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Patricia Bizzell




I examined the use of logical fallacies in political discourse. Logical fallacies are fraudulent tricks people use in their argument to make it sound more credible while what they really do is to fool the audience. Out of more than 300 kinds of fallacies, I focused on 18 common ones by analyzing their use in debates about political issues. During conducting my research, I noted that being aware of my mental state is very important if I want to accurately detect the fallacies. Furthermore, while watching two sides debating, being impartial is as significant as staying calm. I also need to put aside both personal political opinions and my strong feeling toward the ethos of the speakers. It could be pretty easy to find logical fallacies from the argument of someone I dislike and thus, overlook the fallacies used by the other speaker -- a good arbiter should not make such mistake.

I came to the conclusion that the political debates nowadays are simply misleading. They use personal attack, inflammatory language, and emotional demagoguery, which do not belong to a democratic country. And most importantly, citizens are not aware of this, and they need to be informed with these fallacies because a rational, respectful, and democratic environment needs to be reintroduced into the political world.