Question for Logicians

Hey readers, quick question.  I am familiar with logic (the discipline, of course), but I was wondering if there was an “official” informal fallacy that deals specifically with the tone with which an argument is verbally stated.  Just curious.

Advertisements

7 responses to “Question for Logicians

  1. The cite “Logical Fallacies” has a taxonomy and lists the category of “relevance” including arguments that “are usually psychologically powerful, however, even if they don’t have any evidential value.” I think this would include various types of “tone” such as sarcasm, ridicule, superciliousness, etc. Richard Dawkins is pretty good at the use of tone, but I don’t think he measures up to Christopher Hitchens. http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/

    The Nizcor project lists appeals to “emotion, fear, flattery, ridicule, spite, poisoning the well,” and many others that would probably come under the heading “tone.”
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

    But can a fallacy really be logical?

    My local logician says, if you don’t like Johnny Cash you can’t be a real philosopher.

  2. Partly related–have your heard about the Psalms 109-Obama Bumper Stickers? I think it is seriously evil to pray for the assassination of a president. Valerie Tarico has asked why Rick Warren has not spoken out against it. I think we all need to speak out against it.

  3. How about sarcasm or faciciousness?

  4. More seriously, if one is being sarcastic, I could see that being categorized as an ad hominem. But obviously, sarcasm does’t necessarily lead to this end. It’s all in the context.

    • A,

      Yes, context is key, but more than that, I am thinking more specifically about the speakers intent in the sarcasm. I understand context is crucial here as well, but depending on the intent in the (sub)vocalization, the context could still be interpreted either way.

  5. Whoops, I cited a site above, but misspelled the word “site”.

    So, how can you trust someone to think logically, who doesn’t even know how to spell?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s