Argumentationsfel och anekdotiska bevis del 1 av 2

Tanken med denna artikelserie är att hjälpa människor att inte göra argumentationsfel, och lära ut kritiskt tänkande, samt att förbättra kvaliteten av diskussionen.

Väldigt ofta när jag diskuterar med andra, såsom vänner, klienter och kollegor, möter jag fel i deras argumentation. De använder argument som innehåller ett eller flera fel, detta händer när människor inte kan hitta något sätt att underbyggda argument för sina påståenden.

När du argumenterar, gör du ett påstående, har ett synsätt eller en åsikt och du stöder detta påstående med något bevis eller logik. Den person som du diskuterar med kommer sedan med ett motargument, utan att ändra det ursprungliga argumentet, med väl underbyggda och sakliga argument, utan dessa argumentfel.

“A fallacy is a mistake in an argument that violates one or more of the five criteria of a good argument, but it may violate a criterion in a number of different ways, all of which share some common features with other violations of that same criterion”  T. Edward Damer

Genom att göra ett argumentfel är det en kränkning utav några av de regler som ligger till grund för vad som anses vara en bra och förnuftig diskussion (1). Genom att grunda sin argumentation på ett sådant fel, bygger man sin argumentation kring en bristfällig logik och därmed upphäver man samtidigt sitt argument.

Detta är en lista över typiska argumentationsfel som jag möter när jag diskuterar med andra:

1. Personal Attacks (argumentum ad hominem) is when you attack the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself, when the attack on the person is completely irrelevant to the argument the person is making

2. Appeal to authority fallacy (argumentum ad auctoritatem) is where a proof is deemed true just because of the authority of the person making it.

3. Hasty generalization is when drawing a conclusion based on a small sample size or one single study. It is extremely unreasonable to draw a universal conclusion based on a single study or small sample size.

4. Appeal to tradition fallacy (argumentum ad antiquitam) is when using historical preferences of the tradition as evidence that the claim is correct. Traditions are often passed from generation to generation with no other explanation besides, “this is the way it has always been done”, which is not a reason, it is an absence of a reason.

5. Appeal to common belief fallacy (argumentum ad populum). An appeal to a widespread belief, also called “bandwagon argument”, is where a proposition is claimed to be true or good, solely because many people believe it to be so.

6. Appeal to nature fallacy is when it is proposed that “a thing is good because it is ‘natural’, or bad because it is ‘unnatural’”. For example “Cannabis is healthy because it is natural”.

7. Correlation proves causation fallacy (cum hoc ergo propter hoc). It is a faulty assumption that correlation between two variables implies that one causes the other. The variable can cause the other variable to change, but the sole correlation is not a proof for causation.

8. Straw man fallacy is when you substituting a person’s actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument.

9. False attribution fallacy. A fallacy of a false attribution occurs when an advocate appeals to an irrelevant, unqualified, unidentified, biased or fabricated source in support of an argument. Without a credible, verifiable source, the argument or claim being made is without proof.

10. Moving the goalposts fallacy is a fallacious argument in which evidence that is presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other evidence is demanded. In other words, after an attempt has been made to score a goal, the goalposts are moved to exclude the attempt. Moving the goalposts fallacy also known as raising the bar.

11. Argument from ignorance fallacy (argumentum ad ignorantiam) where “ignorance” stands fore the lack of evidence to the contrary. Argument from ignorance is the assumption of a conclusion or fact based primarily on lack of evidence to the contrary. Usually best described by, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

12. Shifting the burden of proof fallacy (onus probandi). Shifting the burden of proof fallacy is placing the burden of proof on the wrong side of the argument. When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a claim. “If this responsibility or burden of proof is shifted to a critic, the fallacy of appealing to ignorance is committed”.

13. Argument from repetition (argumentum ad nauseam). Argument from repetition signifies that it has been discussed extensively until nobody cares to discuss it anymore, or an argument made repeatedly until the other part doesn’t cares to discuss the validity behind the claim anymore.

14. Fallacy of the single cause (causal oversimplification]) is when it is assumed that there is one, simple cause of an outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes.

15. Red herring fallacy is when a speaker attempts to distract an audience by deviating from the topic at hand by introducing a separate argument which the speaker believes will be easier to speak to.

“When you start down the road where belief in magic replaces evidence and science, you end up in a place where you don’t want to be.” Michael Specter


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