Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 6

“A presumption becomes a self-refuting assertion.”   — R. Alan Woods

Following hot on the heels of “Part 5: Facts Over Feelings”, today’s logical fallacies involve inappropriate presumptions that confuse and invalidate one’s argument. (Of course, I would never do this! … OK, OK, maybe.) Sometimes when making a case or defending a position, it’s easy to get trapped within our own perspective, so to speak. We might take "I Want to Believe" aliensomething for granted in our reasoning — a premise, for example, that asserts something as true when, in fact, it also should be verified. (If you recognize this, you may acknowledge that it needs to be examined further but agree, or ask the other party, to provisionally accept it for the sake of discussion.) Regardless of the form this takes, it ends up destroying the argument, because nothing is actually proven.

Professor Samples gives three types of this class of fallacy, as follows:

Wishful thinking

Just because someone accuses you of wishful thinking does not necessarily mean that’s what you are actually doing. It depends on your rationale,…

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