Nicholas Capaldi and Miles Smit describe "equivocation" and "creative thinking" on pages 86-9 under the discussion of "definition". There are three potential difficulties surrounding definitions.
First, there is "truth by definition". (page 86)
If your terms are defined carefully enough, and if your other factual data are correct, then your case is foolproof.
Second, there is "equivocation". (page 87)
A specific term is said to be equivocal when it has more than one meaning. For example, the term "discrimination" has a positive connotation in cases where it means being selective on the basis of certain standards. A man may be said to have discriminating taste in his choice of clothes. "Discrimination" has a negative connotation in cases where it means to deny something to someone on purely arbitrary grounds.
And third, there is "creative thinking" which they refer to as a "euphemism": (page 88)
They are phrases that incorporate (a) a traditional term having a highly positive connotation and (b) a qualification to cover new cases.
Examples of creative thinking are phrases like "genuine facsimile", "permanent guest artist" and "negative profits".
With these descriptions in mind, let's consider the questions about the proposition. Here is the proposition: (page 258)
We are not establishing quotas; we are against quotas. We are merely setting goals that we think can be achieved by a good-faith effort within the allotted timetables. Naturally, the best way to show your good faith is to achieve the goal.
Here are the questions:
- How is the proposition an "equivocation"? "Goals [...] [that] can be achieved" aren't the same thing as quotas?
Much like the word "discrimination" in the description of equivocation, the word "quota" can have both a positive and a negative connotation. There is some equivocation in the use of the word.
- How is "creative thinking" a logical fallacy?
As in the examples of creative thinking, joining the idea of "quota" and "goal" may be a way to combine two terms one with a positive connotation and one with a negative connotation.
Creative thinking need not be a logical fallacy in the exercise. The directions ask the reader to do the following:
Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with each of the following statements.
Based on the description of creative thinking in the section on definitions it may be more of a "potential difficulty" involved with defining the terms one is using.
Capaldi, N., Smit, M., (2007). The art of deception: an introduction to critical thinking. Prometheus Books.