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Old 02-01-06, 02:33 AM   #1
ovoleg
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Philosophy/English people...NEED YOUR HELP!!!

Hey guys, I need your help!!

I think I am right, because this can really swing both ways. We took a test on fallacies and I missed this one(I usually wouldn't argue too much; however, one question is 10% of the score).

THe question: What kind of fallacy is the below statement, "Foreign cars are reliable"
A) Ad Populum
B) Hasty Generalization
C) Begging the question
D) Ad Hominem

Okay, I chose Ad Populum because it make an appeal to the people and by all definitions---It makes SENSE. The instructor claims that it is Hasty Generalization and would not budge on it. Most of these fallacies can be applied to many different statements, so I don't see how you can say that Ad Populum does not apply here....

Anyone agree with me? I want to research this and talk to him tommorow, I don't want to look like an a55 . He won't budge *shrug* What do you guys think?

Thanks!!
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Old 02-01-06, 02:34 AM   #2
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I found this online, basically covers the same thing that my book does...

"Fallacy: Appeal to Popularity

Also Known as: Ad Populum
Description of Appeal to Popularity

The Appeal to Popularity has the following form:

1. Most people approve of X (have favorable emotions towards X).
2. Therefore X is true.

The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim. More formally, the fact that most people have favorable emotions associated with the claim is substituted in place of actual evidence for the claim. A person falls prey to this fallacy if he accepts a claim as being true simply because most other people approve of the claim.

It is clearly fallacious to accept the approval of the majority as evidence for a claim"
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Old 02-01-06, 02:42 AM   #3
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There has to be a whim of hope that this still applies to Ad Populum!!
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Old 02-01-06, 07:49 AM   #4
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You're overthinking this ovoleg. I see logic in your argument, but if the question asked "which is most appropriate", I don't think you will win it. Turn the statement around to say "American cars are unreliable", and Ad Populum would disappear (for most people in the US at least )

Now if you're thinking of a topic for your doctoral dissertation in Philosophy or Sociology...
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Old 02-01-06, 08:03 AM   #5
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My first instinct, when I read the item, was "B) Hasty Generalization."*shrug* I'm not saying you don't have a case, but I don't know that it's strong enough to get you anywhere with your instructor. Not an English major or anything, so take it for what it's worth....
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Old 02-01-06, 09:54 AM   #6
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I think he's right, right enough for very little wiggle room. An ad populum statement goes something like this: 75% of people think that dinosaurs and humans lived together, therefore dinosaurs and humans lived together.

A consensus does not make a fact.

A hasty generalization is something like: Foreign cars are reliable. Based on what? How do you know this? The statement implies no evidence of fact.

I see where you're coming from, but I think your professor is right. Sorry.
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Old 02-01-06, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karldar
My first instinct, when I read the item, was "B) Hasty Generalization."
+1
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Old 02-01-06, 11:04 AM   #8
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Nooo

Damn, at least I tried !! .

Thanks guys, I was going 50/50 on either one and Ad Populum seemed to make more sense at the time
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Old 02-01-06, 11:28 AM   #9
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Yeah...my guess was Hasty Generalization. Sorry...I see your logic though.
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Old 02-01-06, 11:47 AM   #10
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It's B, since it's a statement based on hearsay.

In truth, all cars, even when the most reliable is compared to the least, are still very close in overall reliability.
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Old 02-01-06, 01:41 PM   #11
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Hasty Generalization.

Everybody agrees that's what it is, so obviously, that's what it is.









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Old 02-01-06, 01:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budster
Hasty Generalization.

Everybody agrees that's what it is, so obviously, that's what it is.

Follow the masses!!
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Old 02-01-06, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovoleg
Follow the masses!!
Yes -- but which fallacy did my statement exhibit?
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Old 02-01-06, 05:30 PM   #14
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I think the one thing that would help you make a case for A) would be actual survey or statistical numbers of percentage of people who think "Foreign cars are reliable". Without those figures, I don't think it would hold. Besides, Honda makes more cars in the US than GM anyway... And they also export more US-made cars out of the US than GM.. so the definition of "foreign" is vague as well...
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Old 02-01-06, 06:13 PM   #15
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you guys made me cry today
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Old 02-01-06, 06:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovoleg
you guys made me cry today
Be of good cheer! All is not lost. You have learned this, and will never forget it. Also -- in 5-10 years (or less), you will almost certainly earn more than your instructor. And on a bike, you can probably already drop him like a hot rock!

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Old 02-01-06, 10:22 PM   #17
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Also known as the bandwagon fallacy
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Old 02-02-06, 07:28 PM   #18
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Ad populum would be "foreign cars are reliable because everyone says so." You're accepting something as true because it seems to be agreed on. The fallacy is that everyone could be misinformed. Contrary to what some politicians, lawyers, and philosophers who should be unemployed say, the truth is defined by what people believe. One clue here is that the argument does not refer to opinion.

A hasty generalization would be assuming something to be true without complete evidence. You can make the statement based on your observations, but you might not have the experience to know whether its true.

Ultimately, I think there is a greater problem with the statement in that it's unqualified. What does it mean to say that a car is reliable: that they never break down or that they break down less than once a minute? Leaving the ambiguity basically reduces the statement to an opinion, which isn't really arguable.

What's ad hominem? Appealing to "a man"?
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Old 02-03-06, 01:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlucky13
What's ad hominem? Appealing to "a man"?
to a person.

Something like, "Don't listen to Dr. Wessling for marriage advice. She has been divorced twice" is a Ad Hominem fallacy.
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