Detecting Fallacies 1:
a practice sheet in Rhetoric and Logic
©1999 Edward G. Rozycki

edited 3/30/12

Reconstruct the arguments underlying the following statements by supplying any crucial assumption; then, identify any fallacies.

1. That Mexican fellow, Mendez, is highly emotional. You just can't rely on Mexicans.

2. Since immigration expands the labor supply, America will benefit from unrestricted immigration.

3. Since immigration expands the labor supply, America will suffer from unrestricted immigration.

4. Since Mary owns a farm, she must be in favor of unrestricted immigration.

5. John won't be able to pass calculus, he's here on special admissions.

6. Sam must be highly intelligent; he reads the New York Times.

7. Sam is for welfare cuts; he must be a conservative.

8. We Americans all must bear some guilt for Hiroshima

9. The President believes that schools should teach values.

10. That stupid Sam thinks we should restrict immigration!

11. We can trust Mary to tell the truth; she's not a pathological liar.

12. When you think of people like Jimmy Hoffa, I don't know how you can join a union and maintain your self-respect.

13. My math prof is in favor of reducing tariffs on imported goods.

14. Since he reads The National Review regularly, Jack must be a conservative.

15. Mary must be one of those bleeding-heart liberals. She favors open immigration.

16. We can't allow more criminals to come into our country!

17. Larry must be an immigrant, since he's not a native-born American.

18. If God had wanted us to fly, we would have been born with wings!

19. What's with the oysters? The last time you ate them you got sick. Don't you ever learn?

20. Look out for Sam. He hangs out with that jerk, Ronny.

21. Since it is not educational, hiking is immoral.

22. Society needs laws.

23. The old method didn't work very well. This is a completely new method.

24. I bet you learned to be so critical when you were studying in Russia!

25. Sam ran over a dog last night. I didn't know he was such a nasty person!

26. We have to protect our nation from cheaply manufactured goods.

27. You never used to be so critical before you went to Widener!

28. War is inevitable, since Man is instinctually aggressive.

29. Send Johnny to military school. That'll straighten him out!

30. You can't reason with a mentally retarded person.

31. Millions of immigrant families worked themselves up into the Middle Class. If these people can't, they must be, in some real sense, inferior.

32. Sex is nasty stuff and your parents obviously indulged. So ...

33. People no longer respect duly constituted authority. The President can do nothing without some misfits complaining about it.

34. Can we really afford to pay for the illnesses of illegal immigrants?

35. Put an end to police brutality: no more police!

36. No real conservative plays the saxophone!

37. John, like other Republicans, must admire Rush Limbaugh.