When Good Arguments Go Bad: An Activity for Learning about Fallacies in Reasoning

Robert H. Gass, John S. Seiter


The ability to think, reason, and argue well depends, among other things, on students’ ability to identify and avoid informal fallacies. This exercise enhances students’ understanding of fallacies through an experiential activity in which they construct fallacies on their own and identify fallacies created by other students. In the process, they consider the ethical and practical considerations of encountering fallacies in "real life." The exercise can be used in a variety of college courses, including public speaking, logic, debate, argumentation, critical thinking, writing, rhetoric, and others.


Public Speaking, Logic, Debate, Argumentation, Critical Thinking, Writing, Rhetoric

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