How Often Do We (Philosophy Professors) Commit the Straw Man Fallacy?
Teaching Philosophy, Vol. 31, pp. 27-38, 2008
12 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2008
In a recent paper (in Argumentation, 2006) Robert Talisse and Scott Aikin suggest that we ought to recognize two distinct forms of the straw man fallacy. In addition to misrepresenting the strength of an opponent’s specific argument (= the representation form), one can also misrepresent the strength of one’s opposition in general, or the overall state of a debate, by selecting a (relatively) weak opponent for critical consideration (= the selection form). Here I consider whether we as philosophy professors could be seen as sometimes committing the selection form of the straw man through the performance of our regular teaching duties.
Keywords: informal logic, fallacies, straw man fallacy, pedagogy
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