Critical Thinking: Strategies in Decision Making MGT 350 Abstract In my paper I will identify and define three fallacies. I will explain their significance in relation to the critical thinking process and discuss their application to Decision Making. Lastly, I will provide examples to illustrate each of the chosen fallacies. Fallacy of Personal Attack Critical Thinking is a method used especially for problem resolution, it involves listening to all sides and the careful consideration of every angle of a problem, then deciding what is relevant and what is not and then rendering a thoughtful judgment. One of the significant factors of critical thinking is the ability to summarize the complex ideas clearly with fairness to all sides. According to Bassham, Irwin, Nardone and Wallace (2002) logical fallacies are arguments that contain mistakes in reasoning and can be hindrances to the Critical Thinking process.
In the work of Bassham et al. (2002) fallacies of relevance are fallacies that occur because the premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusion. Personal Attack or Ad Hominem is a fallacy of relevance and occurs when we reject a person’s argument or claim by attacking the person rather than the person’s argument or claim. As the text pointed out, just because an individual may have a less than desirable character it does not mean that they may not have a valid argument. The thing to remember is to focus on the argument itself and not the person. If the argument is valid, the facts will speak for themselves. Recently I have noticed an example of this fallacy playing out in the news. Michael Moore, the film maker of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine” has received his fair share of criticism.
... fallacies in arguments. This paper focuses on defining the concept of logical fallacies, and identifying three logical fallacies and analyzing their impact on the critical thinking ... arguer rejects the argument or claim of a person by criticizing the person’s motive rather than attacking the argument itself. The fallacy can be generalized ...
He has been attacked personally as being non-patriotic and fanatical. What is odd is that some of the individuals attacking Mr. Moore personally have not even seen his documentary to even analyze his argument. In essence his critics are saying, “Michael Moore is bad, and therefore his argument must be bad too.” Again, it’s important to give everyone the opportunity to present their argument and analyze the facts objectively using the Critical Thinking process. The end result will hopefully be a more informed decision or conclusion. Fallacy of Appeal to Pity Bassham et al. (2002) states the fallacy of appeal to pity occurs when an arguer attempts to evoke feelings of pity or compassion, when such feelings, however understandable, are not logically relevant to the arguer’s conclusion.
Our class touched on this briefly this past week in the classroom environment. From what I recall, Maria and I acknowledged that emotions and biases can be barriers to Critical Thinking. Another student in the class advised that he used his emotions and biases to guide his decisions frequently. I disagree with this method for one main reason. I think that individuals tend to be less rational when they succumb to emotional appeals. This in turn can lead to faulty conclusions and eventually poor decision making. Let us imagine that I manage a team of employees and I assign a very important task to Joe Smith.
I express to Joe that the task is imperative to the successful launch of our new product and advise him that the task must be completed in two weeks. The deadline comes and he has not completed anything that was assigned to him. This is the third time he has failed to meet his commitments and I advise him that he will be reprimanded. Joe tells me that he had a terrible week. His cat died, he got a flat tire on his way to work this morning and he has been feeling under the weather therefore he was not able to complete this task on time and says he deserves another chance. By recognizing Joe’s appeal to sympathy I am able to reject his argument as invalid because he provided no concrete reason for me to accept his conclusion. I have to face the fact that Joe is not capable of meeting his commitments which is costing our organization money.
In political races in the United States logical fallacies are a staple in political ads. The 2012 election was no exception to this convention, especially being true in an advertisement with ex-steel plant worker Joe Soptic, speaking in Obama-affiliated Political Action Committee Priorities. The advertisement included many logical fallacies to argue against the Romney campaign. Those include post ...
Fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance Bassham et al. (2002) states the fallacies of insufficient evidence are fallacies that occur because the premises, though logically relevant to the conclusion, fail to provide sufficient evidence to support the conclusion. The fallacy of appeal to ignorance is grouped with fallacies of insufficient evidence and occurs when an arguer asserts that a claim must be true because no one has proven it false or, conversely, that a claim must be false because no one has proven it true. For example, ‘No one has ever proved that the Big Foot does not exist, so it must exist.’ The best course of action in this case is to do as much research as possible to investigate the validity of the claim. However, in the event that you are not able to find evidence to support or prove the claim invalid you should deem the argument as inconclusive. It would be nearly impossible to base any organizational decision on an argument that may or may not be true.
If the decision does not work out as planned it would be difficult to justify why the decision was made to begin with. Conclusion To conclude, logical fallacies are considered forces of influences and rightfully so. They influence our perception on how we see problems. If we are not diligent in recognizing these fallacies we may identify the problem incorrectly which would result in faulty critical thinking and eventually faulty decisions. References Gregory Bassham, William Irwin, Henry Nardone & James M. Wallace (2002).
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