A introduction of How to Win Every Argument :
Sound reasoning is the basis of winning at argument. Logical fallacies undermine arguments. They are a source of enduring fascination, and have been studied for at least two-and-a-half millennia. Knowledge of them is useful, both to avoid those used inadvertently by others and even to use a few with intent to deceive. The fascination and the usefulness which they impart, however, should not be allowed to conceal the pleasure which
identifying them can give. How to Win Every Argument
I take a very broad view of fallacies. Any trick of logic or language which allows a statement or a claim to be passed off as something it is not has an admission card to the enclosure reserved for fallacies. Very often it is the case that what appears to be a supporting argument for a particular contention does not support it at all. Sometimes it might be a deduction drawn from evidence which does not sustain it. Smart Thinking
Many of the fallacies are committed by people genuinely ignorant of logical reasoning, the nature of evidence, or what counts as relevant material. Others, however, might be committed by persons bent on deception. If there is insufficient force behind the argument and the evidence, fallacies can add enough weight to carry them through. This book is intended as a practical guide for those who wish to win arguments.
It also teaches how to perpetrate fallacies with mischief at heart and malice aforethought. I have described each fallacy, given examples of it, and shown why it is fallacious. After any points of general interest concerning the history or occurrence of the fallacy, I have given the reader recommendations on how and where the fallacy may be used to deceive with maximum effect. How to Win Every Argument GIVE AND TAKE
I have listed the fallacies alphabetically, although a full classification into the five major types of fallacy may be found at the end of the book. It is well worth the reader’s trouble to learn the Latin tags wherever possible. When an opponent is accused of perpetrating something with a Latin name it sounds as if he is suffering from a rare tropical disease. It has the added effect of making the accuser seem both erudite and authoritative.
In the hands of the wrong person this is more of a weapon than a book, and it was written with that wrong person in mind. It will teach such a person how to argue effectively, even dishonestly at times. In learning how to argue, and in the process of practising and polishing each fallacy, the user will learn how to identify it and will build up an immunity to it. A working
knowledge of these fallacies provides a vocabulary for talking about politicians and media commentators. How to Win Every Argument .
Replacing the vague suspicion of double-dealing will be the identification of the precise crimes against logic which have been committed. Knowledge of fallacies can thus provide a defensive as well as an offensive capability. Your ability to spot them coming will enable you to defend yourself against their use by others, and your own dexterity with them will enable you to be both successful and offensive, as you set about the all-important task of
making arguments go your way. How to Win Every Argument.
The fallacy of abusive analogy is a highly specialized version of the ad hominem argument. Instead of the arguer being insulted directly, an analogy is drawn which is calculated to bring him into scorn or disrepute. The opponent or his behaviour is compared with something which will elicit an unfavourable response toward him from the audience. Smith has proposed we should go on a sailing holiday, though he knows as much about ships as an Armenian bandleader does. (Perhaps you do not need to know all that much for a sailing holiday. How to Win Every Argument.
Smith can always learn. The point here is that the comparison is deliberately drawn to make him look ridiculous. There may even be several Armenian bandleaders who are highly competent seamen.) The analogy may even be a valid one, from the point of view of the comparison being made. This makes it more effective, but no less fallacious, since the purpose is to introduce additional, unargued, material to influence a judgement. If science admits no certainties, then a scientist has no more certain
knowledge of the universe than does a Hottentot running through the
bush. How to Win Every Argument.The 5 Second Rule
(This is true, but is intended as abuse so that the hearer will be more
sympathetic to the possibility of certain knowledge.) The fallacy is a subtle one because it relies on the associations which the audience make from the picture presented. Its perpetrator need not say anything which is untrue; he can rely on the associations made by the hearer to fill in the abuse. The
abusive analogy is a fallacy because it relies on this extraneous material to influence the argument. How to Win Every Argument.THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION
In congratulating my colleague on his new job, let me point out that he
has no more experience of it than a snivelling boy has on his first day at
school. How to Win Every Argument.