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What is the major logical fallacy in "A Modest Proposal"?

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shkarina | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 18, 2009 at 3:48 AM via web

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What is the major logical fallacy in "A Modest Proposal"?

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 22, 2010 at 4:25 AM (Answer #1)

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The overriding logical fallacy in Jonathan Swift's satirical essay "A Modest Proposal" is Appeal to Authority in which the speaker sets himself up as logical and rational and an expert on the condition in Ireland, even citing the specifics of what the children do when they grow up. In keeping with the satire, the third paragraph reveals the speaker to be slightly crazed, or rather, one who has carried reason, logic and calculation to a gross extreme that is the inversion of reason and logical decency. Another logical fallacy employed is Two Wrongs Make a Right whereby the speaker addresses the wrong of poverty and childhood starvation with the wrong of developing a childhood commodities market similar to the Pork Bellies Commodity market.

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