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Flaw Practice – Academic

  • by Fehbe Meza
  • Jan 01, 2020
  • Question of the Day

Identify the flaw in the argument: “Shawna is not a serious academic; she spends all of her time listening to pop music and only reads one book per week. So, we should not believe the results of her research.”

Answer

This is an ad hominem flaw.  Shawna may know how to have fun and maybe that even makes her unserious.  But even if it does, we cannot use her lack of seriousness to prove that her research is unreliable.  It is never okay to use a personal attack on someone to justify a conclusion about claims that person makes.

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