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Match the argument below with the logical fallacy : A. Post hoc, ergo propter; B....

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tagnaouti | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted June 17, 2012 at 2:55 PM via web

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Match the argument below with the logical fallacy : A. Post hoc, ergo propter; B. Slippery Slope; C. Red Herring; D. Bandwagon; E. Ad hominem.

You got an A in physics when you bought a new car-the car caused your A.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM (Answer #1)

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You got an A in physics when you bought a new car-the car caused your A.

This is an example of Post hoc, ergo propter.  This logical fallacy makes the assumption that because Event B follows Event A, then Event A must have caused Event B.  Advertisers use this fallacy to great effect, like in a commercial where a man is being hugely successful in his business venture, because he drank an energy drink.  The energy drink caused his success in business.  Well, no--it actually did not, but advertisers would love for their viewing audiences to buy into the Post hoc fantasy.  Getting an A in physics after the student bought the car, and connecting the car purchase actually to causing the academic success in the form of an A is definitely a logical fallacy.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 17, 2012 at 3:13 PM (Answer #2)

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The argument that you have given us here is an example of fallacy A--the "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" fallacy.  In this fallacy, a person thinks that, because Thing A happened before Thing B, Thing A must have caused Thing B.  In this case, "you" are thinking that buying the new car caused the A in physics simply because the purchase came before the grade.  This is fallacious because there is no logical reason to think that buying a car would cause one to achieve a higher grade.  Just because one thing happens before another does not imply that causation has happened.

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