As I’ve gone into the world of facebook comments, I have noticed that many people trying to make sense of the pandemic (myself included) are running into a number of logical fallacies. As you listen to other people’s views and form your own, try to keep these fallacies in mind to avoid common but unhelpful missteps in human reasoning.

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First, what are logical fallacies? My good friend, Dr. Gretchen Ellefson (Assistant Professor of Philosophy) just taught a class on critical thinking that included this very topic! Here is her basic intro to fallacies:

First, at a basic level, fallacies are flaws in reasoning or faulty forms of reasoning. What we mean when we say this is that people have arguments in mind when they form beliefs, meaning that they have reasons supporting a given conclusion. An argument has a fallacy when the reasons fail to do their job — they don’t actually support the conclusion.

About

Kristen Panthagani

I am a MD-PhD student who likes to help people understand science. Doing my best to help clarify science misinformation at youcanknowthings.com

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