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To want to know the names for the rhetorical devices used on this forum.

(34 Posts)
ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 09:10:07

Is anyone good at this stuff?

The ones that interest me in particular are:

"OP: I assert Xxxx
Poster: I disagree because of personal experience Y.
OP: you seem to imply that XXXX. Therefore you are zzzz and I give your opinion no weight"

I think people doing classics/Latin used to get taught names for these things? Maybe there is a dummies guide.

superiorDoughnuts Wed 01-Nov-17 09:26:37

That isn't rhetoric.

You're talking about logical fallacies (I assume).

MuseumOfCurry Wed 01-Nov-17 09:28:56

They can be considered rhetorical fallacies, but I learned them many years ago as logical fallacies.

lynmilne65 Wed 01-Nov-17 09:56:28

oohh your’e all so clever 👩‍🎓

ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 11:20:47

ooh, can't wait for lunch break to google those now....

have also ordered a book called something like Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama.

I shall be a mumsnet demon after this!

ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 11:36:37

those both list good examples....

maybe what I'm looking for is more in the realm of logic? (as in the branch of philosphy).

maybe i just need to read Aristotle. Aritotle and mumsnet, the perfect team.

MorrisZapp Wed 01-Nov-17 11:38:05

I know what a strawman is, and dogwhistling. But I'm still unsure about special pleading.

superiorDoughnuts Wed 01-Nov-17 12:10:52

@ringle - do some basic reading about Set Theory. It'll help no end.

@MorrisZapp - special pleading is the logical fallacy whereby a special exception is used without adequate justification.

A nice MN example - 'all men are wankers except my husband'. Venn Diagrams (basic set theory) would show that a subset of 1 needs a lot of justification and this is rarely provided.

A nice Religious example - people who believe in a magic man sitting on a cloud controlling every aspect of our lives are lacking critical faculties and completely deluded, unless they believe in [insert 1 religion here].

ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 12:28:33

set theory sounds disarmingly simple.... you're going to tell me it's not, aren't you? smile

I like venn diagrams.

What is a fallacy anyway? I mean what is it really?
(I know I should google but you lot are better)

toboldlygo Wed 01-Nov-17 12:39:15

Futurelearn are currently offering a free course in logical and critical thinking, courtesy of the University of Auckland, which includes sections on logical fallacies.

derxa Wed 01-Nov-17 12:43:58

I love The Appeal to Nature one. Yes you do see same sex animals copulating.
Thanks OP a very interesting topic.

ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 12:46:29

just watched a video from that course - looks really good!

maybe everyone should be forced to go on the course before they are allowed to post on mumsnet.

superiorDoughnuts Wed 01-Nov-17 12:47:49

Set theory is pretty simple. Of course it can get more complex but it's not too hard. Certainly one of the easier aspects of discrete mathematics.

A fallacy is basically an error - usually in the thinking or logic behind an argument.

This is a nice video by an ex-colleague of mine.

I think it helps as an intro to Philosophy / Linguistics which is what you're talking about. It certainly gives you an angle from which to approach some Philosophy.

My first degree was PPE although with as little time on Philosophy as I could manage.

Find yourself a good ToK IB textbook. It sounds like it'll interest you.

ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 12:48:07

"Yes you do see same sex animals copulating."

always a bonus.

milliemolliemou Wed 01-Nov-17 12:52:06

I'll probably cross post with hundreds of MNers ...

a fallacy is a belief founded on faulty reasoning.

EG I believe my husband is a horse.


Because he is an animal, horses are animals, so he must be a horse.

There's also the original "begging the question" which used to mean (I think) you use the conclusion at the beginning and end eg

Ghosts are real
I've seen a ghost
So ghosts are real.

MNers are very very fond of this one.

UniversalAunt Wed 01-Nov-17 13:00:22

ToK IB ?

superiorDoughnuts Wed 01-Nov-17 13:04:55

Theory of Knowledge, International Baccalaureate

derxa Wed 01-Nov-17 13:06:26

always a bonus. Sorry to lower the tone grin
I hate it when MN people make blanket statements with absolutely no evidence at all. Plus all the belittling statements such as 'You should be disgusted with yourself' after someone has made quite an anodyne comment. Terry Christian does similar on TWS when someone disagrees with him. 'Give your head a wobble!'

PhilODox Wed 01-Nov-17 13:11:57

Oh, I haven't heard if dog whistling, thanks.

ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 13:12:49

milliemolliemou wins most helpful post award.

I don't understand the begging the question one yet though.

Am going back to the chart in the earlier post.

<feels empowered>

I like the idea of mumsnetHQ doing a "comment" every time there is a fallacy. Or having a fallacy emoji smile

ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 13:14:53

ah... is "begging the question" just a rather obscure/dated way of saying "circular argument".

You're naughty
because I say so.

I have been in conversations where people say "it begs the question" but I've never stopped and pinned down what they mean by that.

ringle Wed 01-Nov-17 13:17:48

we need a picture of aristotle's mum at this point.....

anyone got one?

lynmilne65 Wed 01-Nov-17 13:44:13

This is a blanket statement; there has been no under, over or sideways copulating in my life since time began !!😑

Queenofthedrivensnow Wed 01-Nov-17 17:12:22

I like this thread

milliemolliemou Wed 01-Nov-17 17:23:55

YAY I win a helpful post award! thanks, OP!

I think begging the question is a circular argument as a PP has said. Best example I've come across is:

God is real because the Bible says so and the Bible is from God.

Begging the question doesn't mean raising the question which is how you often hear it in political debate eg "that begs the question about what the government is doing about obesity" apropos an argument about the NHS.

I'd go to a big book shop and look for their philosophy section and find something that gives loads of examples before you buy anything (though suggestions above are good).

And when you find it, let me know!

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