Thursday, December 9, 2010

Logical Fallacies (or How to open your mouth without removing all doubt*)

As I said earlier, the "Warren Buffett, Robber Baron" (BRK.B; BRK.A) post got me thinking about meta-ethics and logic.
This repost addresses the latter. From August, 2009:

Autodidactic polymath? Screw up in school? Gaps in your knowledge of Classical Logic, Rhetoric?

Never Fear! In "How to Win Any Global Warming Argument" we introduced you to Schopenhauer's little gem, "Die Kunst, Recht zu behalten".

Today we find "The Fallacy Files: Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies".

Very handy. You may still be wrong but you won't immediately expose yourself as an idiot!*
I owe someone a big 'ol hat tip on this but forgot where it came from. Email and we will erect a statue (virtual) in your honor. How many hooves should be on the (virtual) ground?**

The chart below is truncated and not interactive.
Here's the interactive chart (after you click through, click on any box)

Taxonomy of the Logical Fallacies

*From The Quotations Page:

...It's been attributed to many persons, but seems to have its roots in the Bible:

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt . -- George Eliot
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.-- Abraham Lincoln (also attr. Confucius)
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.-- Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. -- Bible, 'Proverbs' 17:28.

There are no citations for Lincoln or Twain. I have my doubts about Confucius.
**From Snopes:
Claim: The number of hooves lifted into the air on equestrian statues reveals how the riders died.

Status: False. ...