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How Flawed Arguments Can Go Right

To understand this post better, it may be helpful to first read How Arguments Can Go Wrong.

Let’s go over some scenarios in which a flawed argument can have a true conclusion.

1. One or more premises are incorrect:

All fruits are yellow.
Bananas are fruits.
Therefore, bananas are yellow.

The first premise is incorrect, but the conclusion is still true.

2. The logic is flawed:

Baby poodles drink milk.
Puppies drink milk.
Therefore, baby poodles are puppies.

This argument is logically invalid, but the conclusion is still true.

3. The premises are untrue and the logic is flawed:

Earth is flat.
All planets are flat.
Therefore, Earth is a planet.

Here, both premises are incorrect and the logic is flawed, and yet the conclusion is true!

The Fallacy Fallacy

You commit the fallacy fallacy when you assume that a conclusion is wrong just because it has not been argued well. As I demonstrated above, it is possible for a flawed argument to have a true conclusion. When debating with someone, keep in mind that they might be right even if their logic is wrong.


If you’d like your kids to learn more about logical fallacies, check out my course Fallacy Detectors Part 1.


Courses

Fallacy Detectors Part 1

Develop the skills to tackle logical fallacies through a series of 10 science-fiction videos with activities. Recommended for ages 8-12.

US$15

Symbolic Logic for Teens Part 1

Learn how to make sense of complicated arguments with 14 video lessons and activities. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

US$15

Worksheets

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Symbolic Logic Worksheets

Worksheets covering the basics of symbolic logic for children ages 12 and up.

US$5

Elementary School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Elementary School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 2-5 about superstitions, different perspectives, facts and opinions, the false dilemma fallacy, and probability.

US$10

Middle School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Middle School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 5-8 about false memories, confirmation bias, Occam's razor, the strawman fallacy, and pareidolia.

US$10

High School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

High School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 8-12 about critical thinking, the appeal to nature fallacy, correlation versus causation, the placebo effect, and weasel words.

US$10

Statistical Shenanigans Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Statistical Shenanigans Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 9 and up the statistical principles they need to analyze data rationally.

US$10