Questions tagged [rhetoric]

the practice of effective persuasive speech/argumentation

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26 votes
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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 ...
Kiril's user avatar
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24 votes
2 answers
28k views

What fallacy dismisses problems by presenting "bigger" problems?

Wasn't really sure how to phrase this, but I'm thinking of an instance in which someone diminishes a problem by presenting one of larger scope - as a rather shoddy example, "x political problem in ...
user2871915's user avatar
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"...
Legend of Overfiend's user avatar
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 ...
agc's user avatar
  • 366
13 votes
4 answers
1k views

What fallacy excludes "outsiders" from discussing "insider" issue?

I see this a lot on the internet, especially as of late with what's trending in the news: You're a man, so you're not allowed to comment on women's issues. You're a woman, so you're not allowed to ...
NobleUplift's user avatar
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 ...
ErikE's user avatar
  • 399
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 ...
CSch of x's user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
735 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 ...
glenviewjeff's user avatar
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 ...
anarchocurious's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

What fallacy dismisses a conclusion because supporters give invalid arguments for it?

A person dismisses an otherwise valid argument, because some of its proponents support it for the wrong reason. How is this fallacy called? EDIT: Here is an example. A person defends the idea that ...
martinkunev's user avatar
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 ...
hawkeye's user avatar
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6 votes
7 answers
783 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 ...
user avatar
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 "...
elliot svensson's user avatar
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). ...
aitía's user avatar
  • 175
6 votes
1 answer
365 views

What happened to rhetoric as a branch of philosophy?

Long long ago, rhetoric was a branch of philosophy. As far as I can tell, nowadays there is no philosophical work in the domain of persuasion and argumentation; this is now done in the public-...
Dave's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it Unethical to Use Sarcasm?

I am trying to find an ideal example of when it is best to use Sarcasm. It seems that sarcasm in general is a rude, and disrespectful approach to talk to someone. I can see how it may be used to prove ...
Kelsey's user avatar
  • 207
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. ...
user avatar
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 ...
Vitaly Olegovitch's user avatar
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 ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 201
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 ...
Cyrad's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
3 answers
260 views

How to write clearly about philosophy?

Are there any guides on how write clearly, especially when writing about philosophy? I ask because I am usually baffled when someone says that they don't understand me, and at a loss as to how to ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
663 views

name this fallacy: A was P in the past -> A must be P now

I've been seeing arguments of this form for awhile: (agreed true premise) Some predicate P was applicable to behavior/event/thing A in the past. Variations: P(A) may have been true at some particular ...
TomRoche's user avatar
  • 153
4 votes
1 answer
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Why does Hume raise the Missing Shade of Blue?

From reading this question on Hume, having read the first seven sections of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (which covers the relevant section), a further question hit me. Hume dismisses ...
Cicero's user avatar
  • 701
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 ...
C D's user avatar
  • 43
4 votes
1 answer
138 views

How to effectively undertake the study of a philosophical work?

I feel like this question gets posed a lot in different ways and was curious if it might be possible to formulate it narrowly enough to get answered here. For the most part I think the answer is ...
Joseph Weissman's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
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What is meant by an Appeal?

To Appeal to a concept would seem to originally be (in the day of Greek metaphysics) a somewhat poetic device metaphorically gesturing toward whatever concept understanding might be sought from. ...
strainer's user avatar
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-...
Mark's user avatar
  • 5,013
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 ...
John Schmitt's user avatar
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 ...
Jason Esposito's user avatar
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 ...
dotancohen's user avatar
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 ...
David C. Norris's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
78 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. '...
johndoedodgytoe's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
182 views

Claiming misrepresentation as a rhetorical device

Most of us are familiar with the Straw Man fallacy, and its sister the Principle of Charity. There's a rhetorical device which runs the opposite way, though, where (e.g.) Alice may claim that ...
Ryder's user avatar
  • 2,426
3 votes
2 answers
412 views

Aristotle and irony for gentlemen?

I have a very vague recollection of reading a quote---I think by Aristotle in one of his works on rhetoric. The general idea of the quote was that, when making an argument, you ought to counter your ...
everybody's user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is there any Philosophical significance to why Plato chose to present his work in the form of a dialogue?

Spinoza presented his work in a proposition/theorem format following Euclid, presumably to varnish his work in the seemingly eternal verities of mathematics. Is there any significance as to why Plato ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
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 ...
user92234's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
77 views

Attacking a rejected hypothesis

I’ve noticed a type of fallacious argument for which I’m not able to find a recognized name. It goes something like this: Ms. W.: You might believe hypothesis A to be true, but reject it for reasons ...
J. C. Salomon's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
173 views

Is there a term for the logical arguing of what *should* be done, as opposed to what is true?

I'm trying to explain to someone that an appeal to consequences is a fallacy in formal logic, but is appropriate when you're discussing policy, for instance, or more generally, when choosing between ...
brianmearns's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is this paragraph in The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine an example of a rhetorical argument?

I found the following passage in The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine When Samson ran off with the gate-posts of Gaza, if he ever did so, (and whether he did or not is nothing to us,) or when he ...
Green Noob's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
439 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 ...
David's user avatar
  • 201
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 ...
Aadit M Shah's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
344 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 ...
gonzo's user avatar
  • 1,865
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are mythological stories scientific explanations?

Are mythological stories scientific explanations? {It would seem so because Zeus, for example, was as early explanation of lightening.} Or are they stories/rhetoric? Or is story-telling or rhetoric ...
Geremia's user avatar
  • 8,014
2 votes
2 answers
388 views

Reverse tautologies in rhetorics

Recently I came across the following line of reasoning. The reason is because it is COMMON SENSE, which many do not have. Obviously something goes wrong here as per definition of common sense many ...
Jori's user avatar
  • 181
2 votes
1 answer
277 views

Is there a logical fallacy that describes insulting an argument rather than addressing it?

I'm having a net debate and the person is raving about how pathetic my argument is rather than explaining why it is a pathetic argument. I believe its a logical fallacy but I'm not sure.
Ray Kay's user avatar
  • 345
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

best Phaedrus edition to start with for beginner

I'm interested particularly in Socrates' condemnation of written words and its propensity to create a false and superficial sense of intelligence which seems so prescient in light of how people use ...
user4860's user avatar
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, ...
Mikhail Katz's user avatar
  • 1,351
2 votes
2 answers
150 views

What argumentative tactic is in play when someone says "The media isn't covering this"?

I see memes about once a week which state, "The media isn't covering this really important thing. Shouldn't they be ashamed! Like and Share and FWD to grandma if you agree!". Similar posts include "...
Freiheit's user avatar
  • 127