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Causality and logical fallacieis in old wives' tales and old farmer's tales (tales are given) - Essay Example

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The paper discusses the fallacies and potential reasonableness behind an old wives’ tale and an old farmers’ tale. The old wives’…
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Causality and logical fallacieis in old wives tales and old farmers tales (tales are given)
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Download file to see previous pages y arise because of observing some instances where they became true, so people shared these stories as facts, and these beliefs are subsequently passed on to others. The flaws in the logical reasoning behind these tales are: first, non sequitur because conclusions about these superstitions do not necessarily follow from the premises; second, hasty generalization because anecdotal evidence does not support the external validity of superstitions; third, confusing cause and effect because factors that happen together are not always related as cause and effect; and fourth, appeal to fear because black cats are related to witchcraft and demons.
The old wives’ tale about pregnant women shows non sequitur because the effect of having a child who becomes a musician does not always follow from the practice of listening to music while pregnant. The exact source of this superstition is not well-documented, although some of these stories are likely to come from European countries that are fond of listening to classical music in the past. These mothers might have been incidentally listening to music while pregnant, so when their children became musicians, they immediately attributed the latter’s musician skills to their pregnancy habits. Nevertheless, even if it was true for some mothers, it does not follow, which is non sequitur, that every mother who follows the same practice will also have children with musical skills. Believing in this relationship results to another fallacy called hasty generalization. Even if some pregnant mothers attest that they listened to music regularly while pregnant, and that this practice provided musical skills to their children, their small sampling cannot be applied to the entire population of mothers who follow the same habit. It will be hasty generalization to assume that the practice of a small group generates effects that are applicable for the whole population. Anecdotal evidence is not enough to prove the external validity of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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