Hughesair (Inflection Point)

Retired physician and air taxi operator, science writer and part time assistant professor, these editorials cover a wide range of topics. Mostly non political, mostly true, I write more from experience than from research and more from science than convention. Subjects cover medicine, Alaska aviation, economics, technology and an occasional book review. The Floatplane book is out there. I am currently working on Hippocrates a History of Medicine and Globalism. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Sophistical Refutations, Aristotle’s 13 Fallacies, 350 BC


1.     Accent: changing the meaning of a quotation by changing or ignoring the accent on certain words, common journalistic or political spin.
2.     Amphiboly: use of language that has multiple meanings to obfuscate or mislead.
3.     Equivocation: deliberate misuse of language to obscure, confuse and belittle a concept
4.     Composition: Assertion that an overall principal is true when only a part it is true
5.     Division: Assert an overall truth as support that a part of the overall is true also.
6.     Figure of Speech: using the vagaries of language, gender or cases to assert fallacy
7.     Accident: use of a general rule in support of a false specific.
8.     Affirming the Consequent: arguing backwards from a true consequent to a fallacy, used repeatedly by journalists in what can only be called perception management.
9.     In a Certain Respect/Simply; True in small area, therefore true in larger area, as in the application of medical statistics
10.  Ignorance of Refutation: Evidence leads to X, yet conclusion Y is drawn.
11.  Begging the Question: If a topic is not wrong, it is right. If you’re not good, you are bad.
12.  False Cause: X and Y are associated; therefore, X causes Y without any proof.
13.  Many Questions: to change the subject slightly in order to answer a similar question and assert a false or unrelated answer.

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