Essay on the Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent and Fallacy of Undistributed Middle

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Harvey Mudd College
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In the office memo the two fallacies that were committed is the fallacy of affirming the consequent and fallacy of undistributed middle. The fallacy of affirming the consequent is committed through the argument that if the employees are late then the reports will be late and because some of the employees are late then the reports will be late. The undistributed middle fallacy it  is depicted where it is believed that two things lead to the third this case it is believed that   employees are late, their supervisor is late therefore all employees are supervisor

In the analysis of fallacies, it is paramount to note that mistakes are broadly classified into; formal errors and fallacies of language. The formal errors can be categorized into affirming the consequent which refers to an argument which its structure rather than content makes it invalid. For instance, if it rains the ground will be wet, and because it rained the ground is is called the affirming because one premise affirms the consequent of another.

Secondly, the denying antecedent is a formal fallacy where the one assumption denies the predecessor of another. For instance, if it rains the ground will be wet and because it did not rain the ground is not wet. In this case on premise denies the antecedent of another. Thirdly the undistributed middle is a formal fallacy where the presenter assumes that two things are related to the third thing. For instance, all goats eat grass; all sheep eat grass. Therefore, all sheep are is a fallacy because although the sheep eat grass just like goats, they cannot be goats.

On the other hand, there are the errors of language which include fallacy of equivocation where a word has more than one meaning in an argument. It makes use of semantic ambiguity. For instance all banks are along the river, and I keep my money in the bank. It indicates that I keep my money along the river. In this case the word is the bank which can be a place where people take their money for safe keeping, and it can also mean the sides of a river. The argument creates a fallacy of equivocation because the word carries more than one meaning.

Additionally, there is the fallacy of amphiboly where the construction of the sentence cause vagueness rather than a single word or phrase. For instance when coming for the interview kindly bring your national identity card, and drivers license or a passport. The sentence can be taken to mean a passport can substitute other documents.

A fallacy can be replaced with a valid reasoning by examining the premise and the conclusion to detect the rational interpretation. The interpretations can, therefore, be considered for fallacies which invalidate the argument the replaced with valid reasoning. For instance, if it rains the ground will be wet, and the ground is wet because it rained. The invalid fallacy that needs to be replaced by a valid reasoning is that the ground is wet because it rained. The logical argument is that the ground can be wet through other possibilities and that is not wet due to rain.


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