increased. 

ad misericordiam: The president's feelings are not logically relevant to the proposed policy. The policy should be supported or rejected on logical grounds.  As the current President of Lander University, he would be a relevant authority; hence, the fallacy is not ad verecundiam.


2. I am sure that you will agree that we should all work together to increase the profit of this company. Anyone not agreeing with this policy will be fired immediately.

ad baculum: The threat of being fired is used to obtain agreement with the proposed policy of working to increase profits. Logically, reasons should be given for the support of the policy or why being fired is relevant to not supporting the policy.


3. Theodore H. Teabody, the well-known historian, says that Copi's book is the best logic book in the world. I believe him since the word of such a great man shouldn't be disputed.

ad verecundiam: The authority is being cited outside his field of expertise. A well-known historian isn\'t necessarily an expert in logic


4. It has not been proved to my satisfaction that you have been spending enough time studying; therefore, I think this lack of positive evidence plainly indicates that you should study more.

ad ignorantiam: From the fact that something has not been proved, no conclusion can be drawn. All we can know is that there is no proof offered.


5. Everyone believes that Lander University is improving its academic programs yearly; therefore, I conclude that Lander will be a much higher rated school several years from now.

ad populum: Simply because most people believe something is true usually in itself does not make that statement true. Political campaigns and styles are exceptions.  E.g., in the 14th century most poeple believed the earth was flat, but, of course, such a belief cannot make the earth flat.


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