The exercise has these directions:
Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with each of the following statements.
The following statement is claimed to be an example of "Figurative analogy, red herring":
Some have accused my administration of failure. But I see it as a glass half full rather than as a glass half empty.
Here are the questions:
- How's this Figurative Analogy a Logical Fallacy?
Although the directions are somewhat ambiguous with the "and", they seem to only ask for fallacies, rhetorical techniques or potential difficulties. The answers do not have to be something that is all three of these to qualify as a correct answer. That is, for a "figurative analogy" to be a correct answer, it does not have to also be a logical fallacy.
- Where's the Red Herring? Arguing that failure is gradient (i.e. "glass half full"), and not discrete, isn't a logical fallacy.
The red herring is the figurative analogy of the glass being half full. That suggests that the administration had some successes, but it appears that the administration was accused of complete failure. The red herring is to distract the audience by suggesting there were successes rather than focus on the failings.
Capaldi and Smit described two kinds of analogies: literal and figurative. Here is how they compare them on page 107:
A literal analogy is a claim that if two things are alike in one or more respects, then they are alike in some further respect. A figurative analogy is just a dramatic device for emphasizing or explaining one point. A good deal of advertising relies upon the obscurity over this distinction.
They use an example of an inexpensive sports-type American car being call "the Ferrari of American cars". In the statement under consideration the figurative analogy of the half-full glass suggests that the administration was half-way successful when its successes, if any, may have been minor.
Capaldi, N., Smit, M. (2007). The art of deception: an introduction to critical thinking. Prometheus Books.