Fallacies of argumentation

Authored by: Peter J. Collins , Ulrike Hahn

The Routledge International Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138849303
eBook ISBN: 9781315725697
Adobe ISBN:


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The British Parliament recently debated legislation to permit IVF techniques allowing three-parent babies in order to prevent inherited mitochondrial diseases. Opponents objected that the legislation ‘marked the start of a “slippery slope” towards designer babies and eugenics’ (Knapton, 2015) and that it ‘put the UK out in front of a race to the bottom’ in human dignity (Rush, 2015). This slippery slope argument is one of a family of arguments – the informal fallacies – that have traditionally been viewed as persuasive but improper (see, for example, Hamblin, 1970; Toulmin, Rieke, & Janik, 1979; Walton, 2008).

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