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  1. #1
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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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!!

  2. #2
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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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"

  3. #3
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    There has to be a whim of hope that this still applies to Ad Populum!!

  4. #4
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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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...
    Last edited by USAZorro; 02-01-06 at 06:55 AM.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  5. #5
    SNIKT! Karldar's Avatar
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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....
    I like pie!
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  6. #6
    I'm fine. Cromulent's Avatar
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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.

  7. #7
    Videre non videri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karldar
    My first instinct, when I read the item, was "B) Hasty Generalization."
    +1

  8. #8
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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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

  9. #9
    NEVER WALK A HILL cycleprincess's Avatar
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    Yeah...my guess was Hasty Generalization. Sorry...I see your logic though.
    Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

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  10. #10
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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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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    Ring Ring, Ring Ring, the bell went Ring Ring Ring.

  11. #11
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Hasty Generalization.

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









    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

    The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example. -Thomas Morell
    A thimble of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. -Dutch Proverb
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  12. #12
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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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!!

  13. #13
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg
    Follow the masses!!
    Yes -- but which fallacy did my statement exhibit?
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

    The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example. -Thomas Morell
    A thimble of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. -Dutch Proverb
    Never pass up the chance to keep your mouth shut. -Anonymous Cowboy

  14. #14
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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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...

  15. #15
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    you guys made me cry today

  16. #16
    beginner budster's Avatar
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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!

    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

    The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example. -Thomas Morell
    A thimble of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. -Dutch Proverb
    Never pass up the chance to keep your mouth shut. -Anonymous Cowboy

  17. #17
    The Kaiser
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    Also known as the bandwagon fallacy

  18. #18
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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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"?
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  19. #19
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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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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