Emotional Argument, Fallacies of

(1) The fallacy that the strong presence of emotion in an argument validates it: the expression of real feeling is taken to show that the person is sincere, so she has to be right.

(2) The fallacy that the strong presence of emotion in an argument invalidates it: the expression of real feeling is taken to show that the person is not being rigorous, so she has to be wrong.

But neither of these are necessarily fallacies. The logician’s view of this is generally austere. Madsen Pirie writes,

Emotion . . . motivates us to do things, but reason enables us to calculate what to do.E94

Not in Lean Logic. For reasons why the emotions should be recognised as central to judgment, see Spirit.E95

 

Related entries:

Intuition, Eroticism, Icon, Distraction, Reflection, F-Word Fallacy.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was an economist, historian and writer, based in London. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, Lean Logic and Surviving the Future. A film about his perspective and legacy - The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? - was released in 2019, directed by BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong. For more information, including on Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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