Can we filter out logical fallacies and give the community the ability to promote logically sound discourse?


(savagelight) #1

Continuing the discussion from Merit/Demerit system for posts, as opposed to “liking”:


(rands) #2

Presented without comment. The New York Times Guidelines on Integrity:

http://www.nytco.com/company/business_units/integrity.html


(Shawn Holmes) #3

I like the logical fallacy poster, myself:


(Jeff Atwood) #4

A summary of that (awesome) poster:


A logical fallacy is often what has happened when someone is wrong about something. it’s a flaw in reasoning. They’re like tricks or illusions of thought, and they’re often very sneakily used by politicians, the media, and others to fool people. Don’t be fooled! This poster has been designed to help you identity and call out dodgy logic whenever it may raise it’s ugly, incoherent head.

STRAWMAN

Misrepresenting or exaggerating someones argument to make it easier to attack.

FALSE CAUSE

Presuming that a real or perceived relationship between things means that one is the cause of the other.

SLIPPERY SLOPE

Asserting that if we allow A to happen, then Z will consequently happen too therefore A should not happen.

AD HOMINEM

Attacking your opponent’s character or personal traits instead of engaging with their argument.

SPECIAL PLEADING

Moving the goalposts or making up exceptions when claim is shown to be false.

LOADED QUESTION

Asking a question that has an assumption built into it so that it can’t be answered without appearing guilty.

BANDWAGON

Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.

BEGGING THE QUESTION

A circular argument in which the conclusion is included in the premise.

APPEAL TO AUTHORITY

Using the opinion or position of an authority figure, or institution of authority, in place of an actual argument.

APPEAL TO NATURE

Making the argument that because something is “natural” it is therefore valid, justified, inevitable, or ideal.

COMPOSITION/DIVISION

Assuming that what’s true about one part of something has to be applied to all, or other, parts of it.

ANECDOTAL

Using personal experience or an isolated example instead of a valid argument, especially to dismiss statistics.

APPEAL TO EMOTION

Manipulating an emotional response in place of a valid or compelling argument.

TU QUOQUE

Avoiding having to engage with criticism by turning it back on the accuser - answering them with criticism.

BURDEN OF PROOF

Saying that the burden of proof lies not with the person making the claim, but with someone else to disprove.

NO TRUE SCOTSMAN

Making what could be called an appeal to purity as a way to dismiss relevant criticisms or flaws of an argument.

THE TEXAS SHARPSHOOTER

Cherry-picking data clusters to suit an argument, or finding a pattern to fit a presumption.

THE FALLACY FALLACY

Presuming that because a claim has been poorly argued, or a fallacy has been made that it is necessarily wrong.

PERSONAL INCREDULITY

Saying that because one finds something difficult to understand that it’s therefore not true.

AMBIGUITY

Using double meanings or ambiguities of language to mislead or misrepresent the truth.

GENETIC

Judging something good or bad on the basis of where it comes from, or from whom it comes.

MIDDLE GROUND

Saying that a compromise, or middle point, between two extremes is the truth.


(savagelight) #5

I agree that is an awesome poster and almost exactly what I had in mind. I think it would be easy to implement provided that discourse has an easy to use API. I don’t know Ruby but it can’t be too difficult to learn coming from a Python background.


(Dane Weber) #6

Perhaps baking yourlogicalfallacyis.com into Discourse might be a little much (but would it really? I think its license would allow it: Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported — CC BY-NC 3.0), but that would just be grand to flag posts with the various icons which would then expand upon mouse-over to provide the explanation.


(Jeff Atwood) #7

A little much? It’d be a lot much.


(James P) #8

Wait, so you essentially want to be able to tag people’s posts with fallacies?


(Ardneh) #9

Also, each tag would have an accompanying justification for why it is valid criticism. Each justification could also be tagged with logical fallacies. … Wait I think I just committed “Slippery Slope”! Yikes.


(Brandon Rampersad) #10

I love this idea. Instead of following fb and g+ etc and have “Like” or “+1”, we could take the logical way as it pertains to discourse and have “Ad Hominem” etc


(Kris) #11

Yeesh, what’s wrong with addressing other people conversationally rather than some complex flagging system? Honestly I think all of these ideas are just adding a degree of separation from the entire point; human discussion.


(Ides) #12

This would be excellent for an extension. This wouldn’t apply to every community. Several of the communities that I frequent do not want any kind of rating system implemented because of popularity contests being from it.


(Shad Sterling) #13

I read most of this thread thinking you were talking about automatically marking fallacies, and wondering if that’s even possible. If it is possible, it would be a really awesome extension - but I might rather have it for my browser, so it could check everything I read.