Although fallacies are arguments that violate normative standards for reasoning, under the right circumstances they are perfectly acceptable. That said, competent arguers should typically avoid them and be able to recognize them. This chapter presented what we called the Big Five fallacies: faulty cause, faulty analogy, faulty sign, hasty generalization, and sweeping generalization. First, faulty causal reasoning—which includes committing the post hoc fallacy, the slippery slope argument, and/or confusing correlation with causation—erroneously assumes that an antecedent event (cause) is responsible for a consequent event (effect). Second, the faulty analogy alleges that two things are similar when, in fact, the things are not comparable in important or relevant respects. Third, faulty sign reasoning occurs when people mistake one thing as a reliable indicator for another thing. Fourth, making hasty generalizations involves jumping to conclusions based on limited information. Finally, making sweeping generalizations involves making unfounded universal claims. This chapter also discussed how each type of fallacious reasoning could be countered.
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