Questions tagged [rhetoric]

the practice of effective persuasive speech/argumentation

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9 votes
11 answers
3k views

Is there a name for the widespread logical fallacy in which you prove your point by 'eliminating' anyone who contradicts you?

I've encountered this relentlessly in my life. You offer proof that someone is wrong, or even simply state something more obvious than the sun that they don't like, they ban you or do something else ...
4 votes
8 answers
3k views

What is the proper response in a debate when your opponent ignores your counterarguments?

I keep running into a situation in debates and arguments. My opponent makes an argument (or counterargument), and I carefully disprove all of my opponent's points. However, instead of addressing my ...
3 votes
8 answers
278 views

Is "explaining away" something without offering details ever justified? How detailed should an explanation be to be considered valid?

In a recent question I asked if it was epistemologically sound to consider alternative theories of consciousness to explain the visual phenomena that people blind from birth experience during a near-...
0 votes
0 answers
59 views

What kind of rhetorical device is 'splaining?

It is quite common for people to respond to an issue or question with the first thing that comes to mind, framed as a convincing explanation. When it appears to be a self-serving or unwarranted ...
6 votes
7 answers
782 views

Can a question be bullshit?

In his essay On Bullshit Frankfurt writes: The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no ...
7 votes
7 answers
2k views

How would you explain the is-ought dichotomy to an "Objectivist"?

I've recently met someone who identifies as an "Objectivist." I'm a moral nihilist, so naturally, I asked about the is-ought problem. His response was frustrating. He claims that Rand avoids ...
2 votes
3 answers
340 views

How should the difference between rhetoric and sophistry be characterized when the "criterion" of truth is consensus?

According to Plato/Aristotle, rhetoric is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing to persuade another of the truth of a proposition. Sophistry, on the other hand, came to be known as a ...
3 votes
1 answer
92 views

Word-Pairing Rhetorical Tactic

I am looking for a name referring to a rhetoric/propaganda tactic in which words are paired together to change perceptions? For example, if I said, "a controversial speaker is giving a lecture at ...
3 votes
4 answers
150 views

How to discuss subjects with people who are convinced by emotion, not by reason?

Sometimes I must discuss a subject with someone who has an emotional, not necessarily reasonable, connection to a subject. How can one discuss a subject or convince a person who has an emotional ...
2 votes
1 answer
143 views

Rebuttal from first principles as a type of refutation?

There is an intriguing paper by Easwaran on types of refutations: Easwaran, Kenny. Rebutting and undercutting in mathematics. Epistemology, 146-162, Philos. Perspect., 29, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, ...
3 votes
1 answer
104 views

Provenance of 'malicious joke' "He has not interpreted my words as I intended. For I intended that there be no counterexamples."

I doubt this could be where I originally came across this quip/joke, but a google search found it in footnote #2 of [1]. The footnote reads: 2 Compare the malicious joke: 'Mr. Z claims to have found ...
1 vote
1 answer
171 views

What do you call a "false corollary" or leap in logic?

If I make a provocative statement like: I recommend South American chocolate to professional chefs. Some readers infer what I currently think of as "false corollaries": Professional chefs ...
9 votes
4 answers
3k views

What kind of a logical fallacy is giving an example from the past - in order to justify present unjustice?

I was wondering what kind of fallacy is giving an example that occurred in the past, and thus saying we don't need to worry about the present as the same or worse happened in the past. I would like to ...
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

How to reframe a question or statement in good faith?

Attempting to have a philosophical discussion with someone acting in bad faith is annoying. You might pose a statement or question, only for them to refute it with an irrelevant detail (sometimes ...
4 votes
5 answers
2k views

Does this argument qualify as whataboutism?

(Moved from Politics.SE) Alice and Bob are two students who are habitual cheaters. Alice to Bob: You really should stop cheating on your exams. Bob to Alice: I'll stop cheating if you stop cheating ...
1 vote
0 answers
115 views

Give something a name and it becomes a thing?

I'm looking for the name of a concept in, I think, philosophy of language, or perhaps rhetoric. So, a colleague once made a comment something like, "If you give something a name, it becomes a ...
1 vote
3 answers
169 views

Is there a name for this combination of generalization and the No True Scotsman fallacy?

The pattern: When specific members of the Other Group display reprehensible behavior, they are cited as evidence that the Other Group as a whole is reprehensible. When specific members of My Group ...
1 vote
2 answers
113 views

Proper name for "affirming the common ground" fallacy / rhetorical technique?

I'm trying to find the name for this form—I don't know if it'd rightly be called a "fallacy", or just a "rhetorical technique"—where you affirm or reiterate non-disputed premises ...
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Providing a logical rebuttal to "What's the harm?"-type questions

I have a manager at work who often comes up with shortsighted ideas and then expects his staff to adopt them. On occasions, my colleagues (his staff) will suggest improvements to his ideas that offer ...
4 votes
1 answer
239 views

Searching for name of this logical fallacy: presuming a consensus

I recently encountered multiple instances of this kind of fallacy, but could not nail down its name or which group of fallacy that it belongs to. It bothers me enough to create a new account to ask ...
3 votes
4 answers
310 views

Money and Friendship - Is this a logical fallacy?

I overheard a conversation that went something like this: A: You could buy that for me. B: I can't afford that. A: Are you going to let money get in the way of friendship? Specifically, I like the ...
3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Is there a logical fallacy for falsely dismissing criticism as snobbery?

From Richard Nixon to Spiro Agnew to todays Marvel fans, there seems to be a particular penchant for framing light criticism, scepticism or even simple disagreement by others as snobbery/elitism. '...
2 votes
2 answers
164 views

Is it a fallacy when the opponent comes up with obviously nonsense arguments on my side to make me look stupid?

For example, I'm having a political debate and I am bringing up facts, like under this government the energy prices rose this amount, the unemployment rate is higher then ever and the government had ...
2 votes
0 answers
30 views

Contradictions in comparisons of expedience in the Art of Rhetoric

In "The Art of Rhetoric" Chapter 1.7, Aristotle presents a list of conditions determining which good out of two goods is the more expedient. If, of two things, one is an end and the other ...
12 votes
10 answers
2k views

Why do people who subscribe to self-refuting skeptical philosophies still argue with others?

The belief that everything is relative is obviously self-refuting, because it holds to an absolute. However, in my experience, people who believe this (or some form of it) such as some Buddhists and ...
0 votes
2 answers
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Pre-theoretic beliefs about non-existence [closed]

In ordinary thought and language there are obviously particulars and it is assumed they usually consist of parts. Ordinary language also supports "generalized, reified properties" (I'd say ...
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0 answers
85 views

What type of logical fallacy happens here?

This has been going on a lot lately in my country. Usually, in a discussion where some antisocial behavior of an organization is being criticized, a supporter of the organization, usually a member of ...
8 votes
4 answers
732 views

What is the philosophical term for using half-truths to intentionally mislead?

Our local school district has been distributing propaganda to support keeping schools open during an uncontrolled pandemic. There has been a common pattern among these statements, where a half-truth ...
0 votes
1 answer
952 views

Difference between non-sequitur fallacy and post hoc fallacy?

What is the difference between post hoc fallacy and non sequitur fallacy?
1 vote
0 answers
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Your argument is invalid if you didn't experience it!

Consider the following scenario: Person A never ate a cake. Person B has eaten cake before. Now A has the opinion that A dislikes cake (and brings up several arguments), but B argues "You've ...
0 votes
3 answers
168 views

Is there a name for this Freudian-inspired fallacy?

Yet another of these fallacy questions... There is a certain kind of rhetorical move which famously might occur in classical psychoanalysis, but also in other situations. The therapist says the ...
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

Is it difficult to know "general opinion"?

Is it difficult to know "general opinion"? Or can it be measured well somehow? I have had this problem of thinking that, when I get another person agree with me that I "possibly" hit a general ...
6 votes
5 answers
6k views

Did Plato say "In order to argue, you must express your opponents argument better than they could?"

One friend said: If I can't see what is substantial and noble in a viewpoint I oppose - whether ethical, political, or religious - there's a good chance I haven't understood it, and/or that my own ...
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0 answers
86 views

Fallacy and guilt by discussion?

I recently encountered a discussion that went along the lines of: A: Pedophiles are not just old men touching little kids. They're also 23 year olds going out with 16 year olds. B: Pedophilia ...
1 vote
1 answer
148 views

Is feigned listening bullshit? (And if so, or even if not, is there a name for it?)

In his essay On Bullshit Frankfurt writes: The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no ...
0 votes
1 answer
170 views

I'm trying to identify a rhetorical device

I already asked this question on the writing forum, but I suppose the subject matter is better suited here. Once again, I am writing a commentary on the book of Galatians, while employing a socio-...
5 votes
2 answers
638 views

Is contemporary advertising a form of Rhetoric?

The definition that Aristotle gives of Rhetoric makes me think that it could also include contemporary advertising. The definition of Rhetoric is the following: Rhetoric may be defined as the ...
26 votes
7 answers
5k views

What type of rhetorical device is the offering of a source which is really long and not specifying what part of the source is relevant?

I'm encountering a frequent recurrence of a rhetorical device that seems to me fallacious but I can't figure out what it's called. When making an argument, the person does the following: Makes a ...
1 vote
4 answers
201 views

Is this ad hominem or in general acceptable behavior during an argument?

Person A: What is considered socially acceptable should be common sense regardless of outside influences. Person B: What is considered common sense or obvious can be very different depending on the ...
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Name for reverse Ad Hominem, (i.e. praising the defense)?

Is there a standard name for a fallacy of the same form as an ad hominem, except that instead of denouncing the opposition, it praises the defense? Typically an ad hominem ("against the man") fallacy ...
-3 votes
2 answers
174 views

Rhetoric: How to frame redundancy in an argument as deficiency?

How can we categorize redundancy in an argument as deficiency? That is, weaken the argument because of its redundancy? Suppose X is an argument that boasts coherence and clarity, but it has various ...
1 vote
1 answer
124 views

logical fallacy (or pseudo-logical, or rhetoric) corresponding to unduly extending my argument to make it false

This is probably similar to my preceding question: What's the name of the logical fallacy where a debater extends a statement far beyond the original statement to make it true? but I'm not sure ...
3 votes
0 answers
288 views

Is there a word for the type of rhetorical strategy where you distract from the point in order to seem authoritative?

Is there a word for distracting someone from the topic of the argument, and using the authority they have established in the mean time to (fallaciously) prove their original point? An example I ...
2 votes
2 answers
437 views

Intention and Means-End Reasoning in Epistemology

In his paper, The logical foundations of means-end reasoning, John Pollock describes a notion of "means-end" reasoning, which is planning with a certain end goal in mind. Human plan-construction ...
17 votes
6 answers
3k views

What fallacy dismisses criticism of a bad law with "just don't break it"?

Let's say someone is criticizing the government for instituting some draconian policy, and/or for persecuting people for doing something minor. And the response is:"Just don't do it and you'll be fine"...
6 votes
1 answer
134 views

Is rhetoric philosophy?

In rhetoric, students are primarily concerned with making arguments that are convincing. Rhetoricians who deviated from the truth were rightly skewered in Socrates' time for their problematic "...
5 votes
2 answers
126 views

How to build up clear ideas

I was reading Descartes' Rules for the direction of mind and noticed how clear are his ideas. I would love to speak in that way, where every sentence is a necessary step to climb up the final idea. ...
1 vote
3 answers
272 views

Is there a term for this 'disclaimer' technique used in statements?

This is a pretty common type of statement that's seen frequently on internet posts and discussions, but I was curious if there was a term for it. The statement starts off with a disclaimer which is ...
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the meaning of the term 'eúnoia'?

While reading on the subject of rhetoric, I learned a technique entitled 'captatio benevolentiae'. Further research revealed to me its root being 'eúnoia' (Greek for a well mind; beautiful thinking). ...
2 votes
3 answers
205 views

What fallacy dismisses problems by making it specific to the critic?

Occasionally, I write criticisms about some products online and people respond with statements like, "That's just your problem," or questions like, "If you don't like it then why do you use it?" I ...