Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fallacy Files

Looking for some good structure for teaching about logical thinking? My wife just pointed out The Fallacy Files.

Alphabetical List of Fallacies and the blog

The Taxomony of Local Fallacies
It's interactive!

How to read a poll

Because polls question only a sample of the population, there is always a chance of sampling error, that is, of drawing a sample that is unrepresentative. For instance, in a political poll, it is possible that a random sample of voters would consist entirely of Democrats, though this is highly unlikely. However, less extreme errors of the same kind are not so unlikely, and this means that every poll has some degree of imprecision or fuzziness. Because the sample may not be precisely representative of the population as a whole, there is some chance that the poll results will be off by a certain amount. Statisticians measure the chance of this kind of error by the "margin of error", or "MoE" for short…

About the author, Gary N. Curtis

I have a doctoral degree in philosophy from Indiana University in Bloomington… My dissertation concerned the concept of logical form, and touched on the subject of formal fallacies. I have taught philosophy and logic at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at I.U.B., Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis… and Indiana State University. For five years, I worked as an ontologist for the artificial intelligence company Cycorp, Inc. in Austin, Texas…

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