Analyze This

Fallacies are everywhere! You have learned about some of the most common logical fallacies in this section of the Excelsior OWL, but now, it’s time to see some examples of how we encounter these fallacies in our everyday lives.

In the video below, a student examines some ads for fallacies. Watch and listen as he identifies fallacies that we should be aware be of.

Video Transcript
Student says:

After learning about the fallacies in the OWL, my professor asked us to look for some commercials that use logical fallacies in their attempts to be persuasive.

In this first ad, which is an ad for the 2014 governor’s race in Maine, I notice that the narrator first focuses on attacking LePage as a person and not his policies.

At this point in the ad, this is really a logical fallacy. Whether you agree with this or not, calling Governor’s LePage an embarrassment is really an attack “against the man” or the ad hominem fallacy.

The next ad I found is a classic bandwagon fallacy. The interesting thing is that the ad actually makes fun of the bandwagon appeal yet still plays upon that appeal to be persuasive. In this example, the ad uses humor but still uses the bandwagon fallacy, which is the fallacy that says “everyone is doing it; you should too.”

At 33 seconds into the ad, I noticed the first hint at the bandwagon appeal when Carson Daily says, “I didn’t know P Diddy drove a Diet Pepsi truck.”

In the scenes that follow “everyone” is driving Diet Pepsi trucks because, of course, P Diddy drove one. Clearly, everyone is doing what everyone else is doing.

These are just a couple of ads that I found. From these examples and others, I realized that logical fallacies really are everywhere!

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