Topic: Video/Cartoon Examples of Fallacies of Presumption

There are many websites that provide information on both formal and informal fallacies. One of the most interesting is the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (entry on “Fallacies”). Your assignment is to visit this site and peruse the fallacies that correspond to those in Chapters 7 and 8. If there is no corresponding fallacy, don’t worry about it; the purpose of this activity is to acquaint you with some alternative explanations of the fallacies in the text. After you feel comfortable recognizing fallacies of failed and presumption, your assignment is the following: Find one video or cartoon example of one of these fallacies on the Web. The example must take the form of a video/cartoon (check out YouTube, for instance, or search for the fallacies in cartoon banks). The Cartoon Network, Family Guy, Stephen Colbert, or even just plain old cartoon websites are good places to look. Once you’ve located the example, paste in a link to the file (embed it) in your Discussion Board thread. Finally, explain why you think this is a good example of the fallacy. To receive credit for this assignment, you must reconstruct the fallacious argument (using standard reconstruction format) that the video or cartoon presents by identifying its implicit premise(s) and conclusion. Here’s an example. The satirist Stephen Colbert (see the video below) asks Congressman Barney Frank if President Bush was a “… great President, or the greatest President?” Clearly, the question contains an assumption which the Congressman must accept if he answers using the alternatives that Colbert has offered. So this is an example of both a complex question AND a false alternative, since the choices that Colbert offers are neither exclusive nor exhaustive.

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