Identify two fallacies of relevance you noticed in the conversation or article

Consider the fallacies of relevance listed in Chapter 8 of our textbook. Consider a recent conversation or a recent news or magazine article you have read. Identify two fallacies of relevance you noticed in the conversation or article. Consider how you, personally, might avoid committing fallacies of relevance, and list two ways you can avoid them in the future. In your replies to students, note some polite ways to point out when someone commits a fallacy of relevance.

In your posts this week, please be sure to include ideas or insights from the textbook as you seek to make connections from theory to practice.


I recently had a conversation with a coworker who said to me, “my brother’s friend is a doctor at a major hospital and had a severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, it isn’t safe, so I will not be getting it. They felt sick and had a fever for two days!” This is a fallacy of relevance because it only considers a source group of one person, and ignores that there may be millions of people that have already received the vaccine without issue. It also assumes the the doctor mentioned is an expert in the field, even though they could actually be a podiatrist. Lastly, it assumes that what my coworkers brothers friend experienced was in fact some sort adverse reaction, which is an unexpected or unwanted reaction to a medication or vaccination. Where as something like a fever, fatigue, or soreness, is a known and common side effect of many vaccines and poses no immediate health issue unless side effects persist. A comparable example to this that I could use to check the falaciousness of the argument would be, “my brothers friend crashed his car, it was a Mercedes so you know it’s safe, and yet the seatblet burn nearly killed him. Therefore, cars are unsafe, and I won’t drive one.”

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