Tag Archive: fallacies

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Watch a Compilation of Fallacies From the 10/13 Democratic Debate

Check out Democratic Presidential candidates’ most memorable fallacious statements from October 13th’s Democratic Debate on CNN. Just so you know — These videos a part of our continuous series where we will analyze fallacies in both Republican and Democratic debates. For a detailed explanation about our methodologies, thought process, and fallacy definitions check out our

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Logical Fallacies and the NBA Playoffs

We’re getting deep into the NBA playoffs. You may be tempted to avoid studying for the LSAT by watching these games, but with just about a month before the June exam, there isn’t a moment to waste. Fortunately, you can multitask and get some much-needed review of the common fallacies by paying close attention to the commentators in this series. Sports commentators fall victim to a lot of logical fallacies. This is especially true for TNT color man Reggie Miller. Here are some examples from the first-round Spurs-Clippers series …

In this series, the Spurs coach Gregg Popovich frequently employed the controversial Hack-a-Jordan strategy. This involves Pop sending one of his bench-riding scrubs out to deliberately foul star Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, and send him to the free throw line for two unobstructed shots. Why do this?

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Law Student Perspective: Deflategate

Hey there, sports fans! Today’s post is dedicated to a topic that has dominated headlines and social media for the last week—Deflategate. You’ll get perspective from one law student (me) on fallacies and misinterpretations from the media, as well as the potential ramifications for the Patriots organization.

Before we go any further, there’s one pet peeve I feel compelled to address: this habit of adding “gate” to the end of any word associated with a scandal really needs to stop. Not only does it not make sense (Watergate was the actual name of the hotel where the Nixon scandal began—it wasn’t Watergate-gate), but it is also an unoriginal way for the media to sensationalize an issue without putting in any effort.

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LSAT in Real Life: Finding Flaws in the Affluenza Defense

If you’ve been living under a rock (or studiously avoiding news articles on this story, as I had been unti I sat down to write this LSAT blog post), you might not have heard about the “affluenza” hoopla that hit the news last week.

Here’s the quick rundown of the story: A 16-year-old boy in Texas was driving with a BAC level three times the legal limit when he lost control of his truck and killed four nearby pedestrians. When he was on trial for manslaughter, the defense attorneys argued that he needed rehabilitation, not jail time, because his wealthy parents hadn’t taught him a sense of personal responsibility. A witness for the defense said the kid had “affluenza” – he’d been taught that money could solve any and all problems.

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Throwback to These Pop Music Fallacies

One of the things you’ve probably noticed about studying for the LSAT is that it changes the way you think – for instance, you suddenly start seeing logical fallacies everywhere. When I was studying for the LSAT, one of the most annoying side effects was that whenever I heard a conditional statement, I would reflexively diagram it and take the contrapositive in my mind. (Hey, that’s a conditional statement too!) So in honor of the impossibility of avoiding conditional logic, here are three songs you’ll never be able to think about the same way again.

      1. Spice Girls – Wannabe

A past student (hi, if you’re reading this, Meaghen!) came into my LSAT class one day and told me that she was listening to “Wannabe” and suddenly noticed the Spice Girls’ secret plot to educate their listeners about conditional logic.

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LSAT Fallacy Watch: Mitt Romney and His Taxes

As we’ve discussed before, fallacies aren’t just related to the LSAT. They’re all around us. Every day you can see bad reasoning, whether it be in advertising, in politics, or on the news. Many of these arguments look like they could be right at home in an LSAT Logical Reasoning section. So today we’ll be looking at some of the attacks on Mitt Romney relating to his tax returns, and examining them to determine whether or not they hold any water. Arguments such as…

Romney won’t disclose all of his tax information. He must therefore have something to hide.

INVALID. This is something of an absence-of-evidence fallacy. We know that Romney won’t release his full tax information. Could it be because he has some nefarious tax secrets that he’s hiding? Definitely. He may have used numerous loopholes that would make him look bad, and he doesn’t want the American voters to know about this.

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Finding LSAT Flaws in Real Wife

Being both an LSAT instructor and a married man can be pretty hard. Trying to use logic with a woman is already hard enough, but a married woman? Think there’ll be fallacies? Brother, you don’t know the half of it.

Take last Friday night. So I’m out with Mike at the bar, and I get home pretty late. So what? I work hard. I deserve a beer or two. Anyway, Deborah’s waiting up, going on and on about missing dinner or some garbage. And as if that wasn’t enough, she starts saying that I’m drunk. Classic temporal fallacy. Sure, I was at the bar, and sure, I maybe had a couple pitchers, but that was at the bar. Just because I was drunk then doesn’t mean I was drunk when I got home. What’s true about the past doesn’t have to be true of the future. And besides, if I were drunk, would I be able to drive myself home? That shut Deborah up.

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Studying with Rod: The End of the Road

So, apparently you have some test to take next Monday. It seems like only yesterday that you ran out to greet the friendly FedEx delivery guy as he gave you your fresh set of Blueprint textbooks. It was a sunny day, and you waved across the street to Ms. Johnson, who was talking to the milkman as little Billy practiced his baseball swing in the front yard. “I never realized how corny my neighborhood was,” you thought to yourself, but nonetheless it was a hopeful time, and you said “Gee wiz! I’m going to be a lawyer in no time!” Fast forward 12 weeks to today. You’re woozy and now suddenly aware of how much this battle with the LSAT has taken out of you. Instead of waving to Ms. Johnson, you resist the urge to ask her why the f–k she still has a milkman in 2010.

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Las Vegas: City of Sin (and LSAT Fallacies)

I recently returned from a trip to Vegas.  Well, actually, I returned about two weeks ago, but my wallet and my soul have just recently recovered.

Seeing as I am unable to ever completely shake the LSAT out of my brain (even after twelve beers at the pool and too many tequila shots to recall), I kept noticing that people use some pretty flawed logic inside the hallowed walls of those casinos.  I know that might sound shocking since we normally equate Vegas with rationality and profound intellect, but let me give you a couple examples.